Africa at threshold of becoming global automotive powerhouse- Mene

SECRETARY-GENERAL of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) Secretariat, Mr Wamkele Mene says Africa is uniquely positioned to become a leading force in the future automotive industry.

This is due to the continent’s abundant reserves of critical minerals which are essential for clean energy value chains, such as platinum, cobalt, manganese, graphite, and lithium, which are crucial for electric vehicles and utility-scale battery storage.

Mr Mene who was speaking at the first Kakamega international investment conference (KAIICO 2024) in Kenya stated that it was imperative that the mineral-rich countries go beyond merely exporting these valuable minerals.

Africa, according to the AfCFTA Secretariat Boss was the ideal place for producing lithium-ion batteries, powering electric cars worldwide, and making a significant move towards sustainable development.

Mr Mene told his audience at the conference that studies by the African Development Bank (AfDB) had shown that constructing precursor facilities for lithium-ion batteries in Africa could be substantially more cost-effective than elsewhere.

With the electric vehicle market projected to reach US$7 trillion by 2030 and US$46 trillion by 2050, Africa stands at the threshold of becoming a global powerhouse in this industry.

On the role of Foreign Direct Investments, Mr Mene observed that the AfCFTA, due to its broader market accessibility, will attract both domestic and foreign investments, enhancing investor confidence in the continent’s economic prospects.

Such confidence, he noted could increase FDIs and intra-African investments, driving job creation in key sectors essential for poverty reduction and the improvement of living standards.

Gh News Hub

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