UK’s fossil-fuel advice for Namibia

Moore says Namibian offerings still not known to the world
The United Kingdom says it wants to help Namibia promote and prepare its products for the international export market.
Elizabeth Joseph
The British High Commissioner to Namibia, Charles Moore, says Namibia should not feel compelled to follow the rest of the world in abandoning fossil fuels. Instead, it should continue working towards exploiting its recently-discovered oil resources.

Speaking on The Agenda, which airs this Sunday, Moore lauded the country’s efforts to explore investment opportunities in oil and gas and said the United Kingdom (UK) could learn from Namibia. The high commissioner said although the oil discoveries offer a great opportunity for Namibia to boost its national revenue, they come at an unfortunate time. "The green hydrogen and oil discovery has come at an unfortunate time. Namibia has been the victim of climate change instead of a contributor thereof. The climate-change argument is that we should stop using oil and gas and stop activities promoting green hydrogen. In that sense, it's unfortunate timing," he said.

"The ball's in our court. I don't think the UK is making the most of the green hydrogen-related opportunities Namibia is availing. It's not about Namibia talking, it's about the UK listening and acting," he said during an interview with Namibian Sun.

Ideal environment

He admitted that Namibia has the "perfect and ideal environment" for solar energy production, getting about 300 days of sunlight a year. However, the UK's steps to move away from oil and green hydrogen should not be seen as a sign for Namibia to do the same, he said.

Moore hinted at more collaborations between the Namibian and UK governments related to wind and solar energy. He added that his office aims to promote and prepare Namibian products for the international export market. "Namibia has a small market, and I am trying to make sure that Namibia becomes popular for trade and investment. It is developing, but there's a lot more promotion to do. Many people don't know Namibia and it's a shame," he said.

In November, 40 women in Namibia graduated from an eight-week free training in international trade fully funded by the UK government and Trade Forward Southern Africa (TFSA). The programme gave technical assistance and capacitated entrepreneurs for non-tariff-related barriers to trade in southern Africa. "I am keen to see how we can assist Namibian exporters and how we can upskill small and medium markets," Moore said.