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Alweendo calls for African collaboration on green hydrogen and resource-led prosperity

Alweendo calls for African collaboration on green hydrogen and resource-led prosperity

Staff Reporter

THE Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, has urged African countries to collaborate to maximise the potential of green hydrogen and the continent’s natural resource endowment to ensure long-lasting prosperity and boost intra-African trade.

The minister made these remarks at the 2024 World Hydrogen Summit, taking place in Rotterdam, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Alweendo highlighted the scarcity of minerals necessary for cleaner industries, emphasising that critical minerals such as rare earth elements, lithium, copper, and cobalt are found in only a few countries, many of which are in Africa.

He pointed out that more than 95% of the capacity to process these elements into key components like magnets and battery precursors is concentrated in just two countries, creating a fragile supply chain that requires careful and targeted economic diplomacy.

“As Africans, we should realise that when coupled with green hydrogen, this natural resource endowment presents a generational opportunity for us to deliver long-lasting prosperity for our people and boost intra-African trade. Green industrialisation is indeed the opportunity that binds domestic, regional, and global agendas,” Alweendo said.

He emphasised that green industrialisation offers a clear pathway towards thriving manufacturing and service sectors, higher-skill industries, regional integration, and a knowledge-based economy.

“It is critical that we work in concert with our regional neighbours to deliver a new global gateway that creates modern trade and low-carbon industrial opportunities, placing the region at the centre of a rapidly greening world,” Alweendo said.

He highlighted green hydrogen in particular as a key cornerstone in the development agendas of many African nations, adding that the African Green Hydrogen Alliance now has ten members.

“We are honoured to be in this position to learn from fellow African peers. As a continent, we no longer have to be timid about leading a discourse that is complex and nuanced. On the contrary, we have an important role to play in telling our unique narrative on this versatile molecule,” Alweendo added.

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