Powered by soaring commodity prices, Africa’s economic fortunes have been transformed since the turn of the century. This commodity boom was itself driven to a large extent by China’s resource-hungry investment-led growth model.
In 2012, China imported 17% of its fuels and 7% of its total mineral imports from Africa. Although commodity prices – from oil to precious metals and most things in between – remain elevated compared to late 20th century levels, what is often termed a decades-long ‘super cycle’ ran out of steam in the latter part of the 2000s. Commodity prices have since fallen, sometimes sharply, from their peaks.
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