Oil discovery and Green Hydrogen to propel Namibia growth

THE discovery of oil in Namibia and the green hydrogen has renewed interest in the post-Covid-19 recovery in Namibia, the presidency has said.

In recent months, Namibia has been the focus of increased attention from the head of state and government, including business leaders in the global investment community.

The renewed interest, which is a consequences of the post-Covid-19 recovery plan, which President Hage  Geingob has been championing at home and abroad comes at a crucial time when Namibia has potentially discovered oil and has positioned itself at the center of the global energy transition through Green Hydrogen.

Specifically, with Green Hydrogen identified by Government as an important engine of growth in light of the enormous transformational potential for the Namibian economy and the number of jobs to be created, president Geingob has initiated a national dialogue with leaders of political parties, which will be followed by feedback sessions with communities in the southern part of Namibia.

In that vein, president Geingob commenced on 07 March 2022 with consultations with the leaders of the majority of political parties in the National Assembly, including the South West Africa National Union (SWANU), the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), THE All-Peoples Party (APP), Republic Party (RP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP).

During the consultations, president Geingob emphasised the need for dialogue and urged leaders to put their political differences aside when the national interest is at stake and when projects hold developmental benefits for ordinary Namibians.

The global attention that the country has been receiving is such that Namibia has assumed a prominent role at various global forums, including COP26 and most recently the European Union-Africa Union Summit, which was held in Brussels, Belgium during the month of February 2022.

During these events, president Geingob has been widely solicited by the global leaders and has shared the stage with global leaders.

In November 2021, president Geingob as part of the selected leaders pledge at COP

26 took center-stage alongside presidents Joe Biden of the US, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Boris Johnson of Britain and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

In February 2022, Geingob completed an intensive sequence of high-level meetings with heads of state and Government in the European Union during which Namibia featured prominently as one of the champion countries that can contribute meaningfully to decarbonisation through Green Hydrogen.

In the light of the above, Geingob remarked that Namibia must draw lessons from the errors of the past where projects such as the Epupa Hydropower Project in the 1990’s could not be developed because of lack of consensus with local communities.

“The Kunene region would have been a completely transformed region today, with clinics, jobs and infrastructure had we proceeded with that investment in a hydropower project,” said Geingob.

In that vein, Geingob said that Green Hydrogen as frontier of economic growth and post-Covid-19 economic recovery should be embraced by Namibians as an investment in the future of the country.

The leaders of the political parties were taken through detailed presentations by the Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Obed Kandjoze and the economic advisor to the president, James Mnyupe about the processes that government had elaborated to fast track the benefits of this nascent industry for ordinary Namibians.

The president has said that he has an open-door policy and inclusive approach, as he assured leaders of the political parties that information sessions will continue, with a delegation of the Green Hydrogen council travelling to the //Kharas region to share details with the residents of the region.