ERG supports global transition towards green energy through its partnership with the DRC-Africa Business Forum 2021
Eurasian Resources Group (“ERG” or “The Group”), a leading diversified natural resources group headquartered in Luxembourg, has become a platinum partner of the DRC-Africa Business Forum 2021, which took place on 24-25 November 2021. The central objective of the Forum, which brought together African governments, the private sector, and entrepreneurs, alongside development partners and institutional investors, was to promote dialogue, identify opportunities and facilitate investments to increase Africa's share in the value chain for batteries, electric vehicles and renewable energy.
The Forum was held in a hybrid format, both in Kinshasa and online, and was convened by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) through the Ministry of Industry together with the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Afreximbank, the African Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the African Legal Support Facility and the UN Global Compact. It was officially opened in a speech by the Forum’s patron, President of the DRC, HE Mr. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo.
The global transition towards green energy holds significant opportunities for Africa and for the DRC due to its plentiful natural resources, including strategic minerals used in the production of electric vehicles. ERG is not only contributing to the development of the DRC’s role in the energy transition through the large-scale industrial production of cobalt and copper, but is also focussed on creating a long-term, sustainable battery value chain through its involvement in initiatives such as the Global Battery Alliance, the Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities and Re|Source among others.
Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of ERG, said: “ERG is proud to be a platinum partner of the DRC-Africa Business Forum 2021, a crucial initiative for catalysing both multi-stakeholder collaboration and investment in Africa, which is home to key materials for the battery industry. The Forum is not only important for the African continent, but also for the global battery sector, and by extension, the green energy transition. Creating the necessary conditions and frameworks for the development of the sustainable global battery chain has been a focus for ERG for many years, and we are pleased to see collaborative engagement in this matter from leaders in business and government and from international organisations present at the Forum. We very much welcome the continued efforts of the DRC government in facilitating Africa's contribution to a successful clean energy transition and increasing its importance in the value chain of batteries, electric vehicles and renewable energy.”
ERG is a founding member of the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), a multi-stakeholder initiative to establish a sustainable battery value chain by 2030. The GBA has more than 70 members, including leading international organisations, businesses, NGOs, academics and governments, and is currently developing a Battery Passport – a global solution for sharing key information about a battery’s ESG impact and lifecycle, enabling better environmental, social and human rights performance alongside battery life extension and recycling.
ERG became one of the first organisations to support the Fund for the Prevention of Child Labour in Mining Communities – A Global Battery Alliance Collaboration, which seeks to address the issue of child labour in DRC’s cobalt mines by strengthening communities and addressing the root causes of the problem. The Fund is administered and programmed by UNICEF and implemented in cooperation with government entities and civil society organisations with a local presence in the DRC. Through a multi-sectoral package of interventions, the projects supported by the Fund will contribute towards alleviating poverty (SDG 1 No Poverty), strengthen social services for children, support responsible production and consumption (SDG 12) and help get children out of mines (SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth). Its activities are focused on mining communities in DRC’s copper belt across six health zones with an initial target of US$21 million in 2021-2023.
ERG plays a pioneering role in promoting a sustainable value chain for battery materials through Re|Source, an industry-wide blockchain solution that ERG is developing along with CMOC, Glencore, Tesla and Umicore. The partnership is currently working on a pilot cobalt tracking project that will span the entire value chain, tracing cobalt from the mine to the electric vehicle.