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The New Scramble for Africa: BRICS Strategies in a Multipolar World

In: Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy


  • Óscar Carpintero
  • Ivan Murray
  • José Bellver


The aim of this paper is to analyse the recent changes in the role played by Africa as a traditional natural resources supplier for the world economy in a multipolar context. We highlight, on the one hand, how Africa remains a prominent supplier of critical minerals needed for information and communication technologies (ICT), including platinum, vanadium, coltan, chromium, manganese, zirconium, etc., and how theboomerang effectresults in Africa also importing electronic waste. On the other hand, we show how the BRICS’ growth model, based on a very intensive use of natural resources acquired through international trade, is now being fuelled by Africa too. BRICS countries (especially China and India) are making foreign direct investments in Africa using their state companies to ensure the supply of natural resources under favourable economic terms. Thus, Africa appears as a disputed territory between the old domination of the advanced capitalist countries and emerging powers like the BRICS. However, this should not mask the fact that the European Union and North America are still the dominant foreign powers in the continent. Finally, we discuss which scenarios are open to further this multipolar moment, particularly in the wake of the great crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Óscar Carpintero & Ivan Murray & José Bellver, 2016. "The New Scramble for Africa: BRICS Strategies in a Multipolar World," Research in Political Economy, in: Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy, volume 30, pages 191-226, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:rpeczz:s0161-72302015000030b007
    DOI: 10.1108/S0161-72302015000030B007

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    Cited by:

    1. Artur Colom-Jaén & Óscar Mateos, 2022. "China in Africa: Assessing the Consequences for the Continent’s Agenda for Economic Regionalism," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 10(2), pages 61-70.
    2. Purwins, Sebastian, 2022. "Dynamics and consequences: The economic/ecological double crisis in China and the bauxite-aluminium industry in Ghana," Forschungsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze, in: Spatial transformation: Processes, strategies, research design, volume 19, pages 129-140, ARL – Akademie für Raumentwicklung in der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft.


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