Afrique Centrale : nouvelles opportunités, risques identiques

LONDRES – L’Afrique Centrale a récemment concentré une attention peu coutumière. Les découvertes d’importants gisements de minerais et de certaines autres opportunités sont autant d’occasions de diversifier les investissements au-delà du secteur pétrolier dominant de la Guinée Equatoriale et du Gabon.

Le Cameroun devrait pouvoir attirer 10 milliards de dollars dans les prochaines années pour développer certaines des réserves minières les plus prometteuses de la région, tandis que la Guinée Equatoriale s’active au développement des infrastructures. Ailleurs, BHP Billiton a annoncé la découverte de près de 60 millions de tonnes estimées de manganèse au sud-est du Gabon tandis que la française Areva travaille aux plans d’une importante mine en République Centrafricaine pour y exploiter des gisements d’uranium.

Mais « ressources naturelles » et « Afrique » est une combinaison qui déclenche habituellement des sonneries d’alarme, et l’Afrique Centrale n’y fait pas exception. Il y a d’incontestables risques politiques liés à l’imbrication des intérêts politiques et de ceux des milieux d’affaires des élites dirigeantes bien établies dans la région qui constituent un véritable casse-tête pour les investisseurs soucieux de leur réputation. La corruption est rampante et la plupart des sociétés sont souvent obligées de travailler avec des partenaires choisis par le gouvernement dont le contrôle est sévèrement limité.  

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