Africa: Big opportunities for a big continent
Advising a client on a deal in Africa presents many challenges for international firms, including the problem of a lack of available local lawyers. Despite this, investment in Africa, most notably from China, is growing quickly as resource-hungry nations continue to scramble for the Continent's resources. Dominic Carman speaks to the Africa specialists
Between 1885 and 1908, several million African slaves died extracting rubber from the Congo Free State, an area 76 times the size of Belgium. This private project belonged exclusively to one man – the Belgian king, Leopold II. When increased demand for tyres, tubing and cable insulation caused a worldwide rubber boom during the 1890s, King Leopold grew even wealthier. The scramble for Africa had begun. By 1914, the European powers, most notably the UK, France, Germany and Portugal had carved up every African country on the map, except for Liberia and Ethiopia.
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