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Namibia to host inaugural Global African Hydrogen Summit

2023-12-12  Staff Reporter

Namibia to host inaugural Global African Hydrogen Summit

As part of Namibia’s COP28 programme, the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF), DMG events and Vasco Da Gama Energy on 06 November 2023 officially launched the inaugural Global African Hydrogen Summit (GAh2S), to be hosted in Windhoek from 3 to 5 September 2024. Themed “From Ambition to Action: Fuelling Africa’s Green Industrial Revolution”, the three-day summit is expected to convene heads of state, government agencies, industry business leaders, project developers, investors, thought leaders and technologists from across Africa and around the globe to drive critical investments and financing into bankable green energy projects. 

Project and investment showcases are to span the hydrogen, renewables, power, infrastructure, transportation and mobility sectors. 

The launch was officiated by the mines and energy minister, Tom Alweendo, who emphasised that the world is facing an unprecedented climate crisis and that the urgency to transition to clean and sustainable energy sources has never been more apparent. Alweendo added that this has become a global imperative that demands collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, and Namibia is poised to play a pivotal role in this global transition agenda. 

Said Alweendo: “Africa’s energy position is changing and it is against this backdrop that as a country we are positioning ourselves as the sustainable energy capital of Africa. This will not only be achieved through the sustainable beneficiation of our primary energy resources, but also through the development of green and blue economic growth and energies, investing in platforms that facilitate dialogue and partnerships, skills and technology transfers, as well as trade between Africa and the rest of the world”. 

He continued “the Global African Hydrogen Summit will be the first platform of its kind to be leveraged by African governments, investors, financiers, scholars and the public in order to unlock additional opportunities for our continent and its partners. It will also provide a platform for the global players in the hydrogen value chain to showcase their projects, plans and technologies to the African continent,” said Alweendo. 

GAh2S will focus on the global role that Africa expects to play in the hydrogen market and will facilitate collaboration and advance dialogue across policy, investment and the emerging hydrogen value chain. The continent has the potential to harmonise its own industrialisation to become a global powerhouse of green manufactured products, whilst applying a localised multiplier effect, stimulating in-continent value including employment creation, ancillary industries, light manufacturing and natural resource refining - uplifting economies across Africa, whilst sustainably bringing an end to energy poverty. 

Clean hydrogen can cover a significant portion of the global energy transition needs, especially in hard-to-abate sectors and industries such as steel manufacturing and aviation. Several African countries—most notably Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia and South Africa—are actively pursuing clean hydrogen production. These countries formed the collective Africa Green Hydrogen Alliance in May 2023 to collaborate on capacity creation, financing, certification, and regulatory and policy agendas of green hydrogen development in Africa. A McKinsey & Company report projects that by 2050, the annual investment required will be more than double to US$160 billion, with the focus of investment likely shifting to an expected 43% of capital expenditure spent on hydrogen. 

With an abundance of solar and wind energy resources as well as the availability of unpopulated land, Namibia has a unique potential to enable low-cost green hydrogen production. The country is currently investing in the research and development of green hydrogen technologies, through engagement of, and support from, foreign institutions and partner countries like Germany. In May 2023, the government of Namibia and Hyphen Hydrogen Energy announced a deal for the next phase of a US$10 billion green hydrogen project that will export green molecules to Europe once complete. 

Long-term offtake agreements are expected in this case. The development of a stable green hydrogen market has the potential to facilitate investment in skills for the domestic workforce, enhance local jobs creation and thus uplift livelihoods. 

As a dynamic and innovative investment platform, the Global African Hydrogen Summit is anticipated to provide a variety of engagement opportunities including an educative masterclass, high level leadership dialogues, a strategic conference, project investment boardroom roundtables, and a technology and innovation hub. 

2023-12-12  Staff Reporter

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