Policymakers called to action

Workshop emphasises inclusive transition to clean energy
Stiff competition and a lack of governmental support are hampering green-energy entrepreneurs, Shopati said.
Jemimah Ndebele
With Namibia’s energy future hanging in the balance as Vision 2030 looms, stakeholders affiliated with the Just Green Transition for the Informal Sector in Namibia (Justis) initiative convened for the opening of a two-day workshop last week.

Held at the Windhoek Country Club and Casino, the workshop was themed ‘advancing the green digital transition, enabling an inclusive green transition with digital platforms’. Presentations assessing the informal sector’s progress in transitioning from fossil fuels to green energy showed that various factors - including policymakers’ lack of support - are causing a lag.

“One of the recommendations from the study we conducted in the Khomas and Erongo regions is that policymakers come on board and adopt an inclusive approach to represent and include stakeholders from the informal sector throughout this transitioning process,” Abner Shopati of the University of Namibia’s business school said. “He added that the high competition rate and lack of governmental support are some of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs in the sector face.


The first day of the workshop saw various stakeholders taking part in a panel discussion moderated by journalist and television presenter, Denver Kisting. The discussion, centred around how Namibia can attain a just energy transition, raised possible contradictions for the Namibian nation during this transition.

On the possibility of both renewable and non-renewable energy thriving concurrently, Zivayi Chiguvare, the director of the Namibia Green Hydrogen Institute, explained that the use of non-renewable energy does not have to entirely discontinue for green energy to thrive. “The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones. We simply evolved. At one stage, both the use of oil and hydrogen fuel will coexist before proceeding to simply using green fuels.”

He added that Namibia will soon see the construction of hydrogen fuel service stations.

Meanwhile, Helvi Ileka from the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency said measures need to be put in place to ensure the transition is not only smooth, but inclusive as well. “We are not saying that the switch to fossil fuels will be and should be turned off immediately. However, failure to [transition] presents troubles and challenges of its own.”