JOHANNESBURG, 5 May – With Namibia’s burgeoning oil and gas sector set to take the spotlight during the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW) (https://AECWeek.com) 2022 – taking place from 18 – 21 October 2022, in Cape Town – recent speaker confirmations by industry leaders across the Namibian energy space consolidate the event’s position as the primary platform for gathering information, securing investment and making deals that serve to further drive Namibian energy growth. Joining a strong delegation of Namibian professionals, James Mnyupe, presidential economic advisor for the Namibian government and hydrogen commissioner for Namibia, will be coming to Cape Town to discuss the intersection of energy investment and socio-economic development as well as the role green hydrogen will play in Namibia’s energy and economic future.
With experience in a wide variety of sectors across the Namibian economy, Mnyupe is considered a multi-disciplinary financial professional. Having previously worked in asset management, accounting and wealth management, and now serving as the economic advisor of the President of Namibia, Mnyupe is focused on driving Namibia’s economic and developmental agenda. Despite having only served as a presidential economic advisor since September 2020, Mnyupe has already made significant progress to help develop Namibia’s high potential economy, leading to his selection as the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader for 2022.
In his capacity as advisor, Mnyupe has helped shape Namibia’s economic developmental agenda, with the country kickstarting a growth plan centred around five key sectors. At COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, Namibia announced that the country will be targeting the development of the steel industry, transportation industry, power sector, agriculture industry and hydrogen industry with major developments already underway across all these sectors.
Specifically, Namibia’s hydrogen sector has seen significant investment commitments that have kickstarted large-scale project developments across the country. Backed by significant renewable energy potential and a favourable regulatory environment, the country is well-positioned to become a green hydrogen economy, and Mnyupe has been an instrumental facilitator of this objective. The country’s biggest hydrogen project, the $9.4 billion green hydrogen project located in the Tsau//Khaeb National Park in southern Namibia, represents a turning point for the country’s energy sector. Following a competitive tender process in 2021, the government of Namibia announced the selection of project development company Hyphen Hydrogen Energy as the preferred bidder for the construction of the vertically integrated project. With a capacity estimated at 300 000 tons per year of green hydrogen and green ammonia, the project is set to transform the country’s economy while emphasising Africa’s potential as the next global hydrogen producer.
“James Mnyupe represents a key figure in Namibia’s energy and economic space. As an economic advisor and hydrogen commissioner, he is responsible for a lot of the success seen in the country, particularly regarding socio-economic development, investment and green hydrogen growth. He has done a lot to convince me and many at the Chamber on Hydrogen plays a role in Africa’s energy mix. We have toured Europe together on hydrogen thanks to the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the EU commission and the German government. At the African Energy Chamber (AEC), we firmly believe in the role hydrogen will play in transforming African economies. As the continent moves to transition to cleaner sources of fuel in its own strategic manner, green hydrogen will play a central role in improving energy security, driving socio-economic growth and making energy poverty history by 2030, while at the same time decarbonising the energy sector,” states NJ Ayuk, executive chairman of the AEC.
Despite the continent’s potential, particularly in countries such as Namibia, South Africa and Egypt, hydrogen remains a largely underutilised and unexploited resource in Africa. To address this, AEW 2022 will hold a dedicated Green Hydrogen Summit, whereby emerging hydrogen economies such as Namibia will play a leading role in shaping the dialogue around this critical resource. The summit represents the official platform, not just for a discussion on the challenges and opportunities across Africa’s future hydrogen market, but for global investors and international private sector companies to be introduced to African opportunities. In this sense, AEW 2022 aims to integrate private-sector know-how with public sector opportunities and will do so through forums such as this.
In Cape Town, Mnyupe will be participating in the event alongside industry professionals from Namibia, all focused on promoting Namibian energy and Namibian green hydrogen. In 2022, Namibia has made a name for itself as both a hydrocarbon hotspot and an emerging green hydrogen market and during AEW 2022, the successes were seen across the country as well as future project pipelines, announcements and deals will be brought to the table. Under the theme, ‘Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment’, AEW 2022 unites the entire African energy sector including public and private sector executives, government representatives and ministers, and policymakers and financiers for four days of networking and insight on the future of African energy.