Chinese companies were awarded licenses in the third quarter that could lead to $2.79 billion of investment in Zimbabwe, mostly in mining and energy as the government pushes to develop some of Africa’s biggest lithium deposits and to end power outages, reports Caixin. The planned investment, a tenfold increase on the $271 million pledged in the same period last year, dwarfs that of China’s closest rival, the United Arab Emirates, which won licenses to invest $498.5 million. The total value of investment licenses awarded was $3.41 billion.
Chinese applications “were the most by number and investment value with mining being their most preferred sector followed by the manufacturing sector,” the Zimbabwe Development Agency, the state-owned unit responsible for securing investment, said Wednesday in a report. China accounted for more than two-thirds of the 180 applications.
Chinese companies have been buying lithium mines, which supply a key component for the batteries used in electric vehicles. They are also involved in revamping and building power plants in the country. Of the planned investment, $2.8 billion is slated for energy projects and $411 million for mining.