Japan is making efforts to strengthen bilateral ties with several mineral-producing nations in Africa to create new supply chains and eliminate bottlenecks.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, began a five-country African tour on August 6, with a host of deals expected to be signed in the coming days.
During his visit, Minister Nishimura is traveling to Namibia where he is set to issue a proposal for a Rare Earth Industry Master Plan. In Angola, Minister Nishimura is expected to sign a joint agreement with his Angolan counterpart, Minister of Economy and Planning, Mário Caetano João, aimed at advancing cooperation in the fields of trade and investment and supporting opportunities for Angolan and Japanese companies within both markets.
Minister Nishimura will also be traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in an effort to secure new supplies of cobalt, copper and lithium. The DRC currently produces 70% of the world’s cobalt and 10% of the world’s copper; Minister Nishimura plans to tap into this resource pool, while encouraging Japanese companies such as the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) to conduct exploration for copper and lithium.
He will also be traveling to mineral-rich Zambia to propose JOGMEC’s exploration of minerals such as copper and nickel in the southern African country. These potential investment opportunities will be further explored in a dedicated Japan-Zambia roundtable discussion, spearheaded by a delegation of Japanese firms.
In addition to formalizing trade deals with several African countries, the Minister’s multi-nation tour will push for Japanese companies to invest in Africa. The Japanese government has already begun to incentivize Japanese investors and companies to acquire, develop and invest in mines across the continent, with a view to diversifying global supply chains through technical and capital cooperation.
Nucleus Mining Logistics has extensive operations in sub-Saharan Africa. We are happy to see increased interest and investment in the space.