The European Business Council for Africa

On October 26, 2023, at the Global Gateway Forum taking place in Brussels, the EU signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with partners to develop critical raw materials value chains and boost transport connectivity.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a partnership on critical and strategic raw materials value chains with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Minister of Mines, Antoinette N'samba Kalambayi*, and a strategic partnership on  sustainable raw materials value chains with Zambian Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane.  

As a direct follow up to the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September 2023 and its commitment to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), the EU – represented by Commissioner JuttaUrpilainen –, the United States of America, the DRC, the Republic of Zambia, the Republic of Angola, the African Development Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation signed today a Memorandum of Understanding to support the development of the “Lobito Corridor”. This transport corridor will connect the southern part of the DRC and the north-western part of the Republic of Zambia to regional and global trade markets via the Port of Lobito in Angola.

President von der Leyen said: “Global Gateway provides the frame for ambitious and strategic partnerships driving structural transformation. The new partnerships with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia will support the development of sustainable and resilient value chains of critical raw materials, while creating quality local jobs. The Lobito transport corridor will also be a game changer to boost regional and global trade.”

Five areas of cooperation on critical raw materials

The Global Gateway strategy will play a central role in supporting the actions under the partnership on critical and strategic raw materials value chains with the DRC and the sustainable raw materials partnership with Zambia. The two Memoranda of Understanding signed today establish close cooperation in five areas:

  • Integration of sustainable raw materials value chains;
  • Mobilisation of funding for development of infrastructure;
  • Cooperation to achieve sustainable and responsible production;
  • Cooperation on research and innovation;
  • Capacity building to enforce relevant rules.

Following the signature of the Memoranda of Understanding, respective roadmaps with concrete joint actions to be implemented by 2030 will be developed.

Accelerating the development of the Lobito Corridor 

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today outlines the collaboration between the different partners involved and defines roles and objectives for the development of the Lobito Corridor. The partnership draws from financial resources and technical know-how to accelerate the development of the ‘Lobito Corridor', including investments in digital access and agricultural value chains that will increase regional competitiveness.

Cooperation will focus on three areas: i) transport infrastructure investments; ii) measures to facilitate trade, economic development and transit; and iii) support to related sectors to fuel inclusive and sustainable economic growth and capital investment in the three African countries in the longer term.

Once fully operational, the Corridor will enhance export possibilities for Zambia, Angola and the DRC, boost the circulation of goods, and promote the mobility of citizens.


The partnerships signed today offer benefits to all parties, ensuring on the one hand that DRC's and Zambia's resources serve to underpin sustainable, fair, inclusive and peaceful socioeconomic development, whilst simultaneously enabling the EU to deliver on its ambitious Green Deal, empowering the green and digital transitions in both regions.

The EU needs to secure a sustainable supply of raw materials, especially critical raw materials, as an essential prerequisite for delivering on green and clean energy objectives. As part of the Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, the Commission has already started working to build partnerships with resource-rich third countries, making use of all external policy instruments and respecting its international obligations. The Commission has already established six strategic partnerships on raw materials with Canada (June 2021), Ukraine (July 2021), Kazakhstan and Namibia (November 2022), Argentina (June 2023) and Chile (July 2023) on behalf of the EU. The partnerships allow both sides to advance trade and investments into a secure, sustainable and resilient raw materials value chain, which is key to achieving the transition to climate-neutral and digitalised economies.

The Global Gateway Forum brings together for the first time an assembly of government representatives from the European Union and across the globe, alongside key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, thought leaders, financial institutions, and international organisations to promote global investment in infrastructure -hard and soft – to deliver on the SDGs and sustainable growth and resilience worldwide.

Global Gateway is the EU's positive offer to reduce the worldwide investment disparity and boost smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems.

The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States, and European development finance institutions. Together, we aim to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.


Source: European Commission