EU-Namibia business forum to focus on GH2 and critical raw materials

Martin Endjala

The upcoming European Union (EU) -Namibia business forum set to take place on the 24-25 October 2023 in Brussels, Belgium will focus on the Green Hydrogen and Sustainable Critical Raw Materials value chains.

Hosted under the theme “Mobilising Quality Investment and Value Addition for Green Growth in the EU-Namibia Partnership”. The highly anticipated two-day forum aims to foster dialogue and collaboration as well as to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the Namibian Government, businesses and organisations.

The forum is jointly organised by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) and the EU.

According to Gosia Lachut, Chargé d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Namibia, the objective of the partnership is to promote economic growth and the creation of job opportunities through sustainable and inclusive green growth transition.

She said a key objective of the Green Hydrogen and Critical Raw Materials business forum is to support Namibia’s investment promotion efforts to attract European Financial Development Investment.

Similarly, it is their hope, that this will facilitate joint ventures to expand green hydrogen production capacity and the development of downstream products like synthetic fuels, green ammonia and green steel as well as to develop a local extractive, refining and recycling industry for raw materials in Namibia.

“The 2023 EU-Namibia Business Forum is timely, as it builds upon the Memorandum of Understanding signed between President Hage Geingob and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in 2022, establishing a strategic partnership between the EU and Namibia to create and strengthen GH2 and sustainable critical raw materials value chains in Namibia.

Both parties furthermore committed to developing an operational Roadmap for 2023-2024 with concrete actions, “said Lachut.

Lachut said that the EU and Namibia have a long-standing and solid partnership built on political dialogue, development cooperation and economic cooperation while commending the Namibian Government and the visionary leadership of President Geingob in their efforts to develop the renewable energy sector.

Lachut emphasised that as Namibia and the EU celebrate 33 years of partnership this year, the forum comes at the right time to further promote sustainable development and environmental stewardship while enhancing economic ties between the EU and Namibia.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Promotion Investment and Development Board Nangula Uaandja, noted that the business forum is a testament to the strong economic diplomacy between Namibia and the EU.

Moreover, she said it is further demonstrated by the partnership signed at COP27 last year, through which Namibia became the first African nation to establish a strategic partnership with the EU on critical raw materials and the green hydrogen value chain.

“We know that in these areas the potential risk exists that a small country like Namibia can continue to just provide raw materials and fail to benefit from the entire value chain.

The governments have put in place an implementation plan aimed at ensuring mutual benefits and specifically capacitation of Namibia to play a role and reap real benefits along the value chain,” said Uaandja.

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