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A Report Suggests that the Us Needs to Improve Its Strategy for Critical Minerals in Africa

The United States Institute of Peace (Credits: Wikipedia)

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) recommends refining the U.S. Africa policy with a focus on critical minerals to counter export controls and market manipulation by competitors. This includes boosting diplomatic and commercial presence in African mining hubs due to the heavy reliance on imports for critical minerals like cobalt, graphite, and manganese, mainly from China.

The USIP report emphasizes the need for “commercial diplomacy” in Africa, suggesting increased investment and presence in mining centers like Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This includes reopening a U.S. consulate in Lubumbashi to enhance engagement with the mineral-rich Katanga Province.

United States Institute of Peace (Credits: Wikipedia)

Other recommendations include leveraging existing programs to assist African nations with rule-of-law and fiscal transparency in the mining sector, expanding the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) to include African partners, and building technical capacity in critical minerals extraction and processing. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the importance of scaling up critical mineral supply chains to meet the growing demand for clean technologies.

In the mid-1990s, the United States closed its consulate in Lubumbashi due to shifts in global priorities after the Cold War. Lubumbashi, the capital of the mineral-rich Katanga Province and the second-largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), holds strategic importance in the mining sector. It is home to Gécamines, the Congolese state mining company, and other mining firms.

The USIP (Credits: BBC)

Policy recommendations include utilizing existing U.S. Agency for International Development programs to support rule-of-law and fiscal transparency in Africa.

Expanding the Minerals Security Partnership to include African partners is also suggested, along with aiding African nations in enhancing technical capabilities in the mining industry. These efforts promote sustainable and responsible mining practices while addressing critical mineral supply chain challenges.

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