Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Editor
ZIMBABWE’S lithium deposits are set to play a significant role in the manufacturing of batteries and light vehicles on the African continent.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on record saying lithium is a mineral of the present and the future and is set to position Zimbabwe on the global lithium value chain.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava this Friday on the sidelines of the ongoing 43rd Ordinary Session of the African Union’s Executive Council Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Mr Antonio Pedro said growth of Zimbabwe’s lithium sector is set to immensely benefit the whole continent.
“We have also discussed the importance of developing battery and electric vehicle value chain in Africa because it holds significant world-class deposits of lithium, the country’s position in the value chain is an important part of our economic geography in this important sector. If we succeed to produce and go up in this value chain as well as electric vehicles we are looking to rise to about 7.7 trillion dollars by 2025 and 46 trillion dollars by 2050,” he said.
Mr Pedro also noted the work being done to establish an Agro-Industrial Park between Zimbabwe and Zambia to restore the nation’s breadbasket status in the SADC region.
“We also discussed the role of Zimbabwe in feeding Africa. We had discussions on the common agro-industrial park between Zimbabwe and Zambia that it’s a project we are spearheading with the two governments with a view of restoring that Zimbabwe which used to play as the bread basket of Southern Africa,” he added.
The commission is intending to collaborate with the Government of Zimbabwe by organising a conference in the country which will discuss how the continent can build strong mechanisms for economic growth during the 2024 Meeting of African Ministers of Finance Planning and Economic Development as revealed by Ambassador Frederick Shava.
“I met Mr Antonio Pedro, the Acting Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the sidelines of the Executive Council. We discussed several issues which include the Common Agro-Industrial Park between Zambia and Zimbabwe being supported by the UNECA, in collaboration with COMESA. We also discussed preparations for the Fifty-Sixth Session of the UNECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development scheduled to be held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe,” he said.
The 43rd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council discussed issues that include the AU Theme and Budget for the year 2024, Zimbabwe’s Candidature for Non-Permanent Member of the UNSC for the period 2027-2028 as well as Funding and Inclusion of Africa Centre for Fertiliser Development (ACFD) into the AU Structures.