Namibian civil society engages Rainer Baake & James Mnyupe on Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Opportunity

Namibia's Green Hydrogen Opportunity Namibia's Green Hydrogen Opportunity

On Wednesday, 5 April 2023, Namibian civil society representatives engaged the Special Envoy for German- Namibian climate & energy relations, Mr Rainer Baake, and the Namibian Presidential Economic Advisor, Mr James Mnyupe on Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Opportunity.

The meeting was hosted by the Civil Society Information Centre (CIVIC +264) at the House of Democracy with the support of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation (HSF). In her welcoming remarks, the CIVIC +264 Coordinator, Ms Carola Engelbrecht outlined that “There is a desire in civil society to know more about the green hydrogen plans and also to engage on the issues more knowledgeably. And that is why we here today”. This meeting was specifically meant for representatives from Namibian civil society to hear from “the horse’s mouth” and ask pertinent questions on Green Hydrogen Plans for Namibia.

Namibias Green Hydrogen Opportunity Carola EngelbrechtMs Carola Engelbrecht welcomes the attendees & introduces the two speakers

Mr Rainer Baake’s presentation focused on Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Opportunity from the perspective of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) of Germany. Baake spoke about the process of Hydrogen production, the energy crises, and the competitive advantage Namibia may have with Green Hydrogen (GH2)/Ammonia production. At the same time, he also highlighted challenges that may be faced with an initiative of this calibre, this includes (1) the nature & biodiversity impact, (2) the need for high-skilled labour in order for Namibians to benefit from GH2 employment opportunities, and (3) the exponential growth Lüderitz & Aus may face in the coming years.

Namibias Green Hydrogen Opportunity Carola EngelbrechtMr Baake speaking on Namibia's Green Hydrodgen Opportunity. Mr Baake is also the director of the Climate Neutrality Foundation, a think tank dedicated to promoting climate neutrality in Germany and around the world.

Namibia’s Green Hydrogen Commissioner & Presidential Economic Advisor, Mr James Mnyupe, delivered a presentation on Green Hydrogen: Namibia - EU Collaboration. Mnuype gave an overview of the development of the Southern Corridor Development Initiative (SCDI), its funding, the vision for the Namibian and regional hydrogen ecosystem and Green Opportunities.

Namibias Green Hydrogen Opportunity Rainer Baake
Mr James Mnyupe gives an overview of the Southern Corridor Development Initiative (SCDI)

Both Baake and Mnyupe engaged over 30 Namibian civil society and trade union representatives. 

Namibias Green Hydrogen Opportunity Question and Answer Session
Question and Answer Session

This GH2 undertaking is so large that it will have important implications for Namibia’s environment, macro economy, and public finances. Some of the concerns raised during the question-and-answer session included:

  • Who will bear the risks associated with the project
  • Corruption and the need for standards of transparency to be applied
  • The environmental impact


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