KINSHASA – Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has urged Africa to put in place the right incentives, economic conditions and policy framework that support businesses in the forward integration of the battery and renewable energy market.
President Hichilema, addressing the DRC-Africa Business Forum in Kinshasa on Wednesday afternoon, thanked DRC President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilobo for inviting him to the meeting.
He said the theme, ‘Develop a Regional Value Chain Around the Electric Battery Industry, and a Market for Electric Vehicles and Clean Energy in Africa’, resonates very well with the government’s aspirations to industrialise through the promotion of value addition to mineral resources.
“It is also in line with our commitment to reducing Green House gas emissions, and our vision towards the development of the Green Economy.
“Our participation in the forum was very important because it is inspired by our strong view that international trade and investment are directly linked to the well-being of any nation and because the economy remains front and centre of the new dawn administration’s resolve to create business opportunities that improve the livelihoods of our people,” he said.
“Our vision in whatever we do or wherever we go is to create business opportunities for our people, that will ultimately improve livelihoods, promote education, health and democracy.”
President Hichilema told the forum that the continent, endowed with vast natural resources, must not lose by ending only with extraction, but must embrace value creation as a main component of doing business.
He said Africa therefore needs to review its strategy and reposition itself in this regard.
“We observed that of the top 15 global producers of battery minerals, 8 were African countries which included the DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and yet value addition such as top cell production and the assembly of the electric vehicles is being done in China, Korea, Japan the United States, France, and Germany. This needs to change,” said President Hichilema.
“We urged Africa to put the right incentives, economic conditions and policy environment that will support our firms in forward integration of the battery and renewable energy market.”