The European Union and the Democratic Republic of Congo have undertaken to launch negotiations for a partnership on the exploitation of rare and strategic minerals, including copper and cobalt. A so-called win-win memorandum of understanding and a roadmap will be announced in the coming months around cooperation and investment projects in a sector dominated in the DRC by China. The EU is counting on this partnership to accelerate its ecological transition.
In order to achieve the objective of carbon neutrality in 2050, the EU has embarked on a so-called historic shift in its industrial production and wants to strengthen its supply policy for rare and strategic minerals.
The other challenge is to reduce its dependence on certain countries like China, where these minerals are currently processed, explain EU sources.
The challenge is also significant for the DRC, which aims to develop a local value chain and a market around the battery, electric vehicle and renewable energy industry.
A posture that corresponds to the EU offer, according to Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships: “We want to create value in the DRC, local added value. Not just exporting your raw materials to Finland, Europe and then refining them in Europe. »
According to her, the approach will be different from that proposed by other partners of the DRC, such as China, not to mention it: “We do not want to create dependency, nor do we want neocolonialism. We really want to create local value and we want to create a win-win partnership. »
According to the EU ambassador posted in Kinshasa, the advantage for the DRC is also to benefit from possible support for the production of green energy for its industries.
This article is originally published on rfi.fr