Windhoek, Namibia - The administrator of the National Energy Administration of China, Zhang Jinhua, on Friday paid a visit to Namibia President Hage Geingob. The visit is aimed at establishing cooperation in the area of green hydrogen production.
Namibia is positioning itself as a future green hydrogen producer to attract investment from the globe's leading and fastest growing producer of renewable energy - China.
James Mnyupe, Namibia's green hydrogen commissioner and economic adviser to the president, told VOA that although Namibia has not signed a partnership with China on green hydrogen, officials are looking to the Asian country as a critical partner. But it isn't talking to China alone.
"We have an MOU [Memo of Understanding] with Europe; we are also discussing possibilities of collaboration with the United States," he said. "If you look at any of these green hydrogen projects as I mentioned, simply they will use components from all over the world."
He said in the face of rising energy demands around the globe and increased tensions between the East and West, Namibia will not be drawn into picking sides. He was referring to the conflict in Ukraine and its effect on international relations
"So today Europe's biggest trading partner is China, China's biggest markets are the U.S. and Europe so if Namibia trades with Europe, China or the U.S. for that matter, that is not a reason for involving Namibia in any political or conflict-related discussions between those countries," he said.
Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari said the visit by U.S. Ambassador to Namibia Randy Berry on Tuesday was aimed at cementing relations in major areas of interest, among them green hydrogen and oil exploration.
"Namibia is making tremendous advances in the areas of green energy but also in hydrocarbons," he said. "American companies are drilling off the coast of the Republic of Namibia and so it was a courtesy visit just to emphasize increasing cooperation in these areas."
Speaking through an interpreter, China's administrator for its National Energy Administration on Friday said China is ready to partner with Namibia in all areas of green hydrogen.
Hydrogen is an alternative fuel that industrialized nations hope can help them reach their ambitious goal of net-zero carbon emission by 2050.
Mnyupe says Namibia is looking to learn from China on how best to use its experience in producing renewable energy and renewable energy components. Friday's visit is an indication of China's interest in partnering with Namibia and participating in the countries green-hydrogen value chain.