Namibia needs to upscale its artisan skills: Kasete

Martin Endjala

Chambers of Mines President, Zebra Kasete, has implored Government and industry players to reinvigorate artisan training programmes in the country to upscale skills to align them with the demands of emerging industries such as oil and gas and green energy.

He said artisans in Namibia have good entry skills, but lack expertise in new industries which could be a serious concern if not addressed immediately.

Kasete made this call on Wednesday at the official opening of the 10th Mining Expo in Windhoek under the theme “Namibia’s Role in the Sustainable Supply of Minerals to Support the Global Energy Transition.”

He said with abundant untapped resources of critical minerals such as uranium, oil and gas, and green hydrogen, Namibia is poised to take centre stage in supporting the global energy transition, paving the way for new economic opportunities within the mining sector to further underpin the Namibian economy.

Kasete is of the opinion that, if Artisans do not scale up their skills, they won’t be able to cope with the intense pressure of the emerging industry’s demands, particularly when it comes to welding amongst others.

“Where we are today, this will become a critical issue, we are competing with the same resources especially when we now have oil and gas coming and green hydrogen, the only technical skills that we have are already in the mining industry.

For us to be able to move forward as a country, we need to come together as an industry, the academia, the institution of high learning as well as the government to make sure that we produce the right skills that are required for the future, “expressed Kasete.

He said currently Namibia produce Artisan, particularly welders, a profession he says is easily transferable. Adding that they can work anywhere in the world, but unfortunately, Namibia does not have high-quality welders.

The current welders Kasete said, only do some industrial basic welding, however, as a country that wants to progress especially in green hydrogen, and in terms of logistics such as wind turbines needs high-tech welders.

“We need to move to the next level of welding, for us to be able to do those high-tech requirements and we also need special skills, people who are required to do the safety approval for that market. So as a country, the level of what we have of our artisan is good for entry work, but where we want to move into in terms of green hydrogen and oil and gas we need to do that.

“The Chamber of Mines is already at work to see how it can collaborate with other industry role players to get to that level, so it is something that I would urge how we can seriously do to have that capacity, those artisans who are unemployed in the streets, we need to take them and capacitate them to the next level,” he advised.

Kasete is adamant that tapping into these areas amongst others, will not only help improve skills but will enable Namibia to deliver quality products on the global stage as the world eyes Namibia’s promising green energy.

This year’s event aims to shed light on Namibia’s significant contribution to the global shift towards cleaner energy sources.

The global energy transition from fossil fuels Kasete said, will not happen without mining and it will not be an overnight process.

The industry spent N$ 16.82 billion on local procurement in 2022, translating into 44.3 percent of the total industry turnover of N$ 38 billion in the same year.

Kasete revealed that 164 exhibitors occupied 268 booths this year, as compared to 103 exhibitors with 163 booths during the previous event in 2022, which is an increase of 59.2 percent in exhibitors and 64.4 percent in booth uptake.

Related Posts