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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Raw materials race in Africa

The former President of Tanzania (1995-2005), Benjamin W. Mkapa, has recently published an article where he raises the question of whether EPAs “deeply care” for African and EAC regional integration and development, or if they are being primarily driven by the EU´s economic interests. Mr. Mkapa reviews the EU´s policy on Raw materials and underlines concerns from the European side: since emerging economies seem to have a great appetite for raw materials, and are therefore establishing closer links to Africa, “there is fear that Europe will somehow be marginalized”.
Also the current Chairperson of the South Centre, Benjamin W. Mkapa stresses  the increasing engagement of emerging countries with Africa: “This includes major infrastructure projects and active involvement in exploration and extraction activities in countries such as Zambia (copper), Democratic Republic of Congo (copper, cobalt), South Africa (iron ore), Zimbabwe (platinum) and Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon (timber)”, he notes.
Answering the kick-off questions of his opinion article, he paraphrases some key questions in the 2011 Commission Communication to European bodies on raw materials and the prospective strategies therein. He notably rewords: “The years 2002 to 2008 were marked by a major shift in demand for raw materials, driven by strong global economic growth, particularly in emerging countries such as China. This increase in demand will be reinforced by the further rapid industrialisation and urbanisation in countries such as China, India, and Brazil […] Access to primary and secondary raw materials should become a priority in EU trade and regulatory policy".

Source: International. to