CHINAFRIQUE, AFRICOM, and African Natural Resources: A Modern Scramble for Africa?

By Habiyaremye, Alexis | Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

CHINAFRIQUE, AFRICOM, and African Natural Resources: A Modern Scramble for Africa?


Habiyaremye, Alexis, Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations


For many decades, Africa's relatively weak economic and human development has stood in stark contrast to its tremendous endowment of natural resources. Contrary to what is reflected by its dismal economic performance on the surface, Africa has the world's richest concentration of minerals and gems under the ground. It contains 40 percent of the world's diamond reserves, almost all of the world's chromium reserves, and 50 percent of the world's cobalt reserves are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In some regions of the continent, like the Katanga Province in the DRC, mineral wealth is so abundant that it has sometimes been referred to as a "geological miracle."1 In other regions, Africa is endowed with resources of high strategic value. For example, the Bushveld Complex in South Africa, which is one of the largest masses of igneous rock on earth, contains major deposits of strategic ores such as platinum, chromium, and vanadium, according to a study conducted at the University of Pretoria.2 These metals are indispensable in tool making and in high-tech industrial processes. Additionally, countries around the Gulf of Guinea have large oil and natural gas reserves which provide another attractive source of energy for the United States and Europe. As a consequence of this endowment, the export of natural resources has been the major feature of trade between Africa and the rest of the world. However, despite its exceptional abundance of natural resources, Africa has remained the poorest region of the world by any measure of economic and social development. In fact, in various parts of the continent, entire populations live in dismal conditions, frequently experiencing violence, civil wars, and social disruption as a result of the presence of natural resources in their regions. Even worse, the abundance of these resources seems to be one of the major causes of poverty, since the environmental degradation and civil wars that disrupt the livelihoods of local communities are often provoked byresource exploitation. Rather than being a blessing, the abundance of natural resources seems to have brought a curse to African populations, as suggested by the "resource curse" thesis (Auty, 1993; Sachs and Warner, 1997).

Across the continent, innumerable cases of dire poverty and misery have been caused by the recurrent fight for the control of Africa's natural resources. One of the most salient cases illustrating this point is in Nigeria. Given its abundant oil resources, Nigeria should be one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, but mismanagement of oil revenue has instead led it to be one of the poorest African states, and also one of the lowest ranking in terms of human development indicators, such as the UNDP Human Development Indicators.3 Severe environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, once the country's richest area of biodiversity, has led to a significant deterioration of living conditions for the local communities caused by frequent oil spills, blatant dumping of industrial waste, and the unfulfilled promises of development projects. Compared to the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which caused major international public indignation, oil spills regularly gushing into the Niger Delta (approximately 260,000 barrels per year for the past 50 years, according to a 2010 US Energy report) are far more deleterious.4 Foreign oil companies have often played a nefarious role in perpetuatmg poverty and envlronmental degradation with impunity. In a report Published in January 2000, the US-based Essential Action and Global Exchange noted that [f]ar from bdng a positive force, the oil companies act as a destabilizing force, pitting one community against another, and acting as a catalyst (together with the military with whom they work closely) to some of the violence racking the region."5 Instead of benefitting Africans, endowments in natural resources seem to have contributed to their economic and social misfortune. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

CHINAFRIQUE, AFRICOM, and African Natural Resources: A Modern Scramble for Africa?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.