U.S. Department of Energy to Speak at Critical Minerals Africa 2023, Affirming Minerals Engagement in Africa

Josh Volz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Energy, will speak at the Critical Minerals Africa 2023 summit (October 17-19; Cape Town), cementing U.S. interest in Africa’s critical mineral reserves and value chains

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Representing the interests of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), Josh Volz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia, has confirmed he will speak at the upcoming Critical Minerals Africa (CMA) 2023 summit in Cape Town this October.

With critical minerals central to the global energy transition, the U.S. has been scaling-up its engagement with African mining markets. Earlier this month, the country announced that it will provide technical and financial support, in partnership with the European Union (EU), for the development of the Lobito Corridor, a transregional infrastructure project linking the copper and cobalt mining regions of the DRC and Zambia to Angola’s Port of Lobito. U.S. involvement in the project supports its national agenda to secure “the minerals of the future” and diversify mineral supply chains away from China and Russia.

The U.S. is one of several Western allies seeking to strengthen its commercial and diplomatic relations with Africa’s leading mineral producers. Last month, the British government signed a clean energy and green investment partnership to generate over three billion dollars of private sector investment in Zambia’s mining and renewable energy industries. The U.K. will also be officially represented at CMA 2023.

Africa holds considerable critical minerals trade and investment opportunities for the U.S., not only in new mining exploration, but also in the expansion of mineral refining capacity and value-added activities. The Minerals Security Partnership – a collaboration among 13 countries and the EU to catalyze investment in sustainable critical minerals value chains – represents another potential pathway for heightened cooperation between U.S. and African mining players.

“The presence and participation of the Department of Energy at Critical Minerals Africa 2023 confirms that Africa is a key target of U.S. energy policy, with a view to expanding and securing the country’s critical mineral supplies,” says James Chester, Senior Director at Energy Capital & Power, organizer of the summit. “Strengthening commercial diplomacy with the African continent is a strategic priority for the U.S. In this context, Critical Minerals Africa serves as the premier platform for bilateral and multilateral partnerships to be formed among Africa’s mineral producers and Western sources of capital and technology.”

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