Bank of Namibia Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, emphasized the role of effective policy and good governance in harnessing Namibia’s resource wealth during his address at the Namibia International Energy Conference 2023 on Thursday.
Bank of Namibia Governor, Johannes !Gawaxab, addressed the Namibia International Energy Conference (NIEC) 2023 on Thursday, discussing the country’s role in the global economy and its rising importance as a regional energy leader following three historic offshore oil discoveries made in the past year.
“These oil discoveries present a unique transformation opportunity. We can transform Namibia into a major player in the regional energy market. This is only possible if we create policy that includes and empowers Namibians, rather than making them spectators,” said !Gawaxab.
The central bank head urged policymakers to finalize Namibia’s local content policy and promote collaboration with international firms, or risk losing out on long-term economic growth prospects.
“To this end, the local content policy effort should be clear and concise. We need to establish a regulatory framework for local capacity and to maximize the employment of Namibians,” said !Gawaxab. “There are many examples around the world where countries obtain oil and gas resources, and fail to manage them properly. We must learn from the lessons of others.”
The Governor also addressed the importance of ongoing anti-corruption efforts and the need to maintain the strength of Namibia’s regulatory institutions.
“Namibia needs accountable resource governance solutions to avoid the resource curse. The integrity of our institutions is an indispensable and essential factor that Namibia cannot afford to compromise on. The national petroleum company must be held to the highest transparency standards,” said !Gawaxab.
The presentation concluded with a call to action to work collaboratively and inclusively towards Namibia’s burgeoning energy industry.
“There is no single energy future. There are multiple possibilities and challenges – how we meet these challenges will define the 21st century. Namibia has the potential to punch well above its weight as an energy exporter. As we move forward and develop the future of Namibia’s energy landscape, we have to remember that our resources are finite, but that the benefits are potentially infinite,” said !Gawaxab.