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P27


The extractive politics of Africa’s energy transition: A new dawn or more of the same? 
Convenors:
Gerald Arhin (University College London (UCL))
Aidan Barlow (University of Bath)
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Format:
Paper panel
Stream:
Climate emergency and development
Location:
B303
Sessions:
Friday 28 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London
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Short Abstract:

The panel aims to explore the ‘new’ politics that define extraction of critical minerals in Africa. Central to this are questions around power dynamics, continuities, and changes for local communities, and shifting policy directions that accompany mining for the energy transition.

Long Abstract:

The race to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 has intensified. Achieving this green transition requires a rapid depletion of fossil fuels combined with an increased extraction of critical minerals, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. As the most resource abundant continent, Africa’s role in the carbon neutrality agenda is instrumental. Alongside this new predicted boom in mining demand is increased demands by states and communities for greater development opportunities and outputs.

The race to the energy transition opens up a plethora of new questions around extraction’s role in Africa’s political economy and its impacts at both the national and local level. Questions remain over whether this shift to sustainable energy will also contain a shift in sustainable development for mining-orientated economies and communities. Historical outcomes of mining-based development has tended to be poor, leading to concerns that this new rush for minerals will lead to ‘more of the same’.

We welcome abstracts that seek to unpack the concept of ‘just transitions,’ interrogate the political incentives that shape policy adoption and enforcement of minerals that are required for the energy transition. This panel seeks to explore these changes and understand the ‘new’ political instruments that define extraction in resource-rich African countries. Central to this are questions around power dynamics, continuities, and changes for local communities, and shifting policy directions that have accompanied mining for the energy transition. We encourage both single and comparative case-studies that explore these issues to bring grater nuances to our understanding of the energy transition agenda.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 28 June, 2024, -
Session 2 Friday 28 June, 2024, -