Making extractive investments work for Africa’s development: what role for Qatar in shaping the debate on natural resource governance?
At present, emerging economies such as China, are the major importers as well as investors in Africa’s extractive sector. Indeed, they maintain a “stranglehold” on the continent regarding finance for development. Their success in gaining access to the resources of Africa is linked to an effective strategy that combines trade inducements, increased investment flows, aid for infrastructure and construction and technology transfers. With the recent dramatic decline in the price of commodities, and China’s re-balancing with greater emphasis on consumption-driven growth model, growth prospects in commodity-dependent Africa has dampened. Qatar, with its abundant hydrocarbon reserves and US$10 billion foreign exchange reserves, deploys its “soft power” to enable African countries develop their extractive sector fully, industrialize and end China’s financial stranglehold on the continent. Qatar can help develop Africa’s mineral processing industries through public private partnerships and experience. This is because of Qatar’s track record as a sound manager of natural resources. This type of partnership will assist African countries to get more out of their natural resources through valueaddition, and further deepen domestic technological capacity and job creation.
Key words: Qatar, China, Africa, minerals, oil, extractive, development