Namibia mourns leader who put country on energy map

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Namibian president Hage Geingob died in Windhoek on Sunday on the age of 82, weeks after saying that he had been identified with most cancers.

Geingob’s vice-president, Nangolo Mbumba – additionally aged 82 – was instantly sworn-in because the nation’s new chief. He’ll serve the final 12 months of Geingob’s time period in workplace, however is not going to stand in elections scheduled for November.

Mbumba praised Geingob for his function in constructing the nation’s establishments and entrenching stability. “It’s poignant and reassuring to notice that in the present day, even on this time of loss, our nation stays calm and secure,” the brand new president mentioned at his inauguration ceremony.

Each his supporters and opponents agreed that Geingob was considered one of Namibia’s most necessary political personalities of latest many years, serving to to forge the southern African nation’s identification.

Throughout the lengthy wrestle in opposition to apartheid South Africa’s occupation of Namibia, Geingob spent some 27 years in exile. From 1975 till 1989, he was primarily based in Lusaka as director of a UN-backed academic physique, the United Nations Institute for Namibia, which helped educated Namibians for roles in a future post-liberation authorities.

Geingob then performed a key function in drafting the nation’s structure within the run-up to independence in 1990, and was appointed as prime minister underneath President Sam Nujoma. He served on this function for 15 years in complete throughout two separate spells. In 2015, he received the presidency with 87% of the vote and was re-elected 5 years later, albeit with a lowered majority.

Funding report

Geingob’s presidency shall be remembered fondly by most international buyers, particularly within the power sector. Firms in varied energy-related industries have flocked to Namibia in recent times. In addition to its wealth of pure assets, the political stability overseen by Geingob has been a significant attraction.

Among the world’s largest oil and gasoline firms have been persuaded to hold out exploratory drilling within the waters off Namibia throughout Geingob’s presidency. In 2022, Shell and Complete each reported large oil discoveries. Whereas there’ll inevitably be a span of a number of years a minimum of between discovering oil and truly starting manufacturing, Namibia now has a sensible alternative to grow to be a globally vital hydrocarbons participant.

In handing a lifetime achievement award to Geingob final September, the African Power Chamber emphasised that the president had been an necessary issue within the nation’s profitable efforts to unlock its potential. “Below Geingob’s management, Namibia has earned a fame for good governance, which has contributed to continued funding and exploration because the 2022 discoveries,” it mentioned in a press release.

The AEC additional famous that Geingob had averted lumbering buyers with pink tape or partaking in hostile negotiating ways. “Geingob has taken a proactive strategy to avoiding these hindrances, tremendously rising the chance of constructive outcomes for his nation and his individuals,” it mentioned.

In addition to oil and gasoline, Namibia has additionally come to be seen as some of the promising places in Africa for producing ‘inexperienced hydrogen’, through which photo voltaic power is used to energy the method of electrolysis that separates hydrogen from oxygen. Inexperienced hydrogen can doubtlessly change fossil fuels in varied industrial functions.

Since 2021, an enormous inexperienced hydrogen scheme spearheaded by Hyphen Hydrogen Power – an organization primarily based in Namibia however largely owned by German buyers – has begun to take form. The $10bn mission shall be in-built a number of levels, with an eventual intention of manufacturing 350,000 tonnes of inexperienced hydrogen yearly from a 3-gigawatt electrolyser facility.

A number of European nations have taken word, repeatedly dispatching envoys to barter cooperation agreements with Namibia within the hope of securing offtake offers. European Fee President Ursula von der Layen managed to safe a strategic partnership with Namibia on sustainable uncooked supplies worth chains and renewable hydrogen. Final October, she famous that “Namibia is turning into a front-runner within the inexperienced hydrogen area”.

Geingob’s successors could have the duty of guaranteeing that plans are transformed into concrete developments. In doing so, they are going to be counting on the foundations established by the late president.

Elections in November

Elections shall be held in November as deliberate, with the brand new president as a result of take workplace in March 2025. The ruling SWAPO get together has already chosen Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who was deputy prime minister till Geingob’s loss of life however now replaces Mbumba as vice-president, as its candidate.

Given SWAPO’s political dominance – it has simply received each presidential and parliamentary election since independence – Nandi-Ndaitwah is the clear favorite to safe victory in November and grow to be Namibia’s first feminine president.


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