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Letter - Green Hydrogen: Benefit or curse for Namibia 

2022-11-25  Staff Reporter

Letter - Green Hydrogen: Benefit or curse for Namibia 

Josua Ndakwenonghwe 

Besides oil in the Arab world and the conflict in Ukraine, green hydrogen is the most widely talked about topic both in the West, in Africa and specifically in Namibia. It is not surprising that it was top of the agenda at the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) recently held in Egypt. 

This could be a game changer in terms of business and economics, development and the way nations relate to each other as a global village. Namibia has been identified as the hotspot of green hydrogen production with the potential of providing clean energy to the global economy. It is a great initiative, however, with the pouring in of foreign interests and massive concessional loans to kick start the project, a question lingers: Who will benefit the most? 

Namibia, like many developing countries, cannot build these projects from the ground up on its own hence foreign investment cannot be disputed. Not to mention the lack of necessary skills and expertise required to facilitate and run the business. It’s a new development for the country, an untapped market with the potential of being a lucrative industry. 

By now, those with the financial means, influence and close ties, both local and foreign are lining up and applying a foot-in-the- door phenomenon. Over the years, we have observed immense corruption, mismanagement of funds and self-enrichment that came with tremendous weight, triggering catastrophic economic disruption, consequently by the hands of those entrusted to foster the country’s prosperity. 

The emergence of green hydrogen production should be welcomed as an opportunity for economic growth, development of infrastructure, employment opportunities and transferable skills. 

In light of this great initiative, the hope is that Namibia does not become a mockery of its natural resources, falling victim to the trap of neocolonialism and benefiting a few individuals. 

With all the necessary assistance we will need, we should still be at liberty to decide on what and how our resources should be managed for the betterment of our people and Africa in general. Eventually, we need to be self-reliant that is the only way for us to benefit without restriction and conflicting foreign policies. I hope that ordinary Namibian citizens will not be left behind. 

2022-11-25  Staff Reporter

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