- Africa must set itself up to manufacture lithium-ion batteries to tap into the future market of electric vehicles.
- Africa has 80% of the global deposits of platinum and 50% of the global deposits of cobalt, 40% of nickel, and substantial deposits of lithium.
- The public and private sectors need to work together to green the continent.
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, emphasized the importance of Africa harnessing its resources and manufacturing lithium batteries for electric vehicles to be part of the global electric vehicle revolution.
He made these remarks during the ongoing AfDB Annual Meetings in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Dr. Adesina stressed that Africa should learn from past mistakes and capitalize on its resources to actively participate in the electric vehicle revolution.
He highlighted the need for the continent to avoid repeating historical errors and instead leverage its potential to maximize benefits from the growing global demand for electric vehicles.
According to Dr. Adesina, Africa must not make the same mistakes of the past but must maximize its resources and be a part of the electric vehicle revolution.
- “Africa stands to be able to attract billions of dollars in private investments for greening global transport systems. As the world moves to transition to electric vehicles, Africa must set itself up to manufacture lithium-ion batteries to tap into the future market of electric vehicles that some projections estimate will run into several trillions of dollars in the future.
- “That is because Africa has 80% of the global deposits of platinum and 50% of the global deposits of cobalt, 40% of nickel, and substantial deposits of lithium. The cost of establishing a lithium-ion precursor factory in Africa is three times less expensive than in China and the United States.”
Greening the continent
Dr. Adesina also stressed the need for both the public and private sectors to work together to green the continent. He said all stakeholders must do more to green the infrastructure space of Africa through private sector financing and that is why the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa50, and partners, launched the Alliance for Green Infrastructure in Africa (AGIA).
AGIA aims to accelerate private sector investments in renewable energy, green urban infrastructure systems, green hydrogen, and climate-resilient infrastructure.
According to Dr. Adesina, AGIA hopes to mobilize $500 million for project development financing using private equity platforms and $10 billion of private sector financing for green infrastructure in Africa.
He also highlighted the fact that the AfDB is also using blended financing to accelerate private investments in electricity. He said:
- “We are implementing with public and private sectors a $20 billion desert-to-power program to develop 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity using solar in the Sahel and provide electricity for 250 million people.”
What you should know
During the African Union (AU) Industrialization Summit held in Niamey, Niger Republic in December 2022, Dr. Adesina told attendees that the future of electric cars in the world will depend on Africa, given its vast deposits of rare mineral resources, including lithium-ion, cobalt, nickel, and copper. He stated further that the size of the electric vehicle market has been estimated at $7 trillion by 2030 and $46 trillion by 2050.