Namibia fully committed to a transparent partnership with the EU

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

President Hage Geingob has affirmed Namibia’s commitment to fostering a transparent partnership with the European Union (EU) in the transition to cleaner energy sources, with a significant emphasis on green hydrogen and critical raw materials.

The declaration was made during Geingob’s address at the EU-Namibia Green Hydrogen and Critical Raw Materials Business Forum under the theme, “Mobilizing Quality Investment and Value Addition for Green Growth in the EU-Namibia Partnership in Brussels, Belgium this week.

“The collaboration with the EU is aligned with our National Development Plans, including Vision 2030, our National Industrial Policy, Growth at Home Strategy, the SADC Protocol on Industry and the Mineral Beneficiation Strategy for Namibia. Namibia is committed to a partnership with business that is anchored in the rule of law and our practice of effective governance, buttressed by robust processes, systems and institutions,” he said.

Geingob expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, highlighting the significance of adding value to mineral resources within Namibia.

Namibia and the EU have shared a strong partnership spanning over 33 years, with the EU accounting for a substantial portion of Namibia’s exports and imports.

The Namibian President said the country is making a shift in its approach, moving from exporting raw minerals to focusing on processing, refining, recovery and recycling.

He stressed Namibia’s commitment to a greener future, which is underpinned by its vast mineral resources, notably lithium and rare earth elements.

“Among us, we have Andrada Mining which is looking to exploit deposits of Lithium and associated minerals that could well be more than 138 million tonnes. We also have Broadmind Mining with a maiden inferred resource of 570 million tonnes of light rare earths,” he mentioned.

As part of this strategic partnership, Namibia is poised to be a significant supplier of clean hydrogen to the European Union, with an estimated 20 million tons of clean hydrogen required by 2030. This strategic move is in line with Namibia’s ambitious Harambee Prosperity Plan II (HPPII) and its emphasis on renewable hydrogen and ammonia as key enablers for post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

The International Energy Agency estimates that to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there will be a staggering 400 percent increase in demand for these critical minerals by the end of this decade. Notably, an electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional vehicle, while an offshore wind plant demands 13 times more mineral resources than a similarly sized gas-fired plant.

Namibian Ambassador to Belgium Mekondjo Kaapanda-Girnus, also expressed her views on the partnership, stating that.

“Through this MOU, we can really generate significant opportunities for Namibia and for the EU. The EU is the second most important trading partner we have and is a key market for our exports. Over the last two years, we have been adding a new dimension to our relations and we have been working together on a new partnership. I think this new partnership will allow us to seize new opportunities, strengthen our economic cooperation, and also contribute towards international climate action and at the same time promote sustainable development,” she elaborated.

She emphasised the presence of outstanding entrepreneurs in Namibia, who would require the support of both Namibia and the EU to participate at a global level.

“We have many outstanding entrepreneurs with us today, the likes of business people and companies who are ready to build transformative industries, deploy new technologies, create job opportunities, and offer innovative solutions to some of the major challenges, especially those related to adjusting energy transitions and economic development.

These entrepreneurs need our support. They need networking opportunities, they need affordable capital, a skilled labour force, access to technology, and fair rules and regulations that will allow them to compete on the global market,” she said.

The Namibia-EU partnership aims to invest in new industries within Namibia, resulting in a thriving secondary sector.

Over 100 businesses from Namibia and the EU have come together to explore these opportunities. The production and export of renewable hydrogen and its derivatives, combined with energy efficiency, electrification, and the direct use of renewable energy, will enhance energy security, diversify the economy, attract foreign investments, and create jobs.

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