Alweendo calls for positive attitude

Martin Endjala

The Minister of Mines and Energy has called for a positive attitude among Namibians during his information sharing sessions in the two Kavango regions.

Tom Alweendo explained that the country is in a very good position to become one of the biggest producers of green hydrogen energy in the world, given its geographical location.

The green Hydrogen project has received worldwide publicity with three European countries such as Germany, Netherlands and Belgium already at the forefront of transitioning to renewable energy to counter fossil fuels, which are regarded as the main contributors to global warming.

About 40 million euros have been given to fund scholarships aimed at training and educating young people to obtain skills in the hydrogen industry, when the project kicks off.

Alweendo encouraged all young people to apply for the scholarships that are said to be about 200.

The minister urged residents of the Kavango regions not to be misled by other people who are already living a life that is free from poverty, unemployment and staying in developed countries, forgetting that they already have the resources that Namibia is hoping to discover.

He said Namibians should look at the new discoveries of its natural resources in a positive light and support government efforts.
Touching on the oil drilling in the country, Alweendo admits that there was a slip up in consulting
communities, but he has been made aware that community leaders have since been consulted.

He stated that the government cannot simply stop the oil drilling due to concerns of environmental
pollution, as these will not be fair to the oil companies RECON and Shell, which have already spent over a billion dollars.

“That is why the government invites investors to do so in the country to drill on their own expenses to see if there is oil variable or not. Exploitation is very expensive that is why we rather have investors come in to do so given that it is too expensive,” Alweendo explained.

On issues of these companies owning the lion’s share, Alweendo emphasized that investors will not invest if government prescribe to them about the ownership structure when the invest money.

The government, he said, rather prefers agreements where it would be benefitting from royalties and levies that the operators will pay, in addition to the dividends Namcor will earn from its 10 shareholders in the resource.
On the question of why Namibia is not importing oil from Angola, Alweendo responded Angola does not export fuel, but sell its crude to be refined elsewhere and imports the finished product just like Namibia. It sells fuel to its people at a cheaper price because it has revenue from the sale of its crude, Alweendo went on.

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