Raw materials are boosting economic growth in a number of African states. But will the benefits also help improve the lives of ordinary people?
After the "tigers" of Asia come the "lions" of Africa. Their economic growth is driven mostly by the export of raw materials - minerals such copper, nickel, gold and other precious metals, diamonds, oil and natural gas. Some countries, such as oil-rich Angola, are now achieving growth rates as high as 20 percent per annum. Other African nations have just started oil and gas exploitation. Mozambique is well on its way to becoming one of the world's biggest producers of coal and gas. Africa is booming while the global economy grapples with a shortage of natural resources.
But this African boom in natural resources is making the continent's economies vulnerable. Dependent on the global market, they are exposed to fluctuations in prices and demand. There is also another downside to Africa's new-found wealth - environmental damage, corruption, conflict over the ownership of raw materials. Will the "oil curse" once again ruin chances of sustainable development? And once the boom is over, what will be left for African states and the people of Africa? DW reporters have been searching for answers.