A lot of ink has been spilled of late discussing the global impact of China’s slowing economic growth. But there has been little discussion however about how African economies will be affected.
Now, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s has stepped into the gap with a report published this week. It says, in short, that the China slow down may be bad for metal exporters, but opportunities should present themselves for African manufacturers.
The export of metals, agricultural commodities and petro-chemicals has been the backbone of most of sub-Saharan Africa’s more successful economies over the past decade, and China has been a key customer.
The IMF estimates that it was responsible for almost all of the world’s consumption increases for copper, lead, nickel, tin and zinc between 1995 and 2011. In 2010, it consumed 40 per cent of the world’s base metals. On the back of Chinese demand – which rebounded spectacularly following the 2008 crash – African commodity exporter nations have enjoyed strong growth even as developed markets have remained in a slump.
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