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US must boost Africa ties to focus on critical minerals - report

2024   -  
Copyright © africanews


A report from the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace USIP says the US must refine its Africa policy with a focus on critical minerals, including boosting its diplomatic and commercial presence in African mining hubs.

The USIP group added that the changes are needed to safeguard against export controls and market manipulation by geopolitical competitors.

The report comes as the US tries to catch up or become a competitor with China whose investment in Africa is heavily concentrated in the extractive sector.

Chinese firms owned or had stakes in 15 of the 19 cobalt producing mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which produces more than 70% of the world’s cobalt. 

It also has a big trade partner in Zambia, the world’s sixth-largest copper producer and the second-largest cobalt producer in Africa.

The USIP report also recommends that the U.S. increase the physical presence of diplomatic and commercial officers in mining centers.

The United States heavily relies on imports for many critical minerals for use in electric vehicle batteries and other applications such as cobalt, graphite and manganese.