Namibia International Energy Conference begins, placing spotlight on energy sector

World Oil Staff April 26, 2023

(WO) – Placing a spotlight on Namibia’s energy sector while enhancing collaboration, knowledge, and investment linkages to drive Africa’s energy landscape as a catalyst for socioeconomic development, the fifth edition of the Namibia International Energy Conference (NIEC) kicked off on April 26, with a welcome address by the Managing Director of strategic advisory firm – and founder and convener of the NIEC –, RichAfrica Consultancy, Ndapwilapo Selma Shimutwikeni.

On the heels of recent significant hydrocarbons discoveries in Namibia, Shimutwikeni highlighted the southern African country’s burgeoning role as a specialist in foreign policy while optimally benefitting from collaboration and the exploitation of its natural resources.

“As a specialist in natural resource foreign policy, as well as having a passion for Namibia to develop its resources for socioeconomic development, I am pleased to see the NIEC grow and attract interest from all over the world,” Shimutwikeni said.

Shimutwikeni’s welcome address was followed by opening remarks by the Acting Executive Director for Namibia’s Ministry of Mines & Energy, Bryan Eiseb, who discussed the Government’s dedication to leverage the southern African country’s diverse energy potential to promote self-sufficiency by building new domestic generation capacity developing interconnectivity systems.

“It is common knowledge that Africa has not optimally benefitted from the exploitation of our natural resources. So, when we have conversations around shaping the future of energy, we should promote conversations around inclusivity,” Eiseb stated.

Serving as the leading agency in attracting private investment in resources exploration and development, Namibia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy is responsible for the management of the country’s petroleum industry. The Ministry formulates policies and legislation that effectively regulates the energy sector while providing services to stimulate investment for sustainable economic development for the benefit of all Namibians.

What’s more, in the wake of recent major oil discoveries such as the Graff-1 oil exploration well in Block 2913A, situated in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia, the southern African country is well-positioned to attract significant foreign investment. Discovered by oil and gas supermajor, Shell, in early-2022, the Graff-1 discovery is estimated to contain between 250 and 300 million barrels of oil, representing a turning point for the country’s energy sector.

“We proved a working oil system in Namibia, but also proved the presence of light oil, which has been a massive milestone for Namibia,” stated the Country Chair for Shell Namibia, Dennis Sekveld, who delivered an address as part of the conference’s opening remarks, adding, “The reality is, we need to serve a purpose. We need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “What is in it for the country?”. We need to drive local economic opportunities in the country, drive local content development, and promote opportunities that alleviate poverty, and we are committed to maximizing local employment in the country and work with the government towards a multilateral strategy.”

Representing one of the final frontiers for hydrocarbon exploration, Namibia has seen an array of exploration campaigns undertaken over decades. As such, NIEC 2023 is set to drive industry growth and development.

Taking place under the theme, ‘Shaping the Future of Energy Towards Value Creation’, Namibia as a destination for energy investments will take center stage during the two-day conference, which is set to take a close look at global and continental energy perspectives and their impact, the latest developments in the oil and gas industry, the status of the power and electricity market, the role of natural gas, as well as the future of renewables.

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