FUNDING for Namibia’s green hydrogen project will require hefty financing, all of which will not be able to be sourced locally. For this reason, Namibia’s ambitions will require specific platforms to attract foreign direct investment as well as the utmost transparency while the local government pension fund stays committed to investing in the domestic economy.
“We encourage market makers to deepen the availability of listed instruments by creating platforms for pooling funds in a more transparent and liquid fashion. The green hydrogen ambitions require large sums of money beyond local capital which needs platforms that allow for foreign direct investments and transparent regulation aligned to global best practice,” explained GIPF CEO David Nuyoma.
During an exclusive interview with New Era, Nuyoma explained GIPF, the largest investment fund in the country valued at N$136.2 billion, has specifically committed capital for infrastructure financing up to N$7.34 billion, which constitutes 5% of its assets under management (AUM), that currently stands at around N$146.8 billion.
This money is accessible through listed and unlisted instruments. Said Nuyoma: “Actual investments made are dependent on finding investable assets that meet our minimum commercial return”. Meanwhile, there is still some N$2.8 billion in funds available from GIPF for investment this year. These investments, meant to drive industrialisation and motivate economic growth, include debt financing of more than N$400 million, infrastructure investment of more than N$1.7 billion, private equity of almost N$380 million and real estate investments of about N$330 million.
“Our members are the core business of the GIPF. To this end, the fund pays approximately N$5.4 billion per annum to its members in benefits. This creates a great socio-economic safety net for many Namibians countrywide. The fund’s robust investments in the real economy of Namibia creates further shared value through the socio-economic impact of its unlisted investments. To this end, our funding mandates in land servicing and housing; renewable energy, pharmaceutical and health services; and agriculture continue to make a real difference in enhancing the standards of living for our members and Namibians in general,” said Nuyoma.
The GIPF owns shares in over 700 companies worldwide, as a regulated pension fund, it is required to invest a minimum of 45% in Namibia as per the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority’s (Namfisa) Regulation 13. During the last three years, GIPF has gradually moved to ensure compliance with this directive and has actively invested in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) either directly or through asset managers. Some of the IPO investments include N$16 million in Bank Windhoek’s Green Bond, N$200 million in Agribank, N$20 million in First National Bank, N$97 million in Paratus Namibia and N$258 million in Standard Bank Namibia.
In terms of unlisted investments, during the last three years, GIPF has invested more than N$1.3 billion in numerous local endeavours including agri-business, education, funeral services, health services, land servicing, manufacturing, tourism and renewable energy. Meanwhile, Nuyoma noted that investments made during the last three years to improve Namibia’s industrial capacity include manufacturing investments of close to N$15 million, renewable energy investments of almost half a billion and water engineering investments of over N$9 million.
Nuyoma further added that GIPF’s investments specifically support the social progression and infrastructure pillars in the Harambee Prosperity Plan II. In this regard, GIPF has invested over N$202 million in land servicing in numerous towns throughout the country as well as some N$1.4 billion in affordable housing in most regions.