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Editorial

Mapping Africa’s natural resources An overview of the continent’s main natural resources.

Africa is a key territory on the global map. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position.

Rich in oil and natural resources, Africa is the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment. It has approximately 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources.

It’s home to more than 40 different nations and around 2,000 languages. Sub-Saharan Africa has six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. North Africa has vast oil and natural gas deposits, the Sahara holds the most strategic nuclear ore, and resources such as coltan, gold, and copper, among many others, are abundant on the continent.

The region is full of promise and untapped riches – from oil and minerals and land to vast amounts of people capital – yet, it has struggled since colonial times to truly realise its potential.

Oil and gas

Africa is home to five of the world’s top oil-producing countries, with an estimated 57 percent of Africa’s export earnings from hydrocarbons.

  • Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and Mozambique are all rich in oil and gas. 
  • Proven oil reserves have grown by almost 150 percent, increasing from 53.4 billion barrels since 1980, to 130.3 billion barrels by the end of 2012.
  • The region is home to five of the top 30 oil-producing countries in the world, and nearly $2tn of investments are expected by 2036.

Other resources

Besides oil and gas, Africa is rich in precious minerals, forests and:

  • Diamonds: Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Gold: Benin, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Mali, South Africa, Tanzania.      
  • Nickel and Uranium: Burundi.  
  • Pozzolana: Cape Verde. 
  • Fish: Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles.
  • Timber: Liberia.
  • Titanium: Gambia. 
  • Graphite: Madagascar.
  • Tobacco: Malawi. 
  • Iron Ore: Mauritania. 
  • Phosphates: Western Sahara, Morocco.
  • Aluminium and Gas: Guinea, Mozambique.
  • Cooper: Uganda, Zambia.

Source: Al Jazeera

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