On the sidelines of the Investing in African Mining Indaba 2022, US Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W Fernandez stated that the US is not opposed to China investing in Africa, but wants to ensure that “it follows the highest standards.”
Fernandez held a virtual press conference with journalists, saying the US was not oppose to China investing in Africa as long as the investments concentrated on protecting human rights, democracy, and generating jobs for Africans.
“However, We don’t expect our allies to choose between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.”
“We’re not doing that. We also believe that we offer an alternative vision for economic development that promotes democratic governance, respect for human rights, and transparency more sustainably – and we keep talking about the word ‘sustainable’ – more sustainably serving the long-term interests of the people here in Africa.
He said: “Our focus will always be on strengthening local capacity; creating African jobs, not imported jobs; and working with our partners to promote economic development that’s beneficial, sustainable, and inclusive.”
Fernandez emphasized the US was not “in a race to the bottom” to undercut China and other investors by sacrificing standards in areas such as quality, safety, and wages.
“What African countries want is for all investments, including Chinese investments, to respect local laws and interests, and to adhere to human rights, including labor rights, and environmental protection,” he added.
Fernandez met with mining ministers from across the world in Cape Town. But it was his encounter with Antoinette N’Samba Kalambay, the mines minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), that stuck out for him because she spoke about improving transparency and environmental protection in the DRC mining industry.
Significant lithium deposits exist in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali, which will be use to power the next generation of electric cars.
As a result, the US also claims that by boosting sustainable energy, more lithium be consume.
“We also know that critical minerals will be a critical part of the solution in the clean energy future, and that African nations have a lot of critical minerals, be it cobalt, manganese, lithium, and others, a lot of critical minerals that will be needed to power turbines, to power electric batteries.”
The quantity of lithium utilize in the vehicle industry must multiply by six.
African Mining Investing The subject of Indaba 2022 is “Evolution of African Mining: Investing in the Energy Transition, ESG, and Economies.”