Today, the Department of State released the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on electric vehicle battery value chains signed by the United States on December 13, 2022, during the Africa Leaders Summit. Through this MOU, the United States will support the commitment between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to develop jointly a supply chain for electric vehicle batteries. The MOU supports the DRC and Zambia’s goal of building a productive supply chain, from the mine to the assembly line, while also committing to respect international standards to prevent, detect, and take legal action to fight corruption throughout this process.
The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt. Zambia is the world’s sixth-largest copper producer, and the second largest cobalt producer in Africa. These resources, and this commitment to cooperation, are crucial components of the urgently needed global energy transition. The plan to develop an electric battery supply chain opens the door for open and transparent investment to build value-added and sustainable industry in Africa and creating a just energy transition for workers and local communities. The U.S. private sector is a tremendous resource, both for technical knowledge and financing, for commercial development at every step in the process. The U.S. government will work with the DRC and Zambia to ensure the private sector has a level playing field to participate in these projects.