Copper Bottomed

Zambia’s copper can drive global shift to electric cars, Zanaco executive says

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on March 3, 2022 13:52

Tesla’s electric car factory in Gruenheide
The charging plug of a Tesla electric car is pictured on a charging station at the market place in Gruenheide, near Berlin, Germany, December 28, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Zambia needs to scale up copper-wire production as global adoption of electric cars accelerates, Mutisunge Zulu, chief risk officer at Zambia National Commercial Bank (Zanaco), tells The Africa Report.

Copper wire exports would bring in four times more revenue than exporting raw copper, Zulu says in Lusaka. “There is an opportunity which hasn’t been tapped.”

The global shift to electric vehicles (EVs) is opening up new possibilities for Africa’s second-largest copper producer. A pure electric vehicle can contain more than a mile of copper wires. Electric-car charging points also have heavy copper-wire requirements, with solar panels, wind turbines and smart power grids also needing copper wiring and cabling.

Zambia, meanwhile, has been sending ambiguous signals on implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The country has signed and ratified the agreement, but in February, minister of commerce Chipoka Mulenga said the country needs more time before committing to it. The accord as it stands favours countries which already have well-established value-adding

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