The MoU to strengthen EV battery value chain signed by US, DRC and Zambia: A first step from Curse to Blessing of natural resources in Africa?

Publié le Modifié le 20/01/2023 Vu 1 648 fois 0

9 rue Léopold Sédar Senghor

14460 Colombelles

The USA, Zambia and DRC signed a MoU on electric vehicle battery value chains. Is this the first step from curse to blessing of natural resources in Africa? What is the next step?

The USA, Zambia and DRC signed a MoU on electric vehicle battery value chains. Is this the first step from cur

The MoU to strengthen EV battery value chain signed by US, DRC and Zambia: A first step from Curse to Blessing of natural resources in Africa?


1.    In the quest for responses to tackle the paradox of resources and  poverty in Africa


The Sub-Saharan Africa region was labelled “a classic case of the resource-curse phenomenon” characterized by the abundance of natural resources, low economic development, and misuse of natural resources. Even with abundant natural resources like gold, diamonds, oil, cobalt, coltan, lithium, copper, and much more, several countries have not been able to translate these resources into development for the benefit of its people. [Gelb, 1988; Auty, 1993; Karl, 1997]. 

It is against this backdrop, that the  Africa Mining Vision [AMV] adopted in February 2009 by the African Union Heads of State and Government, an Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty. 

The goals of the AMV include: making sure that nations are able to negotiate contracts with mining multinationals that generate fair resource rents and stipulate local inputs for operations; making sure workers and communities see real benefits from large-scale industrial mining and that their environment is protected...improve livelihoods and advance integrated rural social and economic development...Achieving these goals requires paying attention to all the stages of the value chain of non-renewable mineral resources, from contracts and licenses for exploration and production to integrating mining with sustainable development plans...

The Vision calls – among others - for a structural transformation of the minerals sector in Africa through enhanced linkages with the local economy, increased value addition, promotion of local content and and empowerment, and a judicious and prudent use of mineral revenue to build up Africa’s capital stock and contribute to a knowledge economy. This entails a multi/cross sectorial approach to mineral development policy, especially the link with industrial policy and development of local enterprises and skills.


2.    The Cooperation Agreement between Zambia and the DRC for adding value to the battery minerals


It is in the line of the Vision, that on the 29th April 2022, the Republic of Zambia and the DRC signed a historical cooperation agreement to facilitate the development of value chain in electric battery and clean energy sector. 

This Cooperation Agreement aimed  to provide a framework for bilateral cooperation on the initiative to develop the battery value chain as well as strengthen collaboration between the two neighbouring countries. 

For sure, the agreement will strengthen the value chain for production of batteries for electric cars which will be key to economies of Zambia and the DRC and will surely benefit to the entire Africa. Adding value to the battery minerals, through an inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, will definitely allow the two countries to pave the way to a robust, resilient and inclusive growth pattern. 

However, some critics have rose by saying that signing is one thing and there is need to actualize the agreement to change the long narrative of considering Africa as only a source of raw materials. 


3. The MoU between USA, Zambia and RDC: Changing the narrative of considering Africa as only a source of raw materials?

Eight months after the cooperation agreement between Zambia and DRC was signed,  the US Department of State released the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on electric vehicle battery value chains signed by the United States on December 13, 2022, during the Africa Leaders Summit.  

Through this MOU, the United States will support the commitment between the DRC and Zambia to develop jointly a supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.  The MOU supports the DRC and Zambia’s goal of building a productive supply chain, from the mine to the assembly line, while also committing to respect international standards to prevent, detect, and take legal action to fight corruption throughout this process.

The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt and have reserves for copper and lithium.  Zambia is the world’s sixth-largest copper producer, and the second largest cobalt producer in Africa.  These resources, and this commitment to cooperation, are crucial components of the urgently needed global energy transition.  

With this project, the DRC and Zambia have a golden opportunity to move from their historic status as exporters of cheap raw materials to manufacturer and supplier of battery precursors and the related knowledge-based services. 

The plan to develop an electric battery supply chain opens the door for open and transparent investment to build value-added and sustainable industry in Africa and creating a just energy transition for workers and local communities.  

To facilitate the process towards a change in the narrative, the US private sector is a tremendous resource, both for technical knowledge and financing, for commercial development at every step in the process.  For that, the U.S. government will work with the DRC and Zambia to ensure the private sector has a level playing field to participate in these projects. 

4. How to conclude?

Just to say that we hope that peace should prevail in the DRC and in the region to enable the project to really take place.


Rightly, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015, recognizes not only that peace and security are prerequisites for achieving sustainable development, but that sustainable development provides the pathway to peaceful societies. Peace is therefore a key component of sustainable development and prosperous societies. Let it be the case in the DRC!  



Vous avez une question ?

Posez gratuitement toutes vos questions sur notre forum juridique. Nos bénévoles vous répondent directement en ligne.

Publier un commentaire
Votre commentaire :
Inscription express :

Le présent formulaire d’inscription vous permet de vous inscrire sur le site. La base légale de ce traitement est l’exécution d’une relation contractuelle (article 6.1.b du RGPD). Les destinataires des données sont le responsable de traitement, le service client et le service technique en charge de l’administration du service, le sous-traitant Scalingo gérant le serveur web, ainsi que toute personne légalement autorisée. Le formulaire d’inscription est hébergé sur un serveur hébergé par Scalingo, basé en France et offrant des clauses de protection conformes au RGPD. Les données collectées sont conservées jusqu’à ce que l’Internaute en sollicite la suppression, étant entendu que vous pouvez demander la suppression de vos données et retirer votre consentement à tout moment. Vous disposez également d’un droit d’accès, de rectification ou de limitation du traitement relatif à vos données à caractère personnel, ainsi que d’un droit à la portabilité de vos données. Vous pouvez exercer ces droits auprès du délégué à la protection des données de LÉGAVOX qui exerce au siège social de LÉGAVOX et est joignable à l’adresse mail suivante : Le responsable de traitement est la société LÉGAVOX, sis 9 rue Léopold Sédar Senghor, joignable à l’adresse mail : Vous avez également le droit d’introduire une réclamation auprès d’une autorité de contrôle.

A propos de l'auteur

Le cabinet YAV & ASSOCIATES, est implanté dans trois villes de la RD.Congo dont Lubumbashi, Kolwezi et Kinshasa. Il a egalement un bureau de représentation en  République du Congo [Congo-Brazzaville]

Nous sommes heureux de vous présenter les informations concernant notre cabinet d'avocats ainsi que nos publications et recherches. -

Demande de contact
Image demande de contact

Contacter le blogueur


Inscription à la newsletter hebdomadaire
Retrouvez-nous sur les réseaux sociaux et sur nos applications mobiles