The extractive industries are big employees in several African countries. For example, Botswana is reliant on diamond mining and producing a large volume of copper and coal. Zambia, meanwhile, has been hit by the falloff in the price of copper, which brings in much of the country's foreign earnings.
Verisk Maplecroft forecast that job losses at mines as a result of the decline in commodity prices would provoke industrial action and social unrest in countries including the Central African Republic, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Nigeria.
"Job losses in the extractives sector of Africa's resource-rich countries are expected to provoke industrial action, while the impacts of depressed oil, gas and metals prices on domestic government spending and rising living costs across the region are likely to stoke social turmoil," the consultancy said.
Countries like South Africa already have a track record of violent strikes at mines. In 2014, the country suffered one of its longest and most expensive strikes when workers at major platinum producers — Anglo American, Imapala Platinum and Lonmin — demanded that wages were doubled. They held out for five months before settling for a smaller pay increase.