Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference   

Eko Convention Center, Lagos, Nigeria
14-16 February 2023

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31 Dec 2022

Awake Africa- Smell The Coffee

The Welding Federation - Africa (WeldFA) Stand: Q26

In the last few weeks there seems to have been increased focus on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and exploitation of her #Colbalt, a key business resource for #Tesla, #iphone, #Samsung and other battery related products. A deliberate demonization of the owners of the companies, especially Elon Musk.

Personally, I think the situation is being sensationalized and politicized rather than being made a wakeup call to DRC and #africa. I would rather therefore that the wakeup call, the challenge be made to DRC and Africa to recalibrate the system, rejig the model which hitherto made resource easily exploited.

Beyond hosting the natural resource, and manual labor (powered by DRC labor vendors) what other roles does DRC play in the supply chain process? In the event that DRC lacks the capacity to navigate the supply chain process ladder, what formidable African content  collaborations  (economic and technical capacities) have DRC made with fellow African counties to ensure that DRC and Africa maximize the benefits of being a host to these resources? Decades down the line, what enhanced  localcontent infrastructures and frameworks have DRC made to promote, modernize operations and increase value content creation from the resources in her possession which local vendors can tap into?

The situation in DRC is not much different across most countries in Africa. The challenges are similar and most locally induced. Africans must therefore stop demonizing the West or chinese and embrace the responsibility for her growth. Change is inevitable, but positive change is a deliberate action, not wishful thinking.

Africa must go beyond resource mentality to dwell more on value content creation and optimization. African content in this context means creating value that will effectively complement the business models of these western ventures. I do not think African content participation in the ladder of #supplychain activities in the battery manufacturing process value chain will necessarily eliminate the profit of these companies. Rather, it might even improve their profit margins because they get to procure semi-finished or finished products which they can be easily plugged into their supply chain process cost effectively. But how sustainable, technically reliable, cost effective will be the manufacturing process in #Africa?

Equipment manufacturing, Boilers, Pressure Vessels, Process Plants and in general materials manufacturing is key to advancing the economic trajectory of any country.

The welding Federation (www.weldfa.org) is Africa’s platform of professionals and professional bodies advancing manufacturing in Africa; complementing global efforts with socioeconomically sustainable solutions that addresses pressing #manufacturing issues across societies in Africa. Building frameworks that equitably addresses ecotechnical challenges of individuals, corporates and governments across African societies.

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