Foreign Policy Blogs

Africa And Oil

One of the many reasons why Africa ought to matter more to the United States than it does is because it will continue to provide an important source of oil imports. This week Slate has been running four excerpts from John Ghazvinian's book Untapped: The Scramble For Africa's Oil. The excerpts include: Does Africa Measure Up To The hype?; Yes, We Have No Bananas; Will Oil Change Sao Tome and Principe?; and When ExxonMobil Came To Chad.

South Africa is not an oil-rich country. But that does not mean that these questions are not pertinent to South Africa. For one thing, South Africa is a regional power, maybe the regional power, and so continent-wide stability is of more than passing interest to the ANC government. Furthermore, South Africa imports oil and is involved in these economic questions. And as importantly, South Africa must look to the relationship “The West” is forging with wariness of the neocolonial implications, but also with a sense of concern that it might be supplanted as, by and large, the most important African nation in the eyes of the United States and its allies.