The African continent boasts a wide range of natural resources, including large supplies of hydrocarbons, minerals, and timber. Much of the resources are untapped due to long-term instability, lack of infrastructure and minimal investment. While they could serve as a source of wealth for countries abundant in natural resources, they have more often led to increased political instability and prolonged under-development, which has been termed as the ‘resource curse’. Further, countries highly dependent on commodity exports can be especially impacted by global slowdowns, as witnessed by Botswana during the 2009 global recession. However, the strong growth of emerging markets, such as China and India, has led to a new interest in Africa’s natural resource wealth and an expansion of extractive industries on the continent.
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