Oil production, mining, agriculture, and international and domestic services remain the backbone of Africa’s economies. China, Brazil, and India are consuming more of Africa’s oil exports.¹ The previous big importers of African oil were America and Europe. Growth has remained slow in some countries due to poor export performance and political and social tensions.¹ External financial flows hit records in 2012 and topped nearly 200 billion USD per year.¹ Official development aid and remittances make up the majority of this figure.
Africa’s human development has improved but still faces huge inequalities and is struggling against low investment by governments in social programs.¹ There have been more elections in 2012 across the continent of Africa than ever before, marking a slow move towards democracy.¹ The intensity of protests in the Arab Spring proves how some of Africa’s nations are pushing for democracy. North African countries remain tense and many worry about jobs and the overall cost of living.
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