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African leaders head to Washington for AIRC Summit on sustainable resources extraction in Africa

By Elie Mutangana

Africa’s critical role in supplying the minerals powering the global transition to clean energy takes centre stage when government officials, industry titans, investors and other influential figures convene in Washington, D.C. next month for the Africa Investment Risk and Compliance (AIRC) Summit.

Hosted by the EBII Group public benefit corporation, the fourth annual AIRC Summit will be held on June 27-28 at the Ronald Reagan Building. The theme for this year’s premier thought leadership event is “Sustainable Resource Extraction in a Changing Climate: Compliance, Strategies, and Innovations.”

“With surging demand for lithium, cobalt, and other critical minerals required for renewable energy technologies, the world is looking to Africa’s vast extractive resources,” said Adjoa Adjei-Twum, President and CEO of EBII Group. “At the same time, environmental protection and sustainable development benefiting local communities must be prioritised alongside responsible resource management.”

“The AIRC Summit provides a unique opportunity to bring together key stakeholders from across Africa and the globe to address these vital issues,” Adjei-Twum added. “We’ll facilitate substantive dialogue, prospective deal-making, and cross-border collaboration to unlock investment while upholding robust compliance standards and ESG principles.”

This year’s high-level program features panel discussions and keynote addresses examining the investment climate for Africa’s extractive industries. Topics include mapping the continent’s resource wealth, navigating regulatory frameworks, mitigating supply chain corruption risks, leveraging AI for compliance, engaging the African diaspora, and more.

Invited speakers include His Excellency H.E. Dr. Julius Maada Wonie Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Aliko Dangote GCON, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the Dangote Group, along with a host of African Ambassadors to the United States of America and US senators. The summit will equally host Chair Reta Jo Lewis, President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank and other chairpersons and CEOs from banking and financial corporations like World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, and leading institutional investors.

“Beyond sharing valuable insights, the AIRC Summit provides an unmatched networking platform,” Adjei-Twum noted. “Delegates can make connections at the highest levels – engaging directly with heads of state, resources ministers, industry executives, financiers and other influential decision-makers shaping policies and projects across Africa.”

Since its inception in 2020, the AIRC Summit has established itself as a leading international forum, attracting participation from prominent African presidents and business leaders. This year’s edition follows recent studies projecting global demand for minerals like graphite, lithium and cobalt increasing nearly 500% by 2050 to meet clean energy needs.

The African continent is well-positioned, hosting not only the largest deposit of lithium but also 30% of the world’s mineral reserves, along with 8% of natural gas and 12% of oil reserves. However, sustainable development and robust compliance are critical to ensure these extractive resources drive economic growth while protecting the environment and uplifting local populations.

“Africa must play a leading role in this energy transition, and the AIRC Summit facilitates the vital collaboration required with our international partners,” Adjei-Twum said. “We look forward to welcoming leaders, investors and other stakeholders united in the shared mission of sustainable resource extraction that empowers communities across the continent.”

Jean Claude Kubwimana

Jean Claude Kubwimana

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