Germany and Nam to partner on renewable energy

29 Sep 2015 11:40am


The German Government is willing to support Namibia in producing renewable energy in order to deal with the looming energy crisis in the country.

This support could be in the form of finance, experts and training. Germany's Ambassador to Namibia, Christian Matthias Schlaga revealed this in a meeting with members of the media at Swakopmund on Monday.

"We have the political will to commit to this project and our country has enough experience in generating renewable energy. Germany is currently generating 20 per cent of renewable energy for own consumption," said the ambassador.

He said the Minister of Economic Planning in the Presidency and Director-General of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo, will lead a delegation of representatives from various ministries in discussions with the German government this week.

The Ministry of Mines and Energy is currently exploring ways to generate at least an extra 250 megawatts (MW) as the country's energy demand is expected to exceed supply by 2016.

Namibia imports roughly 60 per cent of its power from neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Swakop Uranium's Husab mine currently under construction consumes 10MW, which will increase to 50MW once it starts operations next year.

Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze in June this year expressed concern about the power supply to the mine, as there is still not enough electricity for the mine's operations.

Schlaga said Germany will also continue assisting Namibia with finances towards other development projects. He said since independence in 1990, Germany has supported a number of development projects in Namibia such as the construction of roads;

"So far the amount used is close to 800 million Euros (more than N.dollars 12 billion), which makes Namibia our biggest beneficiary per capita in southern Africa," he told reporters.

Touching on the issue of the calls for reparation for the victims of the OvaHerero/Nama genocide, Schlaga said he will ensure that the right information on the matter is passed on to his government during discussions.

"I cannot say what the outcome of the talks will be, that will only be known after the conclusion. We will also consider how we can develop such people in the future," he responded when asked what the final decision could be. He said part of his assignment is attracting investors from Germany to Namibia and vice-versa.

"I will make sure that business people come to Namibia to explore business opportunities they can pursue. This will help strengthen our business ties and the Namibian economy," he said.

Schlaga, who officially took up his position as the new ambassador three weeks ago, is at the coast on a two-day familiarisation tour. He met with business people and town mayors.

He has previously served as Germany's ambassador to Zimbabwe, Italy, Portugal, India and the United States of America. Schlaga took over from Egon Kochanke, who now serves in Tanzania.