LUSAKA – From September 20-22, the U.S. government in partnership with the SAFE Center for Critical Minerals Strategy hosted a workshop in Lusaka to support Zambia’s efforts to develop an electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing sector.
U.S. and international participants shared their expertise and best practices related to establishing value chains for mineral processing, refining, manufacturing, and accessing international markets with representatives of the private sector, Zambian Government, and members of Zambia’s EV Battery Council. The participants’ discussions also focused on workforce development and environmental protection.
Workshop attendees also included representatives from civil society and academia, as well as senior leaders of American, Zambian, and third country companies. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Honorable Chipoka Mulenga provided opening remarks and U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Michael Gonzales provided closing remarks. In his remarks, Ambassador Gonzales highlighted the need for investment in Zambia’s critical minerals sector that adheres to high environmental, social, and governance standards that will support equitable and inclusive economic growth and prosperity. Ambassador Gonzales also called on Zambian government officials to redouble efforts to streamline business approvals, processes, and facilitation to better attract investment.
The workshop served as a follow-up to the U.S.-Zambia-Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022. The MOU supports the DRC and Zambia’s shared goal of building a modern supply chain for electric vehicle batteries, from the mine to assembly line, while also committing to respect international standards to prevent, detect, and take legal action to fight corruption throughout this process.