AP 7-4-2011 (Associated Press Finance Wire, “African Bank: Unrest in north has hit growth,” lexis)
The turmoil in North Africa is hampering economic growth across the continent but is also inspiring democratic change elsewhere, the chief economist of the Africa Development Bank said Monday. In a speech, Mthuli Ncube said the unrest in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia is likely to reduce economic growth in North Africa this year to 0.7 percent from 4.7 percent last year. Overall, Africa's growth is estimated at 3.7 percent in 2011, down from 4.9 percent last year. Further south, Ncube said economies have been affected by a drop in money sent home by Africans from elsewhere on the continent who had been working in North Africa. Niger, for example, had 200,000 citizens working in oil-rich Libya, according to bank statistics. Another knock has come from the reduction in Libyan investment across Africa as well as declining numbers of Libyan tourists within Africa, Ncube said. But he said that while the economic impact was painful, the long-term effect of political changes made it worthwhile. "Democracy is far more important," Ncube said. He noted that protests last month forced Senegal's longtime president to cancel a proposed legislative change that would have made it easier for his son to take charge of the West African nation. "It was really the North Africa effect," Ncube said. "The youth will not tolerate any behavior they don't perceive as democratic." Ncube also cited Morocco, which has seen protests calling for change even though the king remains popular. The king presented a new constitution, approved by 98 percent of voters last week, designed to curtail his powers and make his government more accountable. Ncube said the large number of unemployed youth, who used social networks to organize, helped drive protests that forced out a president in Tunisia and were followed by uprisings around the Arab world. Sub-Saharan African countries with high unemployment should also be wary, Ncube said. He noted in an interview with The Associated Press after his speech Monday that former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa which is struggling to cut unemployment, particularly among the young was ousted in 2008 by his own African National Congress in campaign led by the party's youth wing. That might have been democratic South Africa's version of upheavals in the north, Ncube said. South Africa, the continent's strongest economy, has suffered from the global recession more than other African economies, and is recovering more slowly, according to the annual economic outlook the African Development Bank released Monday. Its GDP is expected to grow 3.6 percent this year. Ncube said South Africa should draw lessons from Nigeria, where growth predicted at 6.9 percent in 2011 is tied in part to reforms that have encouraged entrepreneurship. Or from Kenya, where growth predicted at 5.3 percent is linked to East Africa's progress in creating a regional market and improving infrastructure.
Asteroid mining would crush African economies by flooding terrestrial markets with cheap metal
NEWITZ 2010 (Annalee, Editor at io9.com, “Will Asteroid Mining Destroy the Chinese Economy?” Feb 19, http://io9.com/5475304/will-asteroid-mining-destroy-the-chinese-economy)
Instead of sending people to the Moon, the US space program is sending robots to the Asteroid Belt. When these robots discover metals in the Belt, how will it affect the economy of Earth? Discovery's Robert Lamb reports on a lecture given by Vatican astronomer Guy J. Consolmagno, which was in part about the ethics of asteroid mining. Lamb writes: Can you put a price tag on an asteroid? Sure you can. We know of roughly 750 S-class asteroids with a diameter of at least 1 kilometer. Many of these pass as near to the Earth as our own moon — close enough to reach via spacecraft. As a typical asteroid is 10 percent metal, Brother Consolmango estimates that such an asteroid would contain 1 billion metric tons of iron. That's as much as we mine out of the globe every year, a supply worth trillions and trillions of dollars. Subtract the tens of billions it would cost to exploit such a rock, and you still have a serious profit on your hands. But is this ethical? Brother Consolmango asked us to ponder whether such an asteroid harvest would drastically disrupt the economies of resource-exporting nations. What would happen to most of Africa? What would it do to the cost of iron ore? And what about refining and manufacturing? If we spend the money to harvest iron in space, why not outsource the other related processes as well? Imagine a future in which solar-powered robots toil in lunar or orbital factories.