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December 08 , 2007

The New Scramble for Africa


Once marginalized in the world economy, the past decade has seen Africa emerge as a major global supplier of crucial raw materials like oil, uranium and coltan. With its share of world trade and investment now rising and the availability of natural resources falling, the continent finds itself at the centre of a battle to gain access to and control of its valuable natural assets. China's role in Africa has loomed particularly large in recent years, but there is now a new scramble taking place involving a wider range of established and emerging economic powers from the EU and US to Japan, Brazil and Russia.

This book explores the nature of resource and market competition in Africa and the strategies adopted by the different actors involved - be they world powers or small companies. Focusing on key commodities, the book examines the dynamics of the new scramble and the impact of current investment and competition on people, the environment, and political and economic development on the continent. New theories, particularly the idea of Chinese "flexigemony" are developed to explain how resources and markets are accessed. While resource access is often the primary motive for increased engagement, the continent also offers a growing market for low-priced goods from Asia and Asian-owned companies. Individual chapters explore old and new economic power interests in Africa; oil, minerals, timber, biofuels, food and fisheries; and the nature and impacts of Asian investment in manufacturing and other sectors.

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The New Scramble for Africa will be essential reading for students of African studies, international relations, and resource politics as well as anyone interested in current affairs.

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