Global Gateway to Extend Lobito Corridor to Ease Access to Critical Minerals

On 26 October 2023, on the sidelines of the EU #GlobalGateway Forum in Brussels, the EU signed MoU with the AfDB, AFC, USA, Angola, DR Congo, and Zambia to extend the #LobitoCorridor.

The MoU was signed by 1) EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen; 2) US Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Investment, Mr Amos Hochstein; 3) Angolan Minister of State for Economic Coordination, Mr José de Lima Massano; 4) PM of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr Jean-Michel Lukonde; 5) Zambian Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Situmbeko Musokotwane; 6) AfDB VP, Mr Solomon Quaynor; 7) and AFC Board Member and Head of Financial Services, Mr Sanjeev Gupta.

Seven Parties Sign MoU on Lobito Corridor

“AFC is committed to collaborating with all parties as lead project developer on the expansion of the Lobito Corridor, a signature initiative of the Biden administration’s Partnership for Global Infrastructure and the EU’s Global Gateway Initiative (#GGI).”

AFC President and CEO Samaila Zubairu

The MoU builds upon the Lobito Transit and Transport Facilitation Agency (#LCTTFA) Agreement signed by the three African governments of Angola, DR Congo and Zambia in January 2023. Previously, both the EU and USA committed to support studies during the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (#PG2I) side forum during the G20 Summit in India on 9 September 2023.

Following the signing of the MoU, AFC will work with other stakeholders to kickstart the studies in preparation for the implementation of the project. The extension of the #LobitoCorridor is a regional connectivity project with a huge transformative potential because it will open up the supply chain for #CriticalMinerals which will drive economic growth and contribute to achieve #NetZero.

“The new [Lobito] line, connecting northwest Zambia to the Lobito Atlantic Railway and the port of Lobito, represents the most significant transport infrastructure that the United States has helped develop on the African continent in a generation and will enhance regional trade and growth as well as advance the shared vision of connected, open-access rail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.”

US State Department PG2I Special Coordinator Helaina Matza
Lobito Corridor Connects Mineral-Rich in Zambia and DR Congo to the Lobito Seaport

The Benguela railway line start at the seaport of Lobito in Angola and extends into the resource-rich regions of the Katanga province in DR Congo and the Copperbelt province in Zambia. Among the various minerals in the regions, the Katanga is perhaps best known for its Cobalt while the Copperbelt, as its name implies, is rich in Copper.

In the long run, the Lobito Corridor is expected to be extended to connect to the Indian Ocean in Tanzania or Mozambique. Actually, the Zambia has already sought the assistance of the Chinese government to upgrade the #Tazara line. Eventually, the extended Lobito Corridor will crosse the southern Africa along a general East-West axis from the Atlantic Ocean the Indian Ocean. As such, the extended Lobito Corridor will be a game changer to boost both regional and global trade and investment.

EU Commissioner for International Partnership Jutta Urpilainen Ceremonially Affix her Signature to the Lobito Corridor

“Global Gateway provides the frame for ambitious and strategic partnerships driving structural transformation. The new partnerships with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia will support the development of sustainable and resilient value chains of critical raw materials, while creating quality local jobs.”

EC President Ursula von der Leyen

During the recent conferences around #CriticalMinerals in the region, the African sides have deplored the fact that they have remain at the bottom of the Global Value Chain (#GVC) in the mining industry. The Africans have made it abundantly clear that they would like to see more Local Value Addition (#LVA) in order to reap more benefits for the domestic economy.