Zambia is Africa's second-largest copper producer. Photo Reuters
Zambia is Africa's second-largest copper producer. Photo Reuters

US must boost Africa ties to secure key minerals

Felix Njini - The US must boost commercial ties with African countries to curb reliance on China for supplies of critical minerals, a Washington-based think tank said this week.

"US economic and national security depend on securing a reliable supply of critical minerals, including from Africa," the United States Institute of Peace said in a report.

The US is almost 100% reliant on "foreign entities of concern," mainly China, for key critical minerals, it said, and must come up with own sources of supply to avoid being shorthanded and vulnerable to China's export curbs.

Western mining companies are lagging Chinese rivals in the race to tap Africa's abundant mineral resources, key to sectors from electric vehicle manufacturing to defence industries.

To counter China's head start in Africa, Washington must roll out "more vigorous commercial diplomacy with a keen eye toward building critical minerals partnership in Africa," the 76-page report said.



Commercial diplomacy

One option for the US would be to increase commercial diplomacy in countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo, the world's No. 1 cobalt supplier, and Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, it said.

The competition for securing minerals in Africa is heating up as cash-rich Middle East firms join the race.

While Western mining companies still see hurdles in investing in countries such as Congo, which lacks vital infrastructure such as roads and adequate electricity, Chinese miners have strengthened their grip in the country and are broadening investment throughout Africa.

The International Development Finance Corporation said in February it could scale up project financing in Africa to help reduce the risk of investing in countries, opens new tab including Congo that some investors still perceive as high risk.

Unlocking US investment in Congo could be helped by reopening its consulate in Lubumbashi that closed in the 1990s after the end of the Cold War, Tuesday's USIP report said.



Congo, Zambia

The government also needs to prioritise full development of a memorandum of understanding with Congo and Zambia which could help guide US private investors across the battery metals supply chain, it said.

The US has stepped in to back the Lobito Corridor, a rail link from the central African copper belt that's key to export of metals through Angola's Lobito port.

The US is "simply not on, or even near, par in competing with China" for critical minerals investment and diplomacy in Africa, and needs to take a vigorous approach, USIP said.

Jose Fernandez, the US State Department's under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment said last month the US holds regular talks with Congo state miner Gecamines.

Still, the US government is unlikely to match the resource levels and the mining ecosystem that China wields in winning mining contracts, USIP said, though "concerted US efforts to land U.S. mining investment in Africa can succeed." - Reuters

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Allgemeine Zeitung 2024-05-24

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SerieA: Cagliari 2 vs 3 Fiorentina Katima Mulilo: 12° | 30° Rundu: 11° | 30° Eenhana: 11° | 31° Oshakati: 12° | 30° Ruacana: 13° | 31° Tsumeb: 14° | 28° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 11° | 28° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Gobabis: 12° | 25° Henties Bay: 15° | 29° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 09:43, High tide: 03:39, Low Tide: 21:53, High tide: 16:11 Swakopmund: 16° | 21° Wind speed: 22km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:37, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:09 Walvis Bay: 19° | 28° Wind speed: 26km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:36, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:08 Rehoboth: 11° | 26° Mariental: 14° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 15° | 27° Aranos: 13° | 27° Lüderitz: 15° | 25° Ariamsvlei: 16° | 29° Oranjemund: 10° | 20° Luanda: 24° | 26° Gaborone: 12° | 25° Lubumbashi: 13° | 28° Mbabane: 12° | 22° Maseru: 7° | 21° Antananarivo: 10° | 20° Lilongwe: 14° | 27° Maputo: 17° | 27° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Cape Town: 14° | 20° Durban: 18° | 22° Johannesburg: 13° | 21° Dar es Salaam: 22° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 27° Harare: 13° | 25° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.4 | EUR to NAD 19.96 | CNY to NAD 2.54 | USD to NAD 18.41 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.31 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.57 | RUB to NAD 0.2 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.39 | USD to AOA 848.36 | USD to BWP 13.6 | USD to EGP 47.1 | USD to KES 132.23 | USD to NGN 1474 | USD to ZAR 18.41 | USD to ZMW 26.59 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79150.84 Up +0.25% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1748.47 Down -0.71% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13370.7 Down -0.04% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27205.14 Down -0.08% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9141.35 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 335.68/OZ UP +0.16% | Copper US$ 4.73/lb DOWN -0.0035 | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.33/BBP UP +0.81% | Platinum US$ 1 028.30/OZ UP +0.85% Sport results: SerieA: Cagliari 2 vs 3 Fiorentina Weather: Katima Mulilo: 12° | 30° Rundu: 11° | 30° Eenhana: 11° | 31° Oshakati: 12° | 30° Ruacana: 13° | 31° Tsumeb: 14° | 28° Otjiwarongo: 12° | 27° Omaruru: 11° | 28° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Gobabis: 12° | 25° Henties Bay: 15° | 29° Wind speed: 25km/h, Wind direction: SE, Low tide: 09:43, High tide: 03:39, Low Tide: 21:53, High tide: 16:11 Swakopmund: 16° | 21° Wind speed: 22km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:37, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:09 Walvis Bay: 19° | 28° Wind speed: 26km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 09:41, High tide: 03:36, Low Tide: 21:51, High tide: 16:08 Rehoboth: 11° | 26° Mariental: 14° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 15° | 27° Aranos: 13° | 27° Lüderitz: 15° | 25° Ariamsvlei: 16° | 29° Oranjemund: 10° | 20° Luanda: 24° | 26° Gaborone: 12° | 25° Lubumbashi: 13° | 28° Mbabane: 12° | 22° Maseru: 7° | 21° Antananarivo: 10° | 20° Lilongwe: 14° | 27° Maputo: 17° | 27° Windhoek: 10° | 24° Cape Town: 14° | 20° Durban: 18° | 22° Johannesburg: 13° | 21° Dar es Salaam: 22° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 27° Harare: 13° | 25° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.4 | EUR to NAD 19.96 | CNY to NAD 2.54 | USD to NAD 18.41 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.31 | EGP to NAD 0.38 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.57 | RUB to NAD 0.2 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.39 | USD to AOA 848.36 | USD to BWP 13.6 | USD to EGP 47.1 | USD to KES 132.23 | USD to NGN 1474 | USD to ZAR 18.41 | USD to ZMW 26.59 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index 79150.84 Up +0.25% | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1748.47 Down -0.71% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13370.7 Down -0.04% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 27205.14 Down -0.08% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9141.35 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 335.68/OZ UP +0.16% | Copper US$ 4.73/lb DOWN -0.0035 | Zinc US$ 3 077.30/T UP 0.19% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.33/BBP UP +0.81% | Platinum US$ 1 028.30/OZ UP +0.85%