African Development Bank and Partners Discuss Africa’s Potential to Leverage Green Minerals for Energy Transition | African development bank

A recent webinar hosted by the African Development Bank brought together experts to discuss how Africa can become a hub for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries to store energy and electrify the transport fleet.

The webinar, which took place on 11e July 2022 under the themeLeveraging Africa’s Green Minerals for Energy Transition: The Role of Regional Integration and the AfCFTAis part of a knowledge series organized by the Bank’s African Natural Resource Management and Investment Center and Energy Financial Solutions, Policy Regulation Department.

Representatives from the African Development Bank, the African Union Mineral Resources Development Corporation, the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, Bloomberg NEF, the International Energy Agency and Independent experts have affirmed Africa’s opportunities given its rich endowments of lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, copper, and rare earth minerals. All of these are critical to building the global green economy of tomorrow and they also provide new market opportunities for transitions to net zero.

Dr. Vanessa Ushie, Acting Director of the Bank’s African Natural Resource Management and Investment Centre, highlighted Africa’s potential in her opening remarks: benefiting from low-carbon development and fair energy transition trajectory adapted to their national context”.

Jerry Ahadjie, Director of Minerals at the African Center for Natural Resource Management and Investment, presented some of the latest findings from the Centre’s reports on the potential for green minerals in Africa, and specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He called on African countries to develop a local strategy to anchor the Africa Mining Vision to maximize the benefits of the battery and electric vehicle value chain. The production of battery precursors and two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles are Africa’s low-hanging fruits, he said.

Marit Kitaw, Acting Director of the African Union Mineral Resources Development Corporation, highlighted how timely this webinar was in light of the energy revolution and net zero carbon ambitions. Mineral-based industrialization in Africa is essential. “For Africa to develop, we need to industrialize.” She underscored that policy was key to rapidly realizing this ambition, adding that green minerals require bold industrial policies and policies to create local demand.

Dr. Kwasi Ampofo, head of metals at Bloomberg NEF, reiterated the real opportunity despite the current downsides. “There is an opportunity for Africa, even though there is currently no cell manufacturing capacity on the continent.” But Africa’s central location has many advantages, especially the African Continental Free Trade Area. He reiterated that policies are needed to create demand for battery-powered products and electric vehicles, taking Europe as an example.

The head of the International Energy Agency’s Africa program, Arnaud Rouget, presented some conclusions of work on green minerals, stressing that the demand for critical minerals (including lithium, cobalt and nickel) will be multiplied. by six by 2040 as the world pursues net zero. ambitions.

Demitta Gyang, Senior Advisor on Customs and Trade Facilitation at the AfCFTA Secretariat, explained how the AfCFTA agreement itself aims to facilitate intra-African trade, including the battery value chain and electric vehicles could benefit. “The agreement provides for a better business environment, ensuring that bureaucratic bottlenecks, time and costs are reduced as goods move across the continent.” She also highlighted aspects of the agreement that support industrialization and trade among African countries and the Secretariat’s commitment to facilitating trade by eliminating non-tariff barriers. “The Secretariat facilitates connectivity between border crossings and harmonizes border processes and procedures.”

Panelists included Callixte Kambanda and Samuel Otu from the African Development Bank, Themba Khumalo from the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and independent extractive industries consultant Dr. Paul Jourdain. They shared their views on how Africa could position itself to localize the battery and electric vehicle value chain.

Fred Kabanda, Division Manager of the African Center for Natural Resource Management and Investment, moderated the two-hour session. Wale Shonibare, Director of the Bank’s Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation Department, concluded the discussions.

Shonibare highlighted the need to mobilize finance to accelerate the development of battery storage and the electric vehicle value chain in Africa. “We need to put financial vehicles in place because the cost of capital is a challenge,” he said. He also advised key African institutions – the African Development Bank, the AU and the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat – to mobilize and establish pan-African measures to harmonize standards, tax reliefs and the free trade to achieve this ambition.