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Asian marketers' new target: The African consumer

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CFAO's Playce shopping center -- its first in Abidjan, Ivory Coast -- houses a Carrefour supermarket.   © Reuters

The resource price rout has hit the African economy hard. Yet the continent continues to attract foreign capital -- and these days, a lot of the money is coming from Asia. Africa was once dominated by Western investors, due to ties forged in colonial times. But Chinese companies have muscled their way in, and Indian, Japanese and South Korean players are arriving and thriving. This intense competition is no longer just about extracting minerals and materials. It is about tapping the next big consumer market.

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