Ethos esclavagiste et économie africaine

DAKAR – La tendance à la baisse du prix des ressources naturelles, cause de déficits chroniques en Afrique dans le passé, s’est inversée. Alimentée par une forte demande asiatique pour les matières premières africaines, la consommation est à la hausse sur tout le continent. Cette configuration nouvelle devrait marquer pour la plupart de ses habitants une rupture décisive avec la pauvreté endémique. Enfin, seulement si les leaders africains changent leurs mours.

On estime que l’Afrique détient 10 % des réserves de pétrole mondiales et un tiers des réserves de cobalt et de métaux communs. A elle seule, l’Afrique du Sud possède 40 % de l’or mondial, dont la valeur est montée en flèche depuis le début de la grande crise financière. C’est à peine si le potentiel agricole de l’Afrique a été touché.

Sur le long terme, la demande pour les matières premières, le terrain et la main d’ouvre ne devrait pas diminuer. La Chine, dont les relations commerciales avec l’Afrique ont quintuplé depuis 2003, a joué un grand rôle dans ce revirement qui a fini par inciter les investisseurs du monde entier, notamment Européens et Américains, à repenser leur manière d’investir en Afrique. Au bout du compte, plusieurs milliards de dollars sont régulièrement investis dans la région. C’est pourquoi le FMI prévoit une croissance de 4,7 % du PIB en Afrique sub-saharienne cette année, allant jusqu’à approcher les 6 % en 2011.

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