Countries that produce electric cars should see opportunities to collaborate with Africa on technology and finance for mutual benefit.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 26, 2021 / APO Group / –
As the global transition to renewable energy and carbon neutrality spurs demand for electric vehicles to replace fossil fuel engines, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has embarked on a project to build a plant for precursors of cathodes.
This will allow the country to take advantage of its wealth in mineral resources to start sustainably producing low-emission battery precursors and an input of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric vehicles, as explained by Vera Songwe, Deputy Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN. from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA):
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is at the heart of the battery value chain, hosting approximately 70% of the world’s cobalt reserves. The country’s mining sector currently represents 98% of exports, 18% of GDP, and 11% of jobs. If the Democratic Republic of the Congo captures 20% of the market share for battery production, it will add about $ 54 billion to its income and greatly increase its GDP. “
Ms. Songwe spoke at the opening of the Democratic Republic of Congo-Africa Business Forum held from November 24 to 25 in Kinshasa with the theme “Promoting the development of a battery electric vehicle (BEV) and a chain of Industrial Value and a Renewable Energy Market in Africa “.
A new BloombergNEF study shows that building a 10,000-metric-ton battery precursor plant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would cost $ 39 million. A similar plant in the US, China, and Poland would cost roughly $ 120 million, $ 112 million, and $ 65 million, respectively. The study indicates that a precursor plant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would produce almost 30% fewer emissions than in China, given the proximity to the mineral resources needed to produce the precursors.
The battery and electric vehicle (BEV) value chain will represent a market opportunity of approximately $ 8.8 trillion by 2025 and $ 46 trillion by 2050, according to research from the BloombergNEF report on “The Cost of Producing Precursors to batteries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo “.
President Felix Tshisekedi said minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo put the country in a “strategic position to influence the global transition to renewable energy.” He urged his African counterparts and global stakeholders to “seize this opportunity” to jointly invest in increasing Africa’s participation in the BEV and renewables value chain, while creating jobs in the country and fostering investment. Regional integration.
Similarly, President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia stated that “countries that produce electric cars should see opportunities to collaborate with Africa on technology and finance for mutual benefit.” He deplored the fact that eight of the world’s top 15 battery mineral producers are in Africa, yet BEV development is taking place elsewhere.
Markus Thill, President of Bosch Africa and Vice President of the African Association of Automobile Manufacturers (AAAM), emphasized the importance of local benefit and localization of the value chain, who announced that “AAAM is working with the AfCFTA Secretariat to produce at least 5 million vehicles in Africa for Africa by 2025. “
The DRC-Africa Business Forum featured a policy dialogue with the Presidents of DRC and Zambia, and high-level representatives from Tanzania, Morocco, ECA, Afreximbank, Africa Finance Cooperation, African Development Bank Group, Bosch Africa, African Union Commission, The Arab African Economic Development Bank and AVZ Minerals Ltd.
The dialogue focused on “Designing the policy space and business climate for a value chain and market for batteries, electric vehicles and renewables in Africa”. The panellists unanimously supported the DRC’s plans for a cathode precursor plant, especially given the ease of access to minerals, which in turn reduces the cost of production and reduces the carbon footprint while maximizing the returns for investors and the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Africa in general. .
The study on “The cost of producing battery precursors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” carried out by BloombergNEF was commissioned by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Afreximbank, the African Development Bank Group, the African Finance Corporation (AFC), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the African Legal Support Fund (ALSF) and the United Nations Global Compact.
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