African leaders advocate in-continent processing of abundant mineral wealth

Africa is blessed and possesses vast reserves of critical minerals, including aluminum, cobalt, and copper, required for high-tech and green products like smartphones and solar panels.

However, a significant portion of these valuable resources is processed outside the continent. This presents a challenge as it hinders Africa from fully capitalizing on its own resources. And financing will play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

During the summit, financiers pledged a new commitment of $23 billion for Africa to enhance its ability to adapt to increasingly extreme weather, conserve natural resources, and develop renewable energy.

This announcement was made as part of the Nairobi declaration presented by Kenya’s President, William Ruto, and endorsed by African Heads of State and Government.

“During this action-focused summit, various stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, multilateral banks, and philanthropists, have made substantial commitments totaling a remarkable $23 billion for green growth, mitigation, and adaptation efforts across Africa,” Ruto said.

Reacting to the Nairobi Declaration announced by President Ruto, James Mwangi, CEO Equity Bank, on behalf of the private sector, said business leaders are committed to driving investment opportunities across various sectors of the declaration.

On decarbonisation, Mwangi said: “We are committed to actively seek opportunities for nature-based solutions in decarbonisation plans and commitments to net zero, Carbon market and just transition.”

On green transition minerals, he said leaders are committed to investing in new green mineral projects and their value chains by providing fair working conditions.

“On food and agriculture, we commit to creating critical infrastructure such as refrigeration facilities warehouses to reduce post-production waste and support market and trade opportunities,” he said.

The summit also brought to fore the need for world leaders to unite in support of a global carbon tax on fossil fuels. Additionally, it seeks reform of the global financial system, which currently forces African nations to pay more to borrow money.

African nations have consistently argued that they bear disproportionately high borrowing expenses, which can be five to eight times greater than those of wealthier nations. As a result, this recurring debt crisis has hindered their capacity to allocate greater resources toward addressing climate change.

The declaration backed by the leaders of the continent of 1.3 billion people calls on the world’s biggest emitters of planet-warming greenhouse gases and its richest countries to keep their promises. It notes especially the unfulfilled pledge of $100 billion annually to developing nations in climate finance, made 14 years ago.

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