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A Green approach to position Africa as a primary beneficiary of her mineral resources


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A Green approach to position Africa as a primary beneficiary of her mineral resources

Gwede Mantashe

14th May 2024


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The African continent, characterized by its youthful demographic and rapid economic growth, stands at a critical crossroads. Despite its vibrant potential, the shadows of political oppression and a lingering colonial legacy continue to impact its trajectory significantly. Historically, the exploitation of Africa's natural resources has disproportionately benefitted foreign economies, often at the expense of local communities residing above these invaluable mineral deposits.

Africa is endowed with a wealth of critical minerals, including cobalt, lithium, nickel, and copper, essential for the global shift towards green technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and renewable energy systems. The African Critical Minerals Summit, an annual event that has quickly become a cornerstone for continental and global collaboration, aims to redefine how these resources are managed and utilized.


African Critical Minerals Summit: A Conduit for Change

Last year’s inaugural summit, notably addressed by Minister of Minerals Gwede Mantashe, marked a significant turning point. It set the stage for Africa to leverage its mineral wealth more effectively, aiming to foster economic growth, job creation, and innovation. Building on this foundation, the 2024 summit, scheduled for August 22nd-23rd at the Sandton Convention Centre, will take place with a continued partnership with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy and the Mineral Council South Africa, under the theme, "Africa’s Critical Minerals Fit to Energize the Green Energy Transition," reflecting a strategic focus on sustainable and inclusive growth.


The summit serves as a vital platform for dialogue, where stakeholders from various sectors—government, industry, and academia—converge to discuss and devise strategies that align with both local needs and global demands. These discussions are geared towards ensuring that Africa does not just extract minerals but also adds value and retains significant benefits within the continent.

Recognizing the need for substantial investment, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has initiated significant projects like the R400 million exploration fund with the Industrial Development Corporation. This fund is designed to support junior miners and promote equitable economic growth by increasing access to mining resources and fostering economic inclusion.

Vision for the Future: Green and Equitable Growth

Looking ahead, the 2024 African Critical Minerals Summit aims to catalyse further industry transformation. The focus will be on encouraging investment, enhancing technological capabilities, and ensuring that mining practices are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. The summit will feature discussions on how to promote transparency and accountability, essential for building trust and ensuring that the benefits of mineral resources are widely shared.

The future prosperity of Africa’s mineral sector depends on its ability to foster partnerships that transcend national borders and sectoral boundaries. These partnerships must prioritize sustainable development practices, technological innovation, and inclusive policies that support the welfare of all stakeholders involved.

As the world pivots towards a low-carbon future, Africa has the opportunity to significantly alter its position in the global minerals value chain. By doing so, it can transform its destiny. The African Critical Minerals Summit provides a unique opportunity to make this shift—a shift that will require collaboration, commitment, and innovative thinking. Join us as we explore these themes and more, paving the way for a prosperous and sustainable future that leverages Africa's rich mineral resources for the benefit of its people.

Join us at the African Critical Minerals Summit to be part of Africa's sustainable transformation. Register now and contribute to shaping the continent's future.

Register here:

Written by Zamayirha Peter


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