ECA urges African leaders to industrialize and ensure energy transition

by MMC
0 comment

By Lucy Ogalue

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has urged African leaders to fully exploit the continent’s abundant critical mineral resources to accelerate sustainable industrialization and the clean energy transition.

Acting Executive Secretary of the UN ECA, Antonio Pedro, said this in a statement published on the commission’s website.

Pedro urged leaders at a business summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

He spoke at a roundtable on “Extractive industries, batteries, electric cars: powering tomorrow, today”, organized by the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI).

Pedro said Africa should benefit from its critical mineral resources through equitable value creation.

According to him, this will ensure that its resources are used to promote resource-based industrialization to create jobs and enable countries to move up the value chain.

“GABI’s Unstoppable Africa is an African private sector-led platform that aims to attract key sector leaders to invest in Africa, bridging the gap between global investors and Africa’s dynamic and emerging sectors.

“The two-day event is co-hosted by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed and African Union President Moussa Mahamat on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.

“The event brings together heads of state, ministers, investors and UN leaders, joined by stars from music, sports and film for an exclusive two-day forum on the future of ‘Africa,’ Pedro said.

He said the session was organized to raise Africa’s importance in the global economy and position the continent as the premier destination for business, trade and investment.

He said he explored Africa’s central role in the burgeoning electric car and sustainable energy landscape and discussed the continent’s capacity for innovation and leadership in these sectors.

ECA boss says although Africa is blessed with a range of minerals such as copper, magnesium, nickel and cobalt, the continent has not been able to make the energy transition .

Pedro said favorable policies and incentives were important to boost investments in value addition of essential minerals.

According to him, the added value of critical minerals and the boom in demand for electric vehicles currently represents a market of seven trillion dollars until 2030 and 46 trillion dollars by 2050.

He said: “The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt. Along with Zambia, it also supplies 10 percent of the world’s copper.

“Moving the DRC up the electric battery value chain can increase the $11 billion in mining revenue to $270 billion. »

Ms Oluranti Doherty, Director of Export Development at Afreximbank, said African countries must take ownership and leadership in the development of their mineral resources.

Doherty reiterated Afreximbank’s commitment to promoting an inclusive value chain for batteries and electric vehicles on the continent.

She said the bank was promoting industrialization on the continent and facilitating the development of special economic zones in Zambia and the DRC.

“Following the signing of the framework agreement between the DRC, Zambia, ECA and Afreximbank for financial and technical assistance.

“We have raised a million dollars to support the preparation of the pre-feasibility study for the creation of special economic zones in these countries,” Doherty said.

She explained that a study by BloombergNEF identified the DRC as an attractive location for manufacturing sustainable battery precursors, as it has abundant cobalt and hydropower resources.

Doherty said the study was promoted by ECA, Afreximbank, AfDB, Africa Finance Corporation, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and the United Nations Global Compact.

She said the study indicated that battery precursors produced in the DRC would be cheaper, environmentally sustainable and competitive than material produced in China.

Brian Menell, Chief Executive Officer of TechMet Ltd, said Africa had a huge opportunity to be at the forefront of sourcing critical minerals for Africa’s energy transition and development.

“Africa has the mineral resources needed for local beneficiation and, with the added value benefiting local communities, investors are keen to forge partnerships with African governments.

“This will enable competitiveness of what is produced, ensuring high standards of sustainability, governance and transparency,” he said.

The United States is advancing critical minerals partnerships in Africa and supporting value addition as a shift from the extractive model of the past.

In December 2022, the United States signed a memorandum of understanding with the governments of the DRC and Zambia for the development of the critical minerals value chain through processing and manufacturing. (NOPE)

You may also like

Leave a Comment

The news website dedicated to showcasing Africa news is a valuable platform that offers a diverse and comprehensive look into the continent’s latest developments. Covering everything from politics and economics to culture and wildlife conservation

u00a92022 All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign