Geingob receives historic award at COP 28

Niël Terblanché

President Hage Geingob was honoured as the recipient of the highly acclaimed African Presidential Green Infrastructure Investment Statesman of the Year during a momentous ceremony held at COP 28 in Dubai.

President Geingob’s remarkable contributions to the field of Green Infrastructure Investment have earned him this distinguished recognition, making him only the second recipient of the award since its inception in 2022.

The award was presented to President Geingob during the COP28 Africa Investment Earthshot Leaders’ Summit and NDC Investment Award.

The gathering celebrated excellence in environmental leadership and sustainable development.

The event was organized by Africa Investor (AI) and sponsored by the Africa Green Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Before receiving the prestigious accolade, President Geingob delivered an address at the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, where he engaged with participants on critical issues related to climate change and sustainable development.

In his speech, he posed a rhetorical question, highlighting Namibia’s dedication to the goals of Agenda 2063.

“Imagine being in a country that has discovered large quantities of oil. Yet, the same country is making huge investments in green hydrogen as part of its efforts to fight climate change. What would you do?” he asked of the participants.

He said that Namibia’s alignment with Agenda 2063, known as “The Africa We Want,” accentuates the nation’s commitment to collective action in addressing climate change and ensuring sustainable development across the continent.

President Geingob stressed the fundamental role renewable energy will play in realizing Agenda 2063’s ambitions.

In his address, he outlined Namibia’s vision of becoming a hub for renewable energy innovation, driving green industrialization that creates jobs, fosters economic development, and ensures energy access for all.

“The country is currently spearheading nine different green hydrogen projects that aim to produce clean molecules using renewable energy, ultimately decarbonizing sectors such as transport and agriculture while fostering new industries,” he said.

Namibia’s ambitious plan entails deploying more than ten gigawatts of renewables over the next two decades, a significant leap from its current generation capacity.

The President said that Namibia also possesses valuable lithium and rare earth elements, which are essential for the energy transition, and is exploring ways to manufacture battery precursors domestically while harnessing additional renewable energy sources.

“The realization of this vision will require substantial infrastructure development, including ports, roads, railways, transmission lines, and pipelines for water and hydrogen,” he said.

President Geingob reiterated that green industrialization not only serves as an economic imperative but also paves the way for environmental sustainability and social equity.

“Namibia extends an open invitation to collaborate, share knowledge, and form partnerships to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy technologies throughout the African continent,” he said.

President Geingob’s receipt of the African Presidential Green Infrastructure Investment Statesman of the Year Award stands as a testament to Namibia’s unwavering commitment to sustainable development and green innovation.

“Namibia stands ready to lead the way and inspire collective efforts in the pursuit of a greener, more sustainable Africa,” he said.

Another honour was bestowed on President Geingob when he was requested to officially christen the Fortescue Green Pioneer, the world’s first vessel to be powered by Green Ammonia, at COP28.

Green Ammonia, a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels, is set to revolutionize the global shipping industry and play a substantial role in decarbonisation efforts to combat climate change.

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