The US Department of State has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to enhance the countries’ electric vehicle battery value chains.

Through the MOU, the US will support the commitment between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia to jointly develop a supply chain for electric vehicle batteries. The MOU will further support 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 US also committed to working with the DRC and Zambia to ensure its private sector, which will provide technical knowledge and financing for commercial development of the value chains, has a level playing field to participate in these projects.

Areas of cooperation

Through the MOU, the US, Zambia and the DRC will work together on feasibility studies, consultancies, and technical assistance opportunities to facilitate transparent, competitive tenders to find the best and most cost-effective contractors and partners to advance the project.

The US also intends to take appropriate steps to promote awareness of the DRC and Zambia Electric Vehicle Battery initiative within the U.S. private and investment sector and also support the construction of electric vehicle precursor plants in the two countries.

The DRC produces more than 70 percent of the world’s cobalt and Zambia is the world’s sixth-largest copper producer, and the second largest cobalt producer in Africa. These resources are crucial components to the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

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