To read this content please select one of the options below:

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

Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy

ISBN: 978-1-78560-337-2, eISBN: 978-1-78560-336-5

Publication date: 7 January 2016


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 the boomerang effect results 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.




We would like to thank Radhika Desai for providing a careful and profound revision of the manuscript with many helpful and valuable suggestions. We also thank one reviewer for his/her helpful comments. Ivan Murray has developed this research thanks to the funding of the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (project CSO2012-30840).


Carpintero, Ó., Murray, I. and Bellver, J. (2016), "The New Scramble for Africa: BRICS Strategies in a Multipolar World", Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 30B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 191-226.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited