Category Archives: Asoko Insight

Commodity Boom a Double-edged Sword for Africa

Powered by soaring commodity prices, Africa’s economic fortunes have been transformed since the turn of the century. This commodity boom was itself driven to a large extent by China’s resource-hungry investment-led growth model.

In 2012, China imported 17% of its fuels and 7% of its total mineral imports from Africa. Although commodity prices – from oil to precious metals and most things in between – remain elevated compared to late 20th century levels, what is often termed a decades-long ‘super cycle’ ran out of steam in the latter part of the 2000s. Commodity prices have since fallen, sometimes sharply, from their peaks.

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East African Monetary Union – Proceed with Caution

While the economic woes of today’s Eurozone may give pause for thought on the pursuit of regional monetary union, African leaders remain steadfast in their aspirations for shared currencies.

Around the same time as the Maastricht Treaty laid the foundations for European Monetary Union, the 1991 Treaty of Abuja set in motion the continent’s initial integration program, the African Economic Community (AEC). The AEC was soon supplanted by the African Union in 2002 and ultimately aspires to establishing a continent-wide currency – the Afro – by 2028. The project aims to include a full suite of institutions: an African Monetary Fund, African Investment Bank and African Central Bank… Click here to read full article.