European Union (EU) ambassador to Namibia Sinikka Antila says Namibia should fine-tune certain skills to realise its renewable energy dream.
Antila was speaking at a celebration of Europe Day in Windhoek on Tuesday.
“This is an area that nobody talked about when I started here, but now we are busy negotiating a road map for the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on the EU-Namibia partnership on sustainable raw materials value chains and renewable hydrogen that was signed last year.
“This partnership will support Namibia in using its mineral resources to underpin sustainable, clean and inclusive economic growth and to add value locally to Namibian mineral raw materials,” she said.
Antila said the youth is a key focus area for the EU, and there is a need to learn about and acknowledge young people’s expectations, rights and needs.
“We are now in the process of establishing an EU-Namibia youth sounding board that will create opportunities for young Namibian people of all backgrounds to express their views, to connect and to exchange.
“The youth sounding board will contribute to making EU actions more participatory, relevant, and effective for young people in Namibia,” she said.
Antilla said the EU-Namibia Multi-Annual Indicative Programme has been allocated an initial 37 million euros until 2024.
This is in addition to the early childhood education and inclusive green growth that will support governance programmes, such as civic education before the forthcoming elections, transparency and anti-corruption efforts, as well as human rights with a special focus on action against gender-based violence.
“Namibia is also benefiting from regional EU programmes, such as the one on strategic corridors with support to the Walvis Bay/Lüderitz-Maputo Corridor, as well as the integrated conservation and sustainable use of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem for a Sustainable Blue Economy.
“The EU is an important trade partner for Namibia,” she said.
The EU is currently preparing for the EU-Namibia Business Forum to be held in Brussels this year.
“I am calling for EU-Namibia business and investment partnerships to participate in this event to reach jointly sustainable, smart, green, inclusive economic growth,” Antila said.