The African Energy Chamber endorses and commends the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Namibia for addressing the culture of entitlement.
In light of Namibia’s burgeoning energy sector, filled with exciting new oil discoveries, and ambitious energy and infrastructure undertakings, the spotlight has shifted to local content’s pivotal role in driving local and regional economic growth. As the country embarks on a path of growth and transformation, harnessing and nurturing local resources and expertise emerges as a crucial strategy for unlocking sustainable prosperity and empowering local communities.
During Namibia’s National Upstream Petroleum Local Content Policy (LCP) Workshop, Hon. Tom Alweendo, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, highlighted three key aspects when considering the country’s LCP: The culture of entitlement, inclusivity, and transparency. Serving as the voice of the African energy sector, the African Energy Chamber (AEC) strongly supports the Minister’s remarks, specifically those pertaining to the need to address the culture of entitlement.
During his speech at the workshop, the Minister addressed individuals in society considered to have a ‘You Owe Me’ attitude. He emphasized their failure to acknowledge that nations only thrive when we all accept personal responsibility and condemned their belief that society or the government owes them something without contributing value. According to the Minister, sometimes focus remains on what people presume they are owed rather than what they can contribute to society. In the Namibian energy sector, this could spell disaster. With the country currently at a critical turning point, the implementation of local content and the leveraging of the entire Namibian workforce is key.
At its core, local content ensures the population is able to contribute towards as well as reap the benefits of energy developments. Minister Alweendo described local content as “the active involvement of the Namibian workforce and entrepreneurs in the upstream oil and gas sector, encompassing training, employment, and the local procurement of goods and services.” As such, it is up to all stakeholders, the Government, Namibian citizens and entrepreneurs, and international oil companies to all play their part in upholding the LCP to achieve a successful oil and gas sector. In this context, the culture of entitlement could have significant implications for the sector, just as development kicks off.
“For far too long, there has been a prevailing trend of promoting the notion that individuals are owed something by society and by their governments. However, it is imperative that we as Africans shift our mindset away from such thinking and embrace a more proactive, collaborative, and solution-oriented approach. This reorientation will enable Namibia as well as the rest of Africa to fully realize the potential benefits and opportunities presented by active participation in the sector, fostering sustainable growth and development for the continent as a whole,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Despite the prevalence of the notion of the culture of entitlement within our society, the Minister remains optimistic, expressing, “I would therefore like to encourage our entrepreneurs to spare no effort in understanding the new sector; to spend time to read up on what the sector requires; and to understand the required capabilities to be an effective participant in the local content framework. We will all be better off as businesspeople and members of society if we foster a culture of meritocracy as opposed to entitlement.” This underscores the Minister’s call for active engagement, knowledge acquisition, and the cultivation of a merit-based culture, highlighting the mutual benefits that can be achieved for both individuals and society as a whole.
” We believe in free markets, entrepreneurship, personal responsibility and dignity in work. The Chamber wholeheartedly supports the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy in their commendable efforts to address the concept of the culture of entitlement into their local content policy. By shifting the narrative towards active participation, collaboration, and solution-oriented approaches, Namibia is poised to unlock the true potential of its workforce, paving the way for sustainable growth and prosperity,” said Ayuk, adding that, “We commend Hon. Alweendo for his visionary leadership in propelling Namibia’s energy sector towards an inclusive landscape, where every individual becomes an active participant. By embracing the power of togetherness, we firmly believe that Namibia will attain remarkable achievements within the energy sector, paving the way for collective greatness and prosperity.”