In the wake of a Namibian business delegation, led by President Hage Geingob recently to Dubai, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has criticised the investment opportunities, saying Namibians should be given preference for solar projects at the expense of foreigners.
Recently, a Namibian delegation visited Dubai to seek investment opportunities in various areas such as green hydrogen energy, agricultural green schemes, including the Neckartal dam project, the beef industry, water provision and infrastructure, and the table grapes and dates, which are high-value crops worth multi-million dollars in export earnings, among other fields.
UDF member of parliament Dudu Murorua, in his 2022/23 budget statement, said the Neckartal Dam has the potential to generate 3.5MV of hydropower.
Murorua questioned why the government is not giving the green light to NamPower to start installing turbines with their own financial resources, instead of waiting for the ministry of finance to allocate funds for this purpose.
He said UDF is well aware there are numerous applications from Namibian citizens to develop solar farms at various places in Namibia but the few of them who were approved were granted licenses to develop only up to the capacity of less than 5MW, and the rest of the applicants are still waiting for approval now for the past four years.
“We, as UDF, are very shocked, therefore, to have heard of the wholesale invitation to investors in Dubai to come and invest in solar power development while our own Namibians are struggling to get approval for the very same projects. What MWs are these foreign investors going to be allowed to generate? Surely, they will not be attracted by the 2MW licenses that Namibians are allocated. Why should we, as leaders, operate in ways that marginalised Namibians economically and advantage foreign investors? We pray that this is not happening to align ourselves as silent partners with these foreigners,” he remarked.
UDF believes such projects are very profitable and contribute to the industrial development of Namibia.
Murorua, therefore, urged the government to make funding, through the Development Bank of Namibia, available to Namibians to embark on a large scale of these projects.
“The UDF supports the development of dams and we, therefore, urge the government to put in motion the planning and development of the Sebraskopdam on the Ugab river as well as a dam in the Huab river near De Riet, while at the same time planning for green schemes at the two proposed dam sites be included,” he suggested.