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SarWatch Writer
Roundtable of Experts in Support of the DRC Initiative on the Local Manufacturing of Batteries for Electric Cars

The fight against climate change imposes among other requirements the abandonment of fossil fuels, considered as more polluting, in favour of renewable and clean energies (non-polluting) such as electricity. This requirement has led to a technological revolution through the design of batteries capable of storing the energy needed to move cars. Indeed, the manufacture of electric batteries is made possible by the use of strategic minerals such as cobalt, lithium and manganese. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) currently has most of the known world reserves of all these minerals.

To make the most of these mineral substances, the Congolese Government organised from 24 to 25 November 2021, in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Afreximbank, Africa Finance Corporation, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the African Legal Support Facility and the United Nations Global Compact, “DRC-Africa Business Forum” to discuss the development of value chains related to mining resources used in batteries electricity (cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, nickel, graphite) and thus take advantage of the opportunities offered by the global transition to green energies in order to accelerate the socio-economic development of African States. This Forum coincided with the theme of the 5th edition of the Alternative Mining Indaba of the DRC (AM /DRC) held from 27 to 28 October 2021 in Kinshasa, namely “The valuation and local transformation of mineral resources in the Democratic Republic Congo: Scope, Challenges and Prospects”. All the participants were unanimous on the fact that the DRC, like all the other African countries endowed with mineral potential, must consider the local processing of mineral substances as the one and only way to maximise the benefits, the creation of jobs, infrastructure construction, technology transfer, export of finished products, in short, sustainable development.

Based on the success of the 2021 Alternative Mining Indaba of the DRC, SARW is hosting a roundtable to examine how the government plans to maximise its cobalt benefits by manufacturing electric batteries in the country. Participants from government, civil society, academic institutions, mining companies, and independent experts will discuss support for these initiatives.

On the basis of the recommendations formulated during the AMI2021 and the commitments made by the Congolese Government during the “DRC-Africa Business Forum”, the experts invited to this Round Table will reflect on the possible solutions likely to support the initiative of the Government aiming to install factories in the DRC for the manufacture of electric batteries or their components.

Attendees

About ten delegates from the Government, mining companies, universities, civil society and independent experts will take part in this Roundtable.

Event details

Date: 28 February 2022

Venue: OSISA offices near Hotel Castello in Kinshasa, Gombe

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