That Africa is the most mineral-rich continent in the world has been evident from the time the Malian King Mansa Musa made a pilgrimage to Mecca in the 14th century, taking along so much gold that the price of the metal fell worldwide. This helped spur European adventurers, who sought ways of circumventing Arab middlemen, as they sought direct access to Africa’s riches.

The situation hasn’t changed much as Africa remains the repository of the world’s major minerals, ranging from traditionals such as gold, silver, copper and phosphates to newer ones such as cobalt, coltan and rare earths that are vital to some of the latest technological advances in mobile phones and battery technology. Africa is so rich in mineral resources that it’s either first or second in the production of minerals including gold, bauxite, cobalt, diamond, platinum, phosphate and zirconium.

Mineral production and export remains the mainstay of the economies of many African countries. For instance, the Democratic Republic of Congo is estimated to have more than $20 trillion worth of unexploited mineral reserves, including the largest reserves of coltan, and significant quantities cobalt and lithium.

Apart from hydrocarbons, which dominate the economies of Algeria, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Nigeria, solid minerals are the main drivers of the economies of countries such as Botswana, the two Congos, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Mali, Mauritania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Investing in these countries come with a range of environmental, legal and regulatory requirements, that could be daunting unless guided by the type of expertise provided by the team at Afrika Insights. The expertise helps the investor to navigate the investment climate effectively, to guard against costly political risks that may not be obvious to newcomers as well as old Africa hands