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24/04/2024
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Global Gateway: EU and Namibia agree on next steps of strategic partnership on sustainable raw materials and green hydrogen

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of Namibia Hage Geingob endorsed the roadmap for the EU–Namibia strategic partnership on sustainable raw materials value chains and renewable hydrogen, supported by €1 billion in investments by the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions. the EU will also support an upcoming study for the development of the Port of Walvis Bay into an industrial and logistics hub for the region, contributing to its integration and economic development.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Thanks to its abundant renewable energy potential, Namibia is becoming a front-runner in the green hydrogen space. The EU is proud to be a partner in this transformative journey towards green industrialisation. Together we can further decarbonise our economies, create jobs and ensure a more prosperous and greener future for our societies.”

Supported by

President of Namibia Hage Geingob said: “Namibia recognises that its world-class renewable energy resources provide a strong foundation upon which we will build a sustainable and impactful green industrial base. Namibia is also cognisant that to fully capture the opportunity at hand, we will have to mobilise fit for purpose capital that appropriately prices risk in order to optimise the cost of said capital. This is a key element that will form the cornerstone of this transformative partnership with the EU.”

Roadmap for the years 2023 to 2025

In November 2022, Namibia and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a strategic partnership on Sustainable Raw Materials Value Chains and Renewable Hydrogen. The operational roadmap, launched and endorsed today and for the upcoming period 2023–2025, details the concrete actions in which the partnership will advance its goals, in close cooperation with EU and Namibia financial and private sector stakeholders.

The actions in the roadmap follow the six pillars of the Memorandum of Understanding:

Integration of value chains, including by working with the industry to identify, promote and facilitate cooperation in the exploration and commercial development of critical raw material projects.

Cooperation to leverage environmental, social and governance criteria, including by mapping and assessing abandoned mines and supporting Namibia in using Earth Observation and remote sensing methods for resource exploration, land use planning and management.

Mobilising funding for soft and hard infrastructure, including for selected mining, refining and mineral green processing projects (water, rail, renewable energy) and for the upgrade of main transport corridors (port, rail, roads).

Capacity building, training and skills development, including identifying training and skills needs along the raw material and green hydrogen value chains and enhancing the relevant technical and vocational training offer by Team Europe in cooperation with the industry.

Co-operation on research and innovation, including facilitating studies and joint research projects and research and business networking along the entire critical raw material value chain.

Regulatory alignment, including supporting Namibia in developing a national strategy for critical raw materials and enacting a synthetic fuels act to create an enabling environment for hydrogen and synthetic fuels industry, and ensure compatibility with international green fuels, certification and standards.
Development of the Port of Walvis Bay

The EU will also support an upcoming study for the development of the Walvis Bay port, the entry point from the Atlantic side to the Walvis Bay – Maputo Corridor, one of the eleven Strategic Corridors the EU envisages to support as part of the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package. Its location makes it a natural gateway for international trade to the Southern African Development Community, a region with over 300 million inhabitants.

With EU support, the Port of Antwerp and Bruges International will develop a masterplan that covers multimodal infrastructure, spatial planning and market organisation for the Port of Walvis Bay to carry out this transformation and become a regional logistics and industrial hub for the green hydrogen and derivatives economy. The EU will also support the Namibian Ports Authority in achieving operational excellence.

Background

The European Union, with the European Investment Bank and Member States including Germany, Netherlands, France, Belgium and Finland, in a Team Europe approach, supports Namibia’s green recovery in line with the “Harambee Prosperity Plan II”, “Vision 2030”, and the Global Gateway strategy. The actions of the partnership build on Namibia’s commitment to the green transition.

The first-ever EU-Namibia business forum is taking place in Brussels on 24-25 October to promote business-to-business and business-to-government linkages and facilitate trade and investment opportunities especially in the areas of renewable hydrogen and sustainable raw materials.

The EU needs to secure a sustainable supply of raw materials, especially critical raw materials, as an essential prerequisite for delivering on green and clean energy objectives. As part of the Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, the Commission has already started working to build partnerships with resource-rich third countries, making use of all external policy instruments and respecting its international obligations. Besides the one with Namibia, the Commission has already established three strategic partnerships on raw materials with Canada (June 2021), Ukraine (July 2021), Kazakhstan (November 2022), on behalf of the EU. The partnerships allow both sides to advance trade and investments into a secure, sustainable and resilient raw materials value chain, which is key to achieving the transition to climate-neutral and digitalised economies.

The Global Gateway Forum

The Global Gateway Forum brings together an assembly of government representatives from the European Union and across the globe, alongside key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, financial institutions, and international organisations to promote global investment in infrastructure and foster sustainable growth and resilience worldwide.

During this landmark occasion, a series of strategic investment announcements and agreements with partner countries are being presented to drive forward the implementation of the Global Gateway strategy, that aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027 to boost smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.

Global Gateway stands out with a compelling proposition for partner nations, focusing on social, environmental, and financial sustainability , promoting long-term drivers of growth through a comprehensive 360-degree approach, encompassing both hard and soft infrastructure, and reinforcing the resilience of nations seeking strategic autonomy. It provides sustainable investment opportunities to enhance the prosperity and security of our global partners and Europe alike.

 

Source: European Commission

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