The DRC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are keen to speed up the operationalization of the cross-border Special Economic Zone where the first manufacturing plant for electric battery precursors will be installed. The issue was at the centre of a high-level meeting on Wednesday (October 5th) at ECA headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

On this occasion, it was a question of evaluating the process of creating a regional value chain with the installation of the first manufacturing plant for electric battery precursors in the province of Haut-Katanga.

“We have assessed the implementation tools of this vast project so that we also report to ECA on the progress we have made so far. The first advance is that the DRC first created the African centre of excellence to have to train Congolese and Africans locally on this issue of electric batteries. The second thing is that the DRC, through the governor of Haut Katanga, who is here, has just made available 2,000 hectares divided into 4 blocks of 500 hectares to house the first special economic zones within which the first industrial units of electric batteries, the third advance what the DRC has just solemnly adopted the creation of this public establishment which

In addition to the main question, says Julien Paluku, the DRC has discovered other opportunities offered by the ECA with its various divisions.

“After this assessment, we actually discovered other opportunities through the divisions within the ECA which will have to support the DRC in several other themes, in particular the climate theme which is the one piloted by my colleague VPM, Minister of environment and sustainable development Ève Bazaiba with the opportunities offered by our forests that capture carbon and for which we must garner sufficient resources that would allow us to move on to other projects. We are happy to find ourselves here therefore with the head of the province of Haut-Katanga for a total and global appropriation of the project because it is at his place that the pilot project will have to develop and therefore the head of the

Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary of the ECA, welcomed the progress made by the DRC. He considers that the DRC is a priority country for his organization.

“We are incredibly happy with the progress the country has made. In a few months, we will be able to start with the rate of predictability. Now we are in the process of choosing the company that will do the study and then on this occasion, we also discussed the cooperation framework between the ECA and the DRC. For us, the DRC is a priority country because as the Minister once again said the DRC is a solution country now, we are starting in a few weeks the COP 27 the DRC will be at the centre of the discussions on the transition energy, including our battery production project. The DRC plays a key role, so we have once again confirmed the steps in the process.

Present at this meeting, the governor of Haut Katanga Jacques Kyabula Katwe discusses the particularities of the site offered in his province for the materialization of this vast project led by the central government.

“The special economic zone will host several industries, including the one that is moreover the most anticipated, it is the industry carrying the manufacture of electric batteries which are expected, sought after all over the world and therefore it will be an economic boom because quite simply that we have a battery production plant, that will create jobs, and that will also boost other sectors than the infrastructure sector to develop. We believe that there will be an added value on the social of the population. Our presence here would simply mean that the province of Haut Katanga wants to take ownership of this project and the project was initiated by the President of the Republic”, underlined the number one of Haut Katanga.

Recall, the main objective of RDC-Afrique Business Forum 2021 held in Kinshasa on “Developing a regional value chain around the electric battery industry, and a market for electric vehicles and clean energies” was to bring together stakeholders from level to dialogue, identify opportunities and facilitate investments to increase Africa’s share in the battery, electric vehicle, and renewable energy value chain.

The global transition to green energy and rapid decarbonization offers significant opportunities for Africa. It has spurred demand for electric vehicles and investment in battery-powered storage systems, which is driving the deployment of solar and wind power in particular. Thanks to its endowment in natural resources, and in particular in strategic minerals that go into the composition of lithium-ion batteries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo can play a key role in the global energy transition in terms of energy storage and mobile electric.

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