Germany will provide Namibia with more support in urban planning in the vicinity of the planned production plants for green hydrogen in Lüderitz and also support the training of specialists who are urgently needed in the renewable energy sector. Both sides agreed to this at the government negotiations on joint development cooperation, which ended last week. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is providing six Million Euros (approximately 121 Million NAD) for this purpose. Overall, the BMZ has committed 51.5 Million Euros, (approximately 104 Billion NAD) for projects in sustainable urban development, vocational training, climate change adaptation, as well as the protection of biodiversity and improved water supply.
Development Minister Svenja Schulze: “Namibia has huge potential for renewable energies and has recognized that it can write a success story in expanding green hydrogen production. We will support Namibia in this. Sustainable urban planning in the vicinity of the future facilities is an important part of our cooperation. Above all, sustainable means involving the local population in the planning. They have to be able to have a say, because it’s about shaping their country. Ultimately, our cooperation with Namibia benefits threefold: climate, local development through new jobs and Germany, which gains a powerful partner for its energy transition.”
Namibia has already set the course for establishing green hydrogen production. The hub of the pilot phase will be the port city of Lüderitz in the southwest of the country. Many new jobs will be created there. But the challenges for the city with around 12,000 inhabitants are also great. Lüderitz already has to prepare itself for a strong influx of industrial workers and employees in the service sector. To ensure that rapid growth does not lead to uncontrolled urban sprawl, it was agreed during the government negotiations to support Lüderitz in climate-neutral and participatory urban planning. Private investors are also to be brought on board in order to speed up the construction of new apartments, schools, water pipes, sanitary facilities, roads and public places. The German- Namibian development cooperation also pays particular attention to the expansion of vocational training in order to meet the growing need for skilled workers, for example in the production of green energy, and to offer young people reliable prospects.
A further focus of German development cooperation with Namibia will in the future be on promoting women and girls, whose interests should be taken into account from the outset of project planning – for example in the case of vocational training opportunities for women on the labour market, women’s access to drinking water or protection against domestic and sexualized violence. As an inclusive city, Lüderitz should offer quality of life for all population groups and become a pioneer in climate-neutral urban development.
Namibia continues to struggle with the consequences of the pandemic. Although the economy is slowly picking up again, unemployment is at around 30 percent, among the youth at around 60
percent. In addition, the competitiveness of many Namibian companies suffers from cumbersome bureaucracy and a lack of skilled workers. BMZ supports Namibia in particularly promising economic areas; for example by providing loans for climate-adapted infrastructure projects in the wind, water and solar sectors. Rural electrification is being promoted with German support. In addition, job descriptions and curricula are being further developed, training workshops set up and teachers and administrative staff in vocational schools receive further training. Prepared in this way, Namibia could not only become an important global supplier of green hydrogen, but also the first climate-neutral country in Africa from which only climate-neutral products are exported, and a model case for fairer economic relations between the global North and South.