Japan and the United Kingdom have announced a partnership to jointly invest in critical minerals in Africa, aiming to enhance supply chain stability. The collaboration includes efforts to develop mines in African nations and establish a framework for discussions on economic security at the ministerial level. Both countries plan to acquire mining sites and build refining facilities in cooperation with mineral-rich African nations, diversifying their sources of supply.
Japan, heavily reliant on China for critical minerals like cobalt and nickel, has been actively seeking partnerships with African nations to secure resources crucial for its technology-driven economy. In August, Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, visited several African countries, including Namibia, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Madagascar, to forge an African supply chain for critical minerals.
The United Kingdom, in a separate initiative, signed an agreement with Zambia focused on clean energy and critical minerals after a visit by the UK’s Foreign Minister, James Cleverly, to Zambia in August. This agreement is expected to result in substantial British private sector investments of $2.7 billion in Zambia’s mining, minerals, and renewable energy sectors, alongside government-backed investments of $537 million.
Additionally, the UK and South Africa have committed to holding regular ministerial discussions concerning critical mineral development and supply chains connecting Africa to Europe.