The trade in oil, gas, gems, metals, and rare earth minerals wreaks havoc in Africa. During the years when Brazil, India, China, and the other "emerging markets" have transformed their economies, Africa's resource states remained tethered to the bottom of the industrial supply chain. While Africa accounts for about 30 percent of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals and 14 percent of the world's population, its share of global manufacturing stood in 2011 exactly where it stood in 2000: at 1 percent.
A shocking investigative journey into the way the resource trade wreaks havoc on Africa, The Looting Machine explores the dark underbelly of the global economy. Africa: the world's poorest continent and arguably its richest. While accounting for just 2 percent of global GDP, it is home to 15 percent of the planet's crude oil, 40 percent of its gold, and 80 percent of its platinum. A third of the Earth's mineral deposits lie beneath its soil. But far from being a salvation, this buried treasure has been a curse.