The Minister of Mines and Energy (MME), Isak Katali has argued that it is paradoxical that Namibia is a rich country in natural resources and yet it is faced with enormous socio-economic developmental challenges.
He expressed at the launch of the Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) that was transformed from the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Institute (REEEI) after the Cabinet approved the transformation
He said in response to this situation, as early as 1998 the MME developed the White Paper on Energy Policy, a comprehensive policy that aimed at achieving security of supply, effective governance, investment and growth, economic competitiveness , economic efficiency and sustainability.
Katali said it is clear that for the country to achieve security of supply it is important that focus be on appropriate diversification of economically competitive and reliable sources and more especially Namibian resources.
“The Government of the Republic of Namibia emphasises the need for sustainable development across all sectors of the economy, including the overall energy sector and the electricity industry. Resources especially energy is a cross-cutting issue for all sectors of our economy. Without adequate and quality energy, development in all other sectors of the economy is inhibited. As identified in the National Development Plan 4 (NDP 4) energy is one of the key vehicles for our economic development,” he said.
The transformation will expand the scope of REEEI beyond renewable energy sources and support Namibia’s industrialisation by linking energy research to industry needs and economic development initiatives. It will work closely with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME).
“The NEI is our Institute, your Institute, let us work together to realise the benefits to our nation, and enjoy together. A Board of Advisors will be instituted to our nation, and enjoy them together. A Board of Advisors will be instituted to guide the NEI towards its establishment by an ACT of Parliament in the next few years,” said Katali.
Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN)’s rector, Professor Tjama Tjivikua speaking at the same occasion said the establishment of the NEI is a key strategic step to consolidate all endeavours in the energy field which would, in turn, facilitate and support industrialisation and development in the country.
“The NEI is set against a background of rising electricity consumption and prices in Namibia, and an expected deficit in its electricity generation capacity from 2016 due to current growth forecasts of its electricity demand. Adequacy of energy provision improves the sense of well-being, and propels development forward towards industrialisation of Namibia, as enshrined in the nation’s Vision 2030.
“Namibia has set ambitious plans to be an industrialised country by the year 2030 and it is our belief that the NEI will make an enormous contribution towards that goal,” he said.
Electricity Control Board Acting Chief Executive officer, Rojas Manyame said they are grateful to the Ministry of Mines and Energy for having confidence in the Polytechnic , entrusting them with the establishment of the NEI and funding its development.