The Africa Centre of the Atlantic Council is embarking on an innovative three-year programme dedicated to critical minerals in Africa. With Africa housing 30% of the world’s critical-mineral reserves, the continent assumes a pivotal role in twenty-first-century supply chains, especially for electric vehicles, lithium batteries, cellphones, medical scanners, and military hardware.
The inaugural phase of the critical-minerals initiative unfolds with the establishment of a twelve-person task force. This distinguished group, representing US, European, and African stakeholders, as well as officials from the financial sector, development institutions, and government, convened at Mining Indaba, the foremost mining event on the African continent. The task force, set to regularly convene in Washington, DC, will delve into the multifaceted role and potential of African minerals across critical supply chains. Their agenda encompasses strategies to enhance the involvement of African nations and suppliers and to catalyse private sector engagement.
Supported by the Aiteo Group, the critical-minerals program aims to underscore the surging demand for resources in African markets, emphasising the necessity to invest in local value chains and create value and jobs within the industry on the continent. The task force’s primary objective is to guide investors in addressing supply-chain gaps, offering practical solutions grounded in successful policy and investment endeavours.
In addition to addressing supply-chain challenges, the group will furnish foreign investors with policy recommendations, fostering a favourable business environment in Africa. The task force envisions becoming a platform for advocacy through thought leadership on crucial aspects such as policies and regulations, incentives, property rights, local processing and value chains, regional cooperation and innovation, and technological environments. This comprehensive effort will also encompass policy research and strategic analysis.
Atlantic Council’s Africa Centre’s Senior Director Rama Yade expressed enthusiasm about Africa’s pivotal role in supplying critical minerals for the global economy. She stated, “We look forward to convening policymakers and stakeholders at the highest levels to chart a path forward for this vital industry on the African continent.” The critical-minerals program is poised to be a beacon for collaborative efforts, facilitating sustainable growth and development within Africa’s critical minerals sector.