5 critical minerals needed for clean energy, which Africa has in abundance

Africa’s natural richness, which includes a diverse range of minerals such as gold, diamonds, copper, platinum, and others, is critical not only to the continent’s economic growth but also on a worldwide scale. This is buttressed by the fact that Africa boasts some of the largest reserves when it comes to certain natural resources.

The continent, since as far back as recorded history has provided the globe with key natural resources necessary for the evolution and development of the entire human race. Each era has seen the continent providing a substantial quota of raw materials, requisite for technological and economic advancements, and this era of smart tech is no different.

Africa possesses vast reserves of critical minerals, including aluminum, cobalt, and copper, required for high-tech and green products like smartphones and solar panels. According to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), titled ‘The Economic Development in Africa Report 2023,’ Africa has an abundance of metals needed for electric vehicles.

Furthermore, the report notes that Africa holds at least one-fifth of the world’s reserves of a dozen essential metals for the energy transition, including roughly 19% of those required for electric vehicles.

As the global push for greener energy grows, demand for such metals will skyrocket; an electric automobile, for example, requires around six times the minerals of a regular vehicle. With that said, below are 5 critical minerals needed for clean energy, which Africa has an abundance of.

RankMineralGlobal reserve (%)Major producing nation(s)




DRC, South Africa, Zambia




South Africa


Graphite (Natural )


Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar




DRC, South Africa, Zambia




Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire

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