Financial TimesFinancial Times

How China is winning the race for Africa’s lithium

By Harry Dempsey and Joseph Cotterill

03 Apr 2023 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

As the global demand for lithium soars, an intense race between Western and Chinese companies to secure Africa's vast resources is under way. FT examines this high-stakes mineral cold war.

The settlement of Uis in a remote part of Namibia seems an unlikely hotspot for a mineral cold war over the future of electric vehicles.

Uis lies in the arid hills of Erongo, a large and sparsely populated province of the west African country. For decades the only signs of its mineral wealth were the gemstones sold to tourists by artisanal miners, who scrabbled a living in the shadow of a disused tin mine.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content