Namibia’s green hydrogen project is emerging as a catalyst for closer ties between the European Union (EU) and Namibia, setting the stage for increased trade and investment opportunities between the two entities.
This was emphasized by Nangula Uaandja, the CEO of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board, during the 2023 EU-Namibia Business Forum press conference held on Tuesday.
Uaandja expressed pride and excitement over the partnership with the EU, particularly in the domains of green hydrogen and critical raw materials. She noted that even after Namibia attained middle-income status and witnessed the departure of several partners and aid support, the EU remained a steadfast presence and source of support.
The CEO stressed the importance of diversification and moving away from excessive reliance on raw material exports. She highlighted the potential risks associated with remaining solely focused on exporting raw materials without capitalizing on the entire value chain.
Both the Namibian and EU governments have collaborated on an implementation plan to ensure mutual benefits, with a specific focus on enabling Namibia to fully exploit the value chain.
Gosia Lachut, the EU’s charge d’affaires and deputy head of the mission for the forum, emphasized that the primary focus of the forum is to facilitate trade and investment collaboration between Namibia and EU member states.
The inaugural forum concentrates on green energy and critical raw materials, targeting EU companies engaged in downstream industries and value addition activities related to green hydrogen and critical raw materials.
Lachut underscored the significance of the current trade relations between Namibia and the EU, with the EU representing a significant trade partner, accounting for 21.6% of Namibia’s exports and 13.6% of its imports.
The 2023 EU-Namibia Business Forum, taking place from October 24 to 25 in Brussels, Belgium, operates under the theme ‘Mobilizing Quality Investment and Value Addition for Green Growth in the EU-Namibia Partnership.’
One of its key objectives is to strengthen Namibia’s efforts in attracting European foreign direct investment, with the aim of expanding green hydrogen production capacity and the development of downstream products through joint ventures.
The forum builds on the strategic partnership established between Namibian President Hage Geingob and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in 2022.
This story has been adopted from The Namibia.