Minerals and the Energy Transition: Key Findings and How Africa Can Leverage Its Potential

African countries endowed with minerals critical to the transition to clean energy have potential opportunities to benefit from this transition yet face significant risks and development challenges. Preliminary reports show that Africa has a wide variety of what are considered critical or strategic or transitional minerals such as nickel, graphite, cobalt, lithium, coltan.

Globally, there is surge in interest in critical or transitional minerals. Understanding the key players, their interests, and a relative consensus on how energy transition should be approached in Africa is therefore essential. If not well managed, investments, economic opportunities, and Africa’s aspiration to industrialize may be lost.

This session will highlight the impact of climate change and the energy transition on mining, focusing on future critical minerals (such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, etc.) in the global supply chain and the path to clean energy and net- zero. It will revisit the concept of critical minerals or green minerals and explain in detail what they really are. Speakers will use specific case studies to highlight the complexities and uncertainties that exist, such as how long the energy transition will take, the potential gaps and risks to the mining sector, and whether a new policy direction is needed for Africa’s critical mineral-rich countries. New developments such as domestic transition, electric motorization, carbon storage and clean energy technologies will be examined, and whether this provides a significant opportunity for Africa’s critical or strategic minerals such as lithium, graphite, and cobalt, among others.


Thomas Scurfield, NRGI
Dr Marit Kitaw, African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), African Union
Dr Peter Dallay Kafumu, geologist & former commissioner for Minerals, Government of Tanzania
Chenai Mukumba, TJNA
Gerald Byarugaba, Oxfam (HECA)

Location: Virtual

Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2022