US urged to increase critical minerals supply from Africa


THE US has been advised to increase supply of critical metals from Africa in order to reduce its reliance on China, said Reuters.

Quoting a report by United States Institute of Peace, a Washington-based think-tank, Reuters said the US was almost completely reliant on “foreign entities of concern”, mainly China, for critical minerals.

“U.S. economic and national security depend on securing a reliable supply of critical minerals, including from Africa,” the report said.

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, said Reuters. 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.

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, said Reuters citing the report.

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.