Resource extraction and African underdevelopment

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the efforts to help liberate Africa from poverty and powerlessness, the continent as a whole is still getting progressively poorer. The decimated social wave is one indicator of Africa's amplified underdevelopment in recent years. A close look at Africa's history provides a clear picture of a continent looted. The looting may be traced to the point at which value transfers began via appropriation of slave labor, antiquities, precious metals and raw materials. Colonial and neocolonial relations amplified unfair terms of trade. These processes often amounted to a kind of ongoing "primitive accumulation," by which capital of Northern countries grew by virtue of looting Africa. In recent decades, wealth extraction through imperialist relations intensified, and some of the same kinds of primitive looting tactics are now once again evident. Furthermore, key causes of Africa's underdevelopment since the early 1980s can also be identified within the framework of neoliberal (free market) policies adopted nearly universally across the continent and indeed the world, due in part to the emergence of local allies of the North within African states. To stop the looting of Africa, progressive Africans themselves should continue campaigning and struggling for an Africa that can finally throw off the chains of an exploitative world economy and a power elite who treat the continent without respect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-25
Number of pages21
JournalCapitalism, Nature, Socialism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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