Niamey, 24 February 2023 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa and Afreximbank and other partners are supporting the development of a battery mineral value chain initiative, a first in Africa's efforts to strengthen value addition on the continent and promote green industrialization.
A side event will be held ahead of the opening of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Niamey from February 28 - March 2, 2023, to present to the wider audience of the ARFSD the specifics of the lithium-ion battery initiative, The side event will bring together the inputs and voices of participants from across the Regional Forum.
Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are jointly developing the battery mineral value chain, tapping the resources that the two countries have in abundance.
The development of a battery mineral value chain between the two countries will benefit from the implementation of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, which, once fully implemented, will create a single African market that is home to approximately 1.2 billion people and a combined gross domestic product of over $2.5 trillion.
Studies further demonstrate the potential competitive advantage of the DRC in the manufacturing of battery precursors, whose global market is estimated at US$271 billion, while that of electric vehicles is around US$7 trillion by 2025.
In April 2022, the DRC and Zambia signed a cooperation agreement in Lusaka, with a view to developing a cross-border Special Economic Zone to house the regional value chain. To ensure the success of this initiative, the DRC committed to building the necessary skills for the electric battery industry.
With ECA’s support, the African Center of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Batteries (CAEB) was officially launched earlier this year. The center is housed within the polytechnic faculty of the University of Lubumbashi.
As the world shifts to a zero-emissions pathway by 2050, the demand for low carbon technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, and energy storage through lithium-ion batteries will increase rapidly.
Africa possesses 60% solar irradiation in the world, 70% of cobalt global production and significant reserves of other battery minerals, world class carbon sink assets in its forests and peatlands and a huge green hydrogen potential among others.
Economic Commission for Africa
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Tel: +251 11 551 5826