Home » US Supports Angola’s Plan to Become a Major Player in Critical Minerals and Energy

US Supports Angola’s Plan to Become a Major Player in Critical Minerals and Energy

Angola Receives Support in Enhancing Regional Power Exports

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe

Angola is receiving robust support from the United States to transform from an oil-dependent economy into a key hub for processing critical minerals and exporting clean energy. This initiative aligns with broader global efforts aimed at enhancing energy security and advancing environmental goals.

Geoffrey Pyatt, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, highlighted this strategic partnership during an online media briefing. He emphasized the shared objectives between Angola and the United States, which include expanding energy access, bolstering energy security, achieving decarbonization, and developing the critical minerals sector. These elements are crucial as both nations seek to reduce carbon footprints and enhance their economic resilience against global energy market fluctuations.

Angola, traditionally one of the top oil producers in Africa, is pivoting towards a more sustainable and diversified economic model. This transformation is critical as it looks to position itself as a leader in the sustainable energy sector within the region. The country’s rich deposits of essential minerals like copper make it a focal point in the US strategy to secure supplies of these resources. This strategy is particularly pertinent as global competition intensifies, notably with China, over access to these valuable commodities.

During a recent visit to Luanda, Angola’s capital, Pyatt met with key Angolan ministers responsible for oil and energy. These meetings focused on discussions around significant infrastructure developments needed for Angola to expand its role as an energy exporter across sub-Saharan Africa. Central to these discussions was the enhancement of transmission and grid interconnection infrastructure, which are vital for supporting the country’s ambitions to supply electricity more broadly across the region.

Further cementing this cooperative effort, the US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has played an important role by facilitating substantial financial support for Angola’s clean energy projects. Notably, Ex-Im approved a $900 million loan for the construction of solar farms by Sun Africa, a US-based developer committed to utilizing non-Chinese components in its projects. This act indicates the strategic intent to reduce dependency on Chinese-manufactured supplies amidst geopolitical tensions.

Additionally, the bank has moved forward with a $1.6 billion project aimed at building mini-grids and clean water projects throughout Angola. This project, currently under congressional review, represents a significant investment in Angola’s infrastructure that will not only support its clean energy goals but also improve basic services for its population.

Beyond energy, Angola is keen on developing its capabilities in processing critical minerals. This is part of a broader strategy to add value to its raw material exports rather than just exporting unprocessed ores. Pyatt mentioned the US-backed Minerals Security Partnership Forum, which facilitates interactions between mineral producers and potential customers. This forum aims to identify financing opportunities from various global entities, including the US and the European Union, to support such developmental projects in Angola.

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