Namibia’s Minister of Mines & Energy, Hon. Tom Alweendo, delivered a keynote address at this year’s Namibia International Energy Conference, followed by an in-focus ‘In Conversation With’ segment featuring the Minister.
Day 1 of the Namibia International Energy Conference (NIEC) 2023 featured a keynote address by the southern African country’s Minister of Mines & Energy, Hon. Tom Alweendo, who discussed how the country must utilize its natural resources in a way that promotes industrialization and local content development.
Responsible for the oversight of the development of Namibia’s geological, mineral, and energy resources for sustainable economic growth, Hon. Minister Alweendo and the Ministry have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to attracting private investment to resource exploration and development for the benefit of all Namibians.
“The global importance of energy requires careful attention, demonstrated by the current tensions in geopolitics, and our resources will only be beneficial if they are managed carefully and responsibly,” Hon. Minister Alweendo stated, adding, “This conference aims to directly address Namibia’s energy issues by shaping the future of energy towards value creation. For our continent, it is up to us to ensure we have a framework to benefit from our oil and gas discoveries and to guarantee that we are the custodians of our valuable resources for the benefit of future generations.”
With Namibia serving as one of the world’s fastest growing oil and gas investment destinations, the Hon. Minister highlighted the massive investment opportunities across the country’s entire hydrocarbon value chain. Namibia’s vast, yet untapped, hydrocarbon resources will play an important role in ensuring energy security and driving socioeconomic developments across the region.
Furthermore, the morning session featured an in-focus ‘In Conversation With’ segment, which saw Hon. Minister Alweendo speak with NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber – the Strategic Partner of NIEC 2023 – about local content promotion and accelerated development as a result of major discoveries having been made in the country’s Orange Basin in recent years.
“There is a big discussion around how Namibia has been able to stabilize regulatory frameworks and fiscal incentives to encourage development and resources exploitation,” stated Ayuk, adding that, “You’ve seen some tremendous discoveries within the Orange Basin. What you’ve talked about in terms of policy and accelerated development, what does that mean in terms of how your ministerial government fast-tracks, or gets production off the ground, in a way that is sustainable and reaps the benefits for the government and the industry?”
“What we tell our investors is that, if you come to us, we will tell you what you need to have, and we will provide what we need to process as fast as possible, which will enable our investors to do what they need to do in a sustainable way and with as quick a turn-around as possible,” responded Hon. Minister Alweendo.
Hon. Minister Alweendo noted the promotion of investment and energy supply security as primary goals in creating a policy and legal framework to attract capital into the sector, with a key focus for maintaining cooperation and competition in the fair distribution of upstream sector activities.
Additionally, the Government of Namibia formally invited international and regional oil and gas companies to submit applications for licenses for petroleum exploration in the southern African country. The Hon. Minister highlighted that legislative frameworks and policies that govern the Namibian upstream oil and gas sectors are well-developed and designed specifically for implementation for the international oil industry. Standard international practices, license application fees, annual license area rental charges, as well as annual training fees are main elements set out in the fiscal framework legislation for investment in the country’s oil and gas sector.
“Our ambition is not only to export, but to make sure our resources are used, not only in the country, but also in the region. Service companies will be the most important partners that we will need to embrace to promote job creation. In terms of services that will be provided to our industry, how do we make sure that we train Namibians and what will be the role of the service provider? What role will they play in catalyzing future development for the benefit of Namibians?” Hon. Minister Alweendo concluded.