The UK announced a pledge to help African countries expand their critical mineral supply chains – with a focus on promoting mineral exploration and processing, generating value-added activities and creating local jobs – during the Critical Minerals Africa 2023 summit on Wednesday.
“African countries rightly have a high level of ambition for unlocking the value of their natural resources and the UK will work with them in partnership to support delivery of their ambitions,” stated Ambassador Antony Phillipson, British High Commissioner to South Africa. “We are committed to increasing our investment in the continent and strengthening the transparency and resilience of the supply chain for critical minerals – creating green jobs in Africa, while taking action on climate change.”
To be launched next week, the pledge will take the form of an initial R20-million contribution and comes on the back of growing cooperation between the UK and Africa in the critical minerals arena. Last November, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa conducted a state visit to the UK seeking to leverage British capital and technology toward building South Africa’s industrial capacity. The UK already represents the largest international investor in South Africa, which is home to 80% of global platinum group metal reserves, 70% of global manganese reserves, and substantial reserves of vanadium and magnesium.
The UK is also set to host the second edition of its African Investment Summit in London next April, which aims to promote bilateral trade and investment and strengthen UK-African partnerships.
The Critical Minerals Africa 2023 summit is currently taking place from October 17-19 and serves to position Africa as the primary investment destination for critical minerals. The event is held alongside the African Energy Week 2023 conference (https://AECWeek.com/) on October 16-20, offering delegates access to the full scope of energy, mining and finance leaders in Cape Town.