World Future of Green Energy Is in Africa’s Minerals

The world is shifting away from fossil fuels and towards green energy, and Africa is at the center of this transition.

The African continent is home to 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, including many of the minerals that are essential for the production of solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicle batteries.

This abundance of mineral resources gives Africa a unique opportunity to benefit from the world’s green energy transition. However, Africa must be careful to ensure that it does not simply become a source of cheap raw materials for foreign companies.

Instead, Africa must use its mineral wealth to develop its green energy industries and create jobs for its people since the existing minerals demand will only keep increasing over the years to come.

Minerals in Africa include DRC producing more than 70% of the world’s Cobalt, Zambia producing over 850,000tn of copper annually, nickel-sulfide in Kabanga-north west Tanzania, lithium in Nigeria (Kaduna), DRC, Zimbabwe, and Mali, not forgetting, Tantalum, nickel, tin, titanium in Kenya, copper in DRC, bauxite in Sierra Leone and Guinea, Ghanaian Ewoyaa project of lithium, and gold in Mali.

Even though Africa owns these mines it’s mostly foreign companies who are engaged in the mining and processing of the minerals. Making it a great move to see the African countries embrace unity as they forge paths of shared ambitions toward interests shared across all of Africa’s mineral-rich economies.

A step towards regional integration was commenced through a deal between Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema and DRC President Felix Tshisekedi that would oversee the manufacture of Lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles. 

The deal bears huge potential as the two countries are reportedly owning more than 80% of the minerals used in creating Electric Vehicle (EV)batteries.

As the world undergoes an industrial revolution Africa must cement its position as a major resource with which the world relies fully. The recreation of the entire energy system for example of the auto industry from fossil fuel dependence to a battery is complicated. Yet, Africa is at the center of it all. 

Hence the emphasis by Zambia’s President Hichilema that the global transition towards green energy and rapid DE carbonization holds significant opportunities for Africa at large.

Due to this world’s alarming scramble, there was a need to secure access to critical resources thus the launch of the Mineral Security Partnership in June last year by Jose Fernandez, the US under-secretary for economic growth and energy. 

Having garnered 13 members from North America and the European Union, followed by meetings set between delegates from DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, and Zambia on the sideline of the UN General Assembly in September. All these show the major potential in Africa’s minerals for a green mineral advantage to take over.

As revealed by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2021 report, there are enormous mineral requirements involved in creating an EV battery ranging up to as six times the input in minerals needed to build a conventional car.

Evident enough is the world’s scramble for elements such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite for their role in batteries that power everything from EVs to smartphones and laptops. Not forgetting solar panel creation require copper, silicon, silver, and zinc; wind turbines rely on iron ore, copper, and aluminum.

For Africa to clench on a propitious future in the green energy world, the obligation is on Africa’s governments, trade unions, and activists to demand that foreign investors and local companies break with the past pattern of exploitation and abuse. 

A stride that will require both technological and political revolution in which harmony and setting aside self-interests is crucial for its stability.

Leave a reply