Briefing Paper

Africa’s Natural Resources and Geopolitical Realities

For its 6th edition, the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, focused on the theme of Natural Resource Governance in Africa. One of the forum session’s key discussion points sought to “understand and explain why the exploitation of these resources is increasingly a source of tension and violence, which have dramatic repercussions on the continent’s peace and stability.” During the various events throughout the course of the forum, it was necessary to keep in mind that the abundant and available African resources have not enabled the continent to truly develop, and that these resources are a serious source of crises and tension. With this perspective, this paper examines Africa’s natural resources in terms of African geopolitical realities and the cause and effect relationships that resources and geopolitical facts can foster within the continent. This paper discusses natural resources in Africa in relation to the continent’s geopolitical realities by, on the one hand, examining the role of natural resources in Africa’s geography and economy and, on the other hand, reflecting on the main issues concerning Africa’s geopolitics before seeking the links or correlations between natural resources and geopolitics.