UK and Zambia agree on clean energy and critical minerals deals

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Britain said it has reached agreements with Zambia on clean energy and critical minerals, as reported by Reuters. The deals were announced by foreign minister James Cleverly at the end of his four-day visit to Africa on Thursday.

Cleverly used his trip, which came shortly after a coup in Niger, to try to increase Britain’s influence in Africa. He welcomed regional talks on the Niger crisis and announced support for Nigeria’s agriculture sector.

The UK and Zambia agreed on a Green Growth Compact, aimed at generating £2.5 billion ($3.17 billion) of British private sector investment in Zambia’s mining, minerals, and renewable energy sectors. Additionally, £500 million of government-backed investments will go into these areas.

Zambia, a major copper producer with deposits of cobalt, manganese, and nickel, plays a significant role in the critical minerals market. Last year, Britain highlighted the need to diversify its supply chains in a critical mineral strategy.

Cleverly will visit a copper mine in Zambia and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on critical minerals. Britain said this would “lay the foundation for further UK support for the responsible mining of copper, cobalt and other metals essential to the global clean energy transition.”

Britain has also agreed to work more closely on critical minerals with countries like the United States, Japan, Australia, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia.

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