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Democratic Republic of Congo catches the imagination of those who see its potential to drive Africa’s future through its mineral wealth, resourceful population and the Inga Falls hydroelectric resource. But grandiose visions tend to founder on rocky realities in this vast, extravagantly diverse country, where power politics and the global commodities price crash – which in early May forced the government to cut 2016 spending by some 22% – have deeply unsettled much of what remains of international business. In May, major investor Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Cobalt announced it was selling up.

DR Congo

The global energy transition is having profound impacts on natural resource producers, from the oil majors who are morphing into energy providers, to mining companies whose priorities are shifting as electric vehicles (EVs), battery storage and other new technologies take hold, and African governments and non-state actors who might profit from these changes but could also find themselves embroiled in new resource wars.