Namibia needs professional and vocational skills to build hydrogen industry

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Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Wednesday called on Namibia’s higher education academic and vocational training institutions, to understand the journey to building the hydrogen industry value chain in the country.

Namibia will require both professional skills and vocational skills during this process, she said during the second day of the two-day Green Hydrogen Conference underway in Windhoek.

“This understanding will ensure that Namibia is prepared for the development and success of the industry,” she added.

In ensuring Namibia is ready to develop its green hydrogen industry and its human resources capabilities, Government has signed an agreement with the German Government to provide support in this endeavour.

The German Government availed 40 million Euros (N.dollars 680 million) that would be used to develop the Namibia Green Hydrogen Strategy and to fund scholarship programmes. Of this, 30 million Euros (N.dollars 500 million), is being utilised to fund pilot projects in the country.

With regard to the regulatory framework, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila noted Namibia is currently in the process of developing its National Green Hydrogen Strategy.

Given the complexities of developing a synthetics fuel industry, she explained that the strategy will ensure overall policy direction and cohesion between new policies needed for this industry as well as existing legislative frameworks.

Highlighting the socio-economic impact the new green hydrogen sector will bring to Namibia, she indicated the sector will bring thousands of people into the formal economy by providing them and their families with a steady income.

About 18 000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be provided by the industry in the first four years of the project, she said.

“Thousands of MSMEs and bigger businesses upstream and downstream of this new sector will benefit from new income and business opportunities,” she added.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also noted that Namibia has a chance to move away from being a net electricity importer (approximately 70 per cent is being imported) to produce an energy surplus.

“We will be able to provide the new energy the world needs, especially there being a move from fossil fuels towards a decarbonised future,” she said.

She urged conference participants to make use of this opportunity to tap from local and international experience, trusting that the deliberations at the event will help Namibia position itself to benefit from the large investment expected to flow into the sector.

“This is a landmark event on Namibia’s roadmap towards becoming a green hydrogen champion,” she said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency