The Minister of Education and Research of the Federal Government of Germany Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger remarked “The future of climate neutrality belongs to green hydrogen; Green hydrogen is the missing link in the energy transition”. She made this remarks during the Launch and Award Ceremony of the Pilot Projects and the Youth for Green Hydrogen Scholarship programme under the Joint Communique of Intent signed between the German and Namibia Governments. The Launch was held on the 29th of March 2023 at the State House. The event was graced by H.E. Dr Hage G. Geingob the President of Namibia.
At the launch, 93 Masters and TVET Students were awarded Scholarships in Renewable Energy and Green Hydrogen under the Youth for Green Hydrogen Programme. Speaking to the new scholarship holders, Minister Stark-Watzinger said “It is a great pleasure for me to present 93 Namibian scholarship recipients, who are all here today, with their award certificates. They will now be trained to become a new generation of experts and executives and will be readying Namibia’s energy sector for the integration of green hydrogen”. Moreover, the Minster underscored there will be another application round for scholarships in the second half of this year.
During her speech Hon. Dr Kandjii Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation said we are indeed grateful and appreciative of the German government for the enormous contribution towards Namibian pioneering human capital development in the field of green hydrogen and other sectors of our economy.
Furthermore, during the Launch and Award Ceremony, four Green Hydrogen Pilot Projects were also awarded in recognition of their Project Proposal. The grants provided under this directive are aimed at promoting international collaboration in the field of green hydrogen and the derivatives produced from it, in addition to storage, transport and the use of integrated application technologies. They are receiving more than 30 million euros in funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). SASSCAL has been appointed as the implementing partner of the programs under the Joint Communique of Intent (JCOI).
In his keynote address at the State House, Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy said “all the four pilot projects are looking to illustrate the visibility of building local green hydrogen economy as envisioned in our Harambee Prosperity Plan II (HPPII)”.
Speaking at the event, the Chairperson of the Green Hydrogen Council Hon. Obeth Kandjoze highlighted, “Namibia has cast hand to wheel to implement the national green hydrogen and green ammonia strategies, while harnessing its abundant renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, and hydro for renewable power production for domestic use and regionally through the Southern Africa Power Pool”.
Furthermore, Minister Bettina also announced the completion of the Hydrogen Potential Atlas (H2Atlas) for the Southern Africa. The result highlighted that Namibia can supply itself with renewable energy while also profiting on a huge scale economically from the export of hydrogen. Minister Bettina added “Germany would like to import green hydrogen from Namibia and will benefit from the technological advancement. This would be a WIN-WIN situation for both countries”.
During the closing of the ceremony, Dr Jane Olwoch, SASSCAL’s Executive Director made a powerful remark “Today we have made a very big statement and action whose impact will be multiplied in several generations in Namibia because the impact of any investment in education and research has a synergistic effect along generation to come”. She further acknowledged the cooperation between BMBF and SASSCAL Member States that continues to strengthen the research landscape and contributes to the region’s knowledge economy.