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Towards inclusive and transparent environmental governance for critical minerals & metals in Africa

di Chantelle Moyo

Overview of Critical Raw Minerals and Metals in Sub- Saharan Africa

Globally, humanity is currently contending with a triple planetary crisis: climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. For Africa, climate change has become a risk multiplier that threatens developmental gains and forces a rethink of the business-as-usual model in all sectors. At the core of finding opportunities and addressing the challenges posed by the impacts of climate change is coherent environmental governance. This is also one of the challenges that African countries contend with. Therefore, the rise of the importance of critical minerals and metals for the global energy transition presents an opportunity for African countries to address some of the shortcomings in environmental governance. This article argues that the rise in the importance of critical minerals and metals for the global energy transition presents a possible opportunity for improved environmental governance in the region. Further, the article observes that through export revenue, employment creation, supply chains, infrastructure development and other domestic linkages, these critical metals and minerals could be economic cornerstones of many African countries. However, this can be made possible only through robust governance frameworks. At its core, environmental governance comprises mechanisms, processes, and institutions, through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations, and mediate their differences. Consequently, this paper concludes that the inclusive, transparent regulation of critical minerals and metals potentially improves socio-economic and environmental outcomes in the region. By neglecting these criteria, it is foreseeable, that the new demand for critical minerals and metals will not benefit the broader population but rather perpetuate existing inequalities.

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Chantelle Moyo


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Dr. Kristin Wesemann


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Marianne Graumann

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