Exploring Namibia’s energy potentia


Implementing a robust local content policy in the oil and gas industry isn’t just about extracting resources; it is about empowering local economies and fostering sustainable growth.

By prioritising local manufacturing and supporting sectors, we not only fuel industrial development but also cultivate a thriving ecosystem of opportunity and prosperity for generations to come.

There has been significant talk surrounding the recent oil discoveries offshore the Namibian coast, sparking both excitement and disbelief. As reality begins to set in, it’s clear that strategic planning and collaboration among stakeholders is essential to maximise the benefits of this nascent sector.

Labor and Upskilling

Human capital is the cornerstone of success in specialised sectors like oil and gas. However, upskilling Namibians to meet the demands of this industry will require concerted efforts and collaboration between the public and private sectors.

At RMB Namibia, we prioritize initiatives that support skill development and ensure that individuals have access to resources for continuous learning and growth. Furthermore, we advocate for the private sector’s involvement in providing financial support for bursaries, low interest student loans, and training programmes.

Government intervention is also crucial in setting policies that mandate the inclusion of Namibians in the workforce and encourage the funding of internship programs by international oil companies (IOCs).

Supporting Services and Infrastructure

The scale of exploration, development, and production in the oil and gas sector necessitates robust supporting services and infrastructure. Successful partnerships between government agencies and private companies highlight the importance of proactive measures in infrastructure development.

However, challenges remain, and it’s crucial to address them effectively to avoid hindering the sector’s growth potential.

As Maggy Shino, Namibian Petroleum Commissioner, rightly points out, waiting for oil to flow is too late. Therefore, it is s imperative for Namibian entrepreneurs and existing businesses to gear up resources to plug into these value chains as soon as possible. Government efforts, such as the drafting of a local content policy, are commendable in ensuring that local industries, once adequately qualified, certified, and set up, benefit directly from the promising oil and gas sector.

Local Content

Namibia could take inspiration from Norway’s successful local content strategy as it makes its own oil and gas exploration decisions. Our country has the potential to guarantee equitable distribution of the advantages of resource exploitation among its people by giving precedence to capacity-building and local participation. It is essential to customize local content rules to Namibia’s particular context and requirements to promote inclusive growth and sustainable development in the industry.

With the oil and gas industry growing, Namibia is poised for a major economic transformation. It is imperative that we move now to fully utilize this potential for the good of all.

At our core, we envision ourselves as facilitators of connection and catalysts for collaboration.

Our aspiration is to bridge the gap between the international industry landscape and the rich tapestry of local businesses. By immersing ourselves in the intricacies of both realms, we gain a profound understanding of how these two worlds can intertwine synergistically, and facilitate meaningful partnerships, propelling mutual growth.

Ensuring the long-term sustainability and inclusivity of the sector requires joint action, ranging from upskilling initiatives to infrastructure development and local content policies. With strategic planning and collaboration, Namibia can pave the way towards a future of shared prosperity and economic growth.

*Angelique Peake is sector head: mining and energy, oil and gas

*Olavi Hangula is coverage manager: mining and energy, oil and gas

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