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The Stuff That Goes Into Making a Battery For Electric Vehicles is Getting a Lot More Expensive

Prices for the key commodities needed to produce electric vehicle batteries have been rallying all year on stronger demand for new energy vehicles. They spiked in recent days, following the U.S.-led summit on climate change that took place online last week. ...

Demand for EV Battery Materials is Surging Putting Renewed Focus on Where These Strategic Resources Come From and China’s Role in Processing Them

With new electric-powered sports cars like Ford's Mach-E and Audi's e-tron Quattro selling well, demand is surging for the strategic minerals and metals that are used to make the batteries in those vehicles. Sales of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite 

The Road to a Clean Energy Future Runs Through the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The former President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, wrote an impassioned appeal for the world to recognize the important contribution that the DRC will make to the world as it moves into the post-carbon era, largely from the use of DRC-mined ...

DRC Take Note: China’s BYD Says It’ll No Longer Used Cobalt in Its Electric Vehicles

Shenzhen-based electric vehicle giant BYD (aka Build Your Dreams), the world's second-largest EV-maker, recently made a stunning announcement that it will no longer use cobalt in any of its vehicles. Instead, the company is going all-in on LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries in place of ...

After Living in China For 6 Years, This Female Entrepreneur Returns Home to Launch Zimbabwe’s First All-Women-Owned E-Scooter Delivery Business

After spending years living and working in China as an English teacher at an international school. Elizabeth (last name withheld) returned to her native Zimbabwe inspired by China's prowess in logistics and widespread use of electric scooters. Now she's leveraging her ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Commodity Supercycle Blues

The editorial board of Financial Times published an op-ed yesterday announcing a new commodities supercycle. They argued that the global pivot towards climate-friendlier technologies like electric vehicles is pushing demand for metals like cobalt, lithium and palladium (used in catalytic converters.) In addition, the Biden administration’s new commitments to building infrastructure at home (and possibly abroad) will further boost demand for steel, with iron ore futures hitting record prices in Singapore this week.Where FT ...

Kenya to Take Control of Some SGR Responsibilities Ahead of Schedule in an Effort to Reduce Debt Burden

Kenya Railways (KR) and Afristar, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation, have agreed to transfer some of the responsibilities of operating the embattled Standard Gauge Railway years ahead of schedule as part of an effort to reduce the financial burden on ...

Chinese EV Technology Powers New Green Bike and Bus Projects in East Africa

Two projects in East Africa highlight China's growing role in the region's electric transportation sector: KENYA: The Shenzhen Shenling Car Company Limited donated 49 electrified motorbikes for a new pilot project to replace gas-powered boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) in Nairobi. 

Tempers Flare in Nigerian House Hearing on Chinese Loans

Three weeks of steadily building tensions over Chinese loans to Nigeria erupted in a House committee hearing on Monday. Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi and the Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreements, Nicholas Ossai, confronted one another in a series of ...

Nigeria’s Transportation Minister Renews Plea For Legislators to Stop Questioning Loan Agreements With China

Nigerian Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi renewed his appeal to the National Assembly to stop questioning the $5.3 billion Chinese loan to build the Ibadan-Kano standard gauge railway. This is the second time the minister has called on legislators to temporarily stop their investigation into the Chinese loan.  ...

Sovereign Immunity Controversy in Nigeria Sparks Media Panic About Chinese “Debt Traps”

For much of the past week, Nigerian news outlets across the spectrum have published a series of alarming stories claiming that the country's sovereignty is now jeopardized by its various infrastructure loans, specifically on account of the standard sovereign immunity clauses in the loan agreements.
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