Africa got the narrative of “Rising Africa” when it swung itself on the upside in the mid of 1990s by making a tremendous increase in its overall economic activities. Not just contributing to GDP, Africa made sure that both resourceful and non-resourceful countries are making a remarkable expansion in the field of Africa mining and making Africa as mining destination for all.
The surge of economic activities along with the Africa mining was seen in the early 2000s with a steady increase in the average per capita income which has never happened before in the history of mining in Africa. When it comes to Africa as mining destination, many external and internal factors are combined that push Africa through a sustained growth chart. Though Africa is a resource-rich continent, the majority of the funds come from foreign investments.
Africa as mining destination and employment in African mines
As of August 2021, the market capitalization, of one of the leading companies Anglo American Platinum was at 29.97 billion U.S. dollars. The majority of the market capitalization in Africa comes from South African mining companies. In the year 2019, South African coal production was estimated to be 306 million metric tons. Apart from that, other minerals such as copper were at 56 534 metric tons, gold at 97 metric tons, platinum at 138 metric tons, and nickel at 63379 metric tons respectively in 2019.
If the output has increased, there is no doubt to the fact that employment in African mines has also gone up. Certain welfare projects for mines have been deployed in the past many years as processing and extracting these huge amounts of minerals requires a lot of manpower and the latest machinery. Having said that, the South Africa mining industry employed around 514 589 individuals in the year 2019. And as per the employment figures in the mining sector, an increase of 3737 individuals was seen between 2015 to 2019. The various welfare projects for mines not only gave opportunities to various labor brokers and subcontractors but the number of capital employees working on projects that are beyond the everyday scope has also seen a huge surge.
Economic benefits of the mineral wealth of Africa
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Report, South Africa, Libya, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria produce over two-thirds of the total mineral wealth of Africa. Other than that, Zimbabwe, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and Egypt have annual minerals production of $9,767mn, $10,920mn, $13,688mn, $14,970mn, and $23,225mn respectively.
Another reason for Africa’s upliftment in the economic and mining sector is its trade relations with China. China has always given tremendous amounts of assistance to many emerging African countries and there are indeed many political reasons behind it. Also, China is one of the biggest bilateral trading partners of Africa and a foreign investor in the continent. Over 1000 Chinese companies are operating in Africa which shows the relationship between the two.
There is no wonder that Africa has majorly untapped and unrecognized potential that is attracting many foreign investors in the field of mining today. The need for “green metals” such as copper, nickel, cobalt, zinc, and lithium is in abundance in Africa which is untapped. And since the demand for these minerals is rising every day, it is indeed a good opportunity for countries like the USA to invest and reap profits. The Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe has already mentioned that the African continent is moving towards a low-carbon future, and is looking to offer new investment opportunities for other countries and is open for business.