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CEDESA Note nº2

The Global Gateway initiative of the European Union and Angola: seize the opportunity now

The European Union (EU) has recently unveiled its Global Gateway project, seen as a European alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The Global Gateway is a €300 billion infrastructure spending plan that aims to boost EU supply chains and trade around the world.

The difference that the EU intends to emphasize compared to the Chinese model of BRI, is that on the European side it will not grant loans, but promote public and private investments, presenting what it considers to be transparent and more favorable financing, especially for developing countries.

The Global Gateway aims to be a more modern version of BRI, focusing on investments in future-oriented and environmentally responsible projects in the digital, healthcare, education, scientific research, renewable energy and other sectors.

It is clear that Africa, and in this, among others, Angola is the logical target of this EU initiative, as it is also where a good part of the Chinese influence through the BRI can be verified. The European Commission does not mention the African market as a priority goal, but it is logical that it should be, as it was the arrival of Chinese financing that most harmed European companies, which often lost market share. And Angola served as a model for the intervention of China in Africa, through the establishment of the so-called “Angolan model”.

The Angolan authorities will have every interest in contacting those responsible for this European Union program to be the first to develop a solid partnership that promotes investments in three fundamental areas for Angola: renewable energies, education and health.

Eventually, the great qualitative leap that one wants to take in Angolan education could be the first bet of this European project. The EU could be the major funder of the qualification of universities and scientific research in Angola, since it is a soft power supporter, and it would be an area in which it has an extremely favorable competitive advantage, easy to the alleged Chinese competition.

On the other hand, an immediate approach by Angola to implement the program will allow the assessment of the seriousness and commitment of the European Union in this program, verifying that it is not a mere advertisement for propaganda purposes, as many claim.

In conclusion, immediate Angolan action is strongly recommended to benefit from the Global Gateway in the area of ​​education.

CEDESA Note nº 1

Invitation to investors: The metals needed for the energy transition exist in Angola

The transition to clean energy needed to avert the worst effects of climate change could trigger an unprecedented demand for metals in the coming decades, requiring up to 3 billion tonnes.

A typical electric vehicle battery, for example, needs about 8 kilograms of lithium, 35 kilograms of nickel, 20 kilograms of manganese and 14 kilograms of cobalt, while charging stations require substantial amounts of copper. For green energy, solar panels use large amounts of copper, silicon, silver and zinc, while wind turbines require iron ore, copper and aluminum[1].

Metal prices have already seen large increases as economies reopen, highlighting a critical need to look into what could constrain production and delay supply responses.

Analyzes of the current production of metals worldwide seem to indicate a gap of 30 to 40% of supply versus demand, meaning that it will be necessary to increase world production.

It is here that Angola may have a new economic opportunity by relaunching the exploration, which will essentially be dormant, for metals. If we look at it, the country has an immensity of metals. The first one is iron, which in the past was heavily exported. Significantly, from the second half of the 1950s to 1975, iron ore was extracted in the provinces of Malanje, Bié, Huambo and Huíla, and several million tons were produced. The civil war naturally disrupted this activity and then the crash in world prices. But everything indicates that currently, the context is different and could be used by the Angolan authorities to promote more investments in ferrous mining.

In relation to the other key metals for the energy transition, it should be noted that Angola has potential for manganese, copper, gold, lead, zinc, tungsten, tin, among others.

Cobalt also appears to be abundant in Angola. A recent study concluded that the copper and cobalt region of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo extends into Angolan territory by at least 116,000 square kilometres. Apparently, the magnetic anomalies detected by the study favourable signs of prospecting metallic and non-metallic minerals such as iron, diamonds, copper, manganese, titanium, zinc, lead, bauxite and even radioactive minerals and phosphates[2].

This results in an obvious conclusion. Angola is very well placed to take advantage of the exploration of metals necessary for the energy transition. Now investments have to come.


[1] Nico Valckx, Martin Stuermer, Dulani Seneviratne and Ananthakrishnan Prasad, Metals Demand From Energy Transition May Top Current Global Supply, FMI, 2021, https://blogs.imf.org/2021/12/08/metals-demand-from-energy-transition-may-top-current-global-supply/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

[2] Cfr. http://www.sigame-cplp.com/noticias/angola-tem-grandes-depositos-de-cobre-e-cobalto.html