Alweendo commends other African countries for pursuing green hydrogen

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Mines and Energy of Namibia, Tom Alweendo, has commended other African countries for embarking on the green hydrogen journey, just like Namibia.

In a statement delivered at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam in The Netherlands on Tuesday, Alweendo acknowledged that Namibia is not the only country in Africa on this remarkable journey.

The minister said Namibia is impressed by Morocco’s Green Hydrogen Offer and Kenya’s Guidelines on Green Hydrogen from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

He added that South Africa’s Green Hydrogen Commercialisation Strategy is comprehensive in decarbonising heavy industry, and Mauritania’s incentive package for green hydrogen production is attractive.

‘The African Green Hydrogen Alliance now boasts 10 members. We are honoured to be in this position to learn from fellow African peers. As a continent, we no longer have to be timid about leading a discourse that is complex and nuanced. On the contrary, we have an important role to play
in telling our unique narrative on this versatile molecule,’ Alweendo said.

Minister Alweendo is a member of the Namibian delegation led by President Nangolo Mbumba, who is attending the three-day global gathering on hydrogen.

‘As Africans, we should realise that when coupled with green hydrogen, this natural resource endowment presents a generational opportunity for us to deliver long-lasting prosperity for our people and boost intra-African trade. Green industrialisation is indeed the opportunity that binds domestic, regional, and global agendas,’ he said.

He further stated that Namibia has expressed its ambitions for economic transformation through the Green Industrialisation Blueprint.

‘We estimate that the successful execution of our blueprint could unlock more than nine times our national stock of foreign direct investment between now and 2040, create more than a quarter-million jobs while abating more than 75 million tonnes of carbon dioxide,’ Alweendo said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Namport records cargo milestone

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) handled a record-breaking eight million tonnes of cargo during the financial year ending 31 March 2024.

This is in comparison to the 7,7 million tonnes of cargo handled in the previous financial year, representing a 4 per cent increase.

A media release issued by the company’s Executive for Commercial Services, Elias Mwenyo on Monday, stated that the major contributor to this growth was the exportation of goods including salt, copper concentrate, bagged salt, frozen fish, manganese ore, and zinc/lead concentrate.

Bulk salt exports saw growth of 10 per cent, copper concentrate increased by 12 per cent, and bagged salt exports witnessed a 1 per cent rise.

Frozen fish exports surged by 29 per cent, manganese ore increased by 15.7 per cent, zinc/lead concentrates grew by 2.9 per cent and marble increased by 41 per cent.

‘During the financial year 2023/2024, there were significant increases in the importation of various commodities. Notably, petroleum surged, representing
a substantial 26 per cent increase,’ he noted.

According to Mwenyo, other imported commodities that also experienced noteworthy growth, included copper concentrate, ammonium nitrate, wheat, ships spares and steel.

Additionally, the authority recorded a commendable 7.9 per cent increase in the importation of goods in comparison to the previous financial year.

‘During the financial period ended, the number of vessels calling at Namibian ports surged by 29 per cent year on year, escalating from 1 636 to 2 115 calls, primarily driven by increased activity across various vessel categories, including foreign tugs and dry bulk vessels.’

The year under review also recorded an increased occupancy rate of syncrolift facilities, where repair jetties’ occupancy rose from 64 per cent to 96 per cent, while bay occupancy lagged at 47 per cent compared to 52 per cent in the previous year.

The syncrolift is a piece of equipment for lifting boats, ships and vessels onto land for maintenance work or repairs.

The success o
f Namport’s operations, according to Mwenyo, can be attributed to building and maintaining solid relationships with key stakeholders such as the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, shipping lines, cargo owners, government agencies, and the larger port community.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Kunene farmers want red line gone

Farmers in the Kunene Region have called for the zoning of Kunene North, saying the area has been free of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) for the past 50 years.

The farmers suggested that dividing the red line districts into portions would aid the government’s efforts to eradicate FMD and other diseases and maintained that the fence deprives them of the lucrative meat market Southerners enjoy.

These sentiments were expressed by Ben Kapi, vice president of the Ngatuuane Farmers Union during an oversight visit and consultative meeting with stakeholders in the Kunene Region arranged by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Administration on Monday in Opuwo.

Kapi, on behalf of the farmers, urged all parties concerned to devise long-term solutions, including effective animal disease management methods, before demolishing the fence, asserting that Kunene should be designated independently considering it is free of FMD.

He stated that while the red line, or veterinary cordon fence, was erected per i
nternational animal health regulations to prevent the spread of diseases, it should be dismantled to safeguard the meat sector and increase sales north of the red line.

‘The red line residents have been treated unfairly compared to other farmers. What we want is the same treatment for us to also enjoy the market,’ he said.

According to Kapi, farmers gave the government several optionis to boost the meat market within the red line, including the quarantining of animals before sales and fencing and zoning of disease-prone areas such as the Zambezi, Kavango East, and West regions.

In response, Natangwe Ithete, head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Administration, stated that the government’s goal is to eliminate the red line.

‘We also want this fence to go and it will go, however, if we should decide now to remove the fence, our meat sales might be affected as our buyers might be affected as per the international standards with regards to livestock health, but what I can promise is th
at the fence will go,’ stated Ithete.

The red line separates northern Namibia from the central and southern parts of the country and envelopes several northern regions, including Oshana, Kavango East, Omusati, Zambezi, Omaheke, Kunene, and parts of the Khomas and Oshikoto Regions.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Green hydrogen presents opportunity for Africa to embrace green technologies: Mbumba

WINDHOEK: Namibian President Nangolo Mbumba believes that the current century presents a significant opportunity for Namibia and other African nations to embrace new, cleaner and green technologies.

This, he said, will result in job creation, poverty reduction, and the development of inclusive, peaceful, and stable societies.

President Mbumba made these remarks in a speech he delivered on Tuesday at the World Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

He emphasised that the Namibian Government, in collaboration with national and international stakeholders, is leading efforts to unlock the immense potential of green hydrogen.

The president told the summit that Namibia is now home to nine hydrogen projects. These projects span two emerging hydrogen valleys, with the possibility of establishing a third valley based on its abundant iron ore potential, according to Mbumba.

‘Green hydrogen offers opportunities beyond just clean molecule production, it holds the potential to anchor new industries in emerg
ing markets across the globe. Namibia has always harboured a desire to become an indispensable logistics hub to the southern African region,’ he said.

He added that Namibia’s newly developed green industrialisation blueprint ‘further illustrates how green hydrogen can be used to add value to minerals sourced from within our borders and indeed, the continent.’

‘In Namibia, we plan to produce green direct reduced iron, a key low carbon ingredient that promises to decarbonise the steel industry, which according to the international energy agency contributes to more than 8 per cent of global emissions,’ said Mbumba.

Meanwhile, Namibia is showcasing its green hydrogen potential at the three-day global hydrogen event, which started on Monday.

The government through the Green Hydrogen Council is hosting its inaugural exhibition, featuring the Daures Green Hydrogen Village as a notable industry highlight.

This project, expected to become operational in July 2024, is the most advanced hydrogen project in Namibia
and will produce renewable energy, hydrogen, and ammonia.

Meanwhile, President Mbumba invited the international community to the African Global Green Hydrogen Summit to be hosted by Namibia in September 2024.

‘At that event, we shall look to not only showcase what Namibia has delivered in terms of our green hydrogen ecosystem, but also the efforts of our peer nations on the continent,’ he said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Oranjemund town council low-cost-housing scheme approved by MURD

KEETMANSHOOP: Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni said his ministry has approved the low-cost housing scheme for the Oranjemund Town Council’s 56 houses set to be constructed in phase one.

Uutoni said the initiative aims to create a safe and thriving environment for all residents, adding that the construction of the houses will be fully funded by the town council at a cost of N.dollars 6 million.

He said while Oranjemund has a rich history and a vibrant community it is no secret that the town faces a significant housing shortage, a challenge that requires concerted efforts from both the public and private sector, as well as from community stakeholders.

The Oranjemund Town Council has serviced about 327 erven in Extension 10 of which 227 are designated for residential use with an effort to help alleviate overcrowding and offer new housing prospects for residents.

In the Extension 6 residential area, the council has about 75 erven set aside for business and industrial purposes, fostering
economic growth and creating jobs while Extension 7 has 104 erven available dedicated to middle- to high-income housing.

The minister on Monday handed over 50 houses to new owners at the town built by the town council in collaboration with the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), while 85 new erven were handed over to the federation to construct houses at the town.

Uutoni said Government remains committed to the task of delivering affordable housing to as many Namibians as possible.

‘This is a critical step toward ensuring that every family has a safe place to call home. I encourage the SDFN to maintain its commitment to delivering quality homes to its beneficiaries. The work we do in housing development is not just about constructing buildings; it is about building hope, stability, and opportunity for families,’ he said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Swakop municipality, NHE tackle housing issue with cooperation

SWAKOPMUND: The Swakopmund Municipality and the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Agreement on the informal settlement upgrading programme.

The programme involves the conversion of shacks to permanent structures, which will not have all the finishes but will be equipped with essential services such as electric boxes and ablution facilities.

Launched in 2020, the programme is an approach to deliver affordable, decent houses for those with very minimal incomes and living in shacks in the DRC informal settlement.

The programme targets people earning between N.dollars 3 000 to N.dollars 5 000 per month and will be able to acquire housing units ranging between N.dollars 90 000 and N.dollars 250 000.

NHE Chief Executive Officer Gisbertus Mukulu said the agreement is meant to address the growing housing backlog in the country.

‘We know a majority of people are not able to afford houses, therefore we came up with this specific programme and established the target group who are c
urrently unable to afford decent housing,’ he explained.

Swakopmund Mayor Dina Namubes emphasised the mandate of local authorities to perform duties that are essential for the improvement of its residents, noting their significant role to providing decent housing and services.

She therefore stressed the importance of cooperation and cross subsidised knowledge, skills, resources, and expertise to combat challenges and improve service delivery for the benefit of the people.

‘As we all know, the banks and other financial institutions only help a specific set of people since they require pay slips, bank statements and employment confirmations.

As a result, those who are able to pay but are unable to produce the required documents are disadvantaged and left behind, which is a really sad and depressing aspect of life, and as the people’s representatives, we must intervene and offer our assistance,’ she expressed.

The mayor pointed out that most kapana vendors and other micro business owners have been able to s
ave as much as N.dollars 100 000 on their bank accounts, making unofficial contributions to the nation’s economic growth and aid in the fight against hunger and poverty.

The programme will commence as soon as funds, which are part of a budget by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, are available.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Fidelity, others distribute food palliatives to families in Keffi

Fidelity Bank Plc in partnership with Abbasid Charity Foundation and Sen. Wadada Ahmed have distributed food palliatives to no fewer than 1,000 families in Keffi, Nasarawa state.

Distributing the food items on Wednesday, Ms Victoria Abuka, the Team Lead, Corporate Social Responsibility, Fidelity Bank said the gesture was to cushion the effects of the high cost of food items.

She added that the gesture was part of the bank’s initiative known as, ”Fidelity Food Bank’.

Abuka said the initiative which commenced in April, 2003, was aimed at contributing to food security in the country.

She said that since the inauguration of the initiative, over 100,000 food packs had been distributed across the country.

‘One of the major problem in the country now is food. People are hungry and it is difficult to pursue dreams and aspirations.

‘That is why Fidelity Bank, as a socially responsible organisation, started the initiative for food distribution to families in dare need of food.

‘We have visited over 100 communit
ies across the country,’ she said.

Abuka said the bank was working with 19 partners who identified communities to benefit from the initiative.

Hajia Hauwa Abbas, the Founder of Abbasid Foundation, said the food drive started when she was chosen as the bank’s food bank ambassador in the North.

She listed some of the beneficiary states to include Jigawa, Zamfara, Zaria, Kebbi, Bauchi, Kano and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

‘I am very pleased with Fidelity Bank because as much as they are collecting money from us, they are giving us back, especially women.

Sen. Ahmed Wadada, representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District, said he partnered with the Fidelity Bank’s drive to provide food for his people.

Wadada, represented by his wife Zainab, said the move was in continuation of his philanthropic gesture to his constituents especially orphans and widows.

‘We are here today to give back to our people and considering the hardship in the country, this is the little that we can do.

‘I appeal to well-mea
ning Nigerians to try and collaborate to see how we can help the people that do not have some of the opportunities that we have,’ he said.

Mrs Susan Nyikwagh, a recipient of the food pack, commended the bank and other partners for the gesture.

‘I am so happy for receiving this gift in a time like this when things are not easy.

‘The bank and their partners are wonderful,’ she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the food pack contained one kilogramme of rice, garri and packs of indomie.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

NLC rejects CBN’s cybersecurity levy

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the recent directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of 0.5 (0.005) per cent Cybersecurity Levy on electronic transfers.

Mr Joe Ajaero, NLC President stated the NLC position in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ajaero was reacting to a recent circular issued by the CBN, mandating banks and payment service operators to effect the deductions, effective in two weeks.

The CBN has said that the move, ‘ostensibly aimed at bolstering cybersecurity measures, threatens to exacerbate the financial strain already faced by the populace’.

Ajaero said the NLC vehemently condemned the directives and therefore called for immediate stoppage and reversal of the policy.

According to him, this levy, to be implemented by deduction at the transaction origination, is yet another burden on the shoulders of hardworking Nigerians.

‘The Nigeria Labour Congress recognises the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital age.

‘However, imposing such a levy on electronic transact
ions, without due consideration for its implications on workers and the vulnerable segments of society, is unjustifiable.

‘This levy stands as another tax too much for Nigerians, burdening them with additional financial responsibilities.

‘We see in this levy as another gang up by the ruling elite to continue its extortion and exploitation of hapless and helpless workers and the masses,’he said.

He noted that while the CBN had exempted interbank transfers and loans transactions from the levy, the broader impact on everyday transactions would not be overlooked.

He added that such deductions directly affect the disposable income of workers and further diminish the purchasing power of the common citizen.

The NLC president also noted that domestic manufacturers and other businesses were already shuttering as a result of the stifling socio-economic environment.

He added that, yet, instead of creating a business-friendly environment to encourage greater investments in the economy, the opposite seems to be what
is being practised.

Ajaero, therefore, called on the Federal Government to reconsider the directives and prioritise policies that alleviate the financial burdens of Nigerians.

‘We urge a collaborative approach between the government, regulatory bodies, and stakeholders to develop sustainable cybersecurity measures that do not unduly burden the populace.

‘We reiterate our commitment to championing the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers and masses,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

‘Poor People’s Organisation’ holds peaceful demonstration at Opuwo

The ‘Poor People’s Organisation’ held a peaceful protest in Opuwo on Tuesday, challenging President Nangolo Mbumba to enhance citizens’ confidence in the government and provide once-off assistance of N.dollars 5 000 to each unemployed person.

The group, led by its chairperson Dirk Kavandiimuine Makove, made their voices heard when they delivered their petition to the Kunene regional governor’s office.

Makove said impoverished people encounter rejection when looking for work and are referred to as being uneducated.

‘The organisation also believes the government to be biased. This is one way in which the government favours the rich and dignified while limiting the upward mobility of destitute people,’ he said.

The poor, he said, have long been deprived of sanitary water supply and decent electricity supply and called for the nationalisation of natural resources.

‘We are requesting that our natural resources such as minerals, fish and many others be locally furnished only within the borders of Namibia and t
hat outside counterparts only buy directly from us… this will enable us all as a country to sell our locally produced minerals at a great price to the outsiders,’ he said.

According to Makove, the group is not affiliated with any political body and was founded to represent all underprivileged Namibians.

The petition was received by Kunene Regional Council Control Administrative Officer Gabes Kavetu who asked the group to be patient. He said the government is well aware of the challenges Namibians face and is working on methods to address them.

He pledged to forward the petition to the appropriate authority for review.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Shadikongoro Green Scheme set to produce sunflower oil

The Shadikongoro Irrigation Green Scheme Project in the Kavango East Region generated an income of N.dollars 7 million, of which N.dollars 3.5 million was recorded as profit, during the 2023 cropping season.

This was revealed by the Executive Director (ED) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata during a visit by the ministry’s top management to the green scheme on Monday.

‘I am impressed with Shadikongoro Green Scheme’s performance in the last cropping season. They made a total of N.dollars 7 million, of which N.dollars 3.5 million is their profit. This will not be the first and last,’ she said.

Nghituwamata said this year she expects cooking oil in the market made from sunflowers planted at the green scheme, adding that 24 hectares of sunflowers were planted at the project to revive the sunflower processing facility.

In addition to the 24 hectares that are being harvested at the Shadikongoro Green Scheme Irrigation Project, another 16 hectares of sunflowers a
re being harvested at the Sikondo Green Scheme Irrigation Project in the Kavango West Region, which it supplies to Shadikongoro.

‘The plan is to process the sunflower seeds into cooking oil at the Shadikongoro processing plant on the farm. We started harvesting the sunflowers on 06 May 2024 and processing of the sunflower seeds will start thereafter,’ Nghituwamata noted.

Shadikongoro Green Scheme employed 60 temporary workers to harvest the sunflowers, and more workers will be employed temporarily to work at the oil processing plant, she indicated.

The ED was accompanied by directors such as Dr Elijah Ngurare, Albertina Shilongo, Petrus Nangolo and Messag Mulunga, as well as a representative from the United Nations World Food Programme, Sem Mandela.

Meanwhile, during her 2024/25 budget motivation of the Agriculture Ministry, Deputy Minister Anna Shiweda said that during the 2023/2024 financial year, MAWLR received N.dollars 120 million which was used for the repair and maintenance of ageing irrigation inf
rastructure, procurement of new tractors and implements at government operated green schemes.

During the 2024/25 financial year, an amount of N.dollars 65 million has been allocated to the green scheme projects, which is a 54 per cent reduction from the last allocation of N.dollars 120 million.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency