The Government plans to eliminate unemployment by 2040 through its national green hydrogen strategy, which was launched last year.
The Chairperson of the Green Hydrogen Council, Obeth Kandjoze, said this during the Socio-Economic Development Framework launch of the Hyphen Green Hydrogen and Ammonia Project at Keetmanshoop.
"Within the strategy, the government plans to eradicate unemployment by 2040, and this is how it is going to do it: it will create through the green industry up to 600,000 green jobs. As we sit here, it's expanding and getting bigger and bigger. Of course, the endowment of the south through the free sun and wind and the coastal line nearby makes all of this possible. To ensure these jobs are quality jobs, it is imperative that the first 15,000 jobs be and remain a benchmark for this future industry. To achieve this, the Green Hydrogen Council is delighted to launch and fully support this framework, which would be a stencil for future developers for the green hydrogen industry in Namibia. We are here to incubate."
The government, says Kandjoze, committed itself to increasing representation of the youth from Hardap and ||Kharas during the second round of scholarship grant allocations aimed at capacity building in the green hydrogen sector.
The government will pocket N$100 million annually from Hyphen's Hydrogen Project lease agreement.
The Socio-Economic Development Framework ensures that the project maximises benefits for Namibians by focusing on key areas such as training, education, job creation, and localization.
The Head of ESG, Hyphen, Toini Beukes said, "Although our intention is certainly to maximise Namibian participation, we cannot do it at the cost of the project, we have to remain cost effective, and those guiding principles really ground us in terms of how we think about social economic development in terms of green hydrogen, but ultimately our framework is intended to be transformative, intended to be impactful, and intended to be inclusive.
Also speaking at the occasion were ||Kharas Governor and Hyphen CEO.
The Governor of ||Kharas Region, Aletha Frederick, said, "As the government priority remains youth empowerment to reduce the alarming unemployment rate among this higher demographic group, we would like to appeal for the introduction of direct, indirect, and deliberate integrated programmes that are tailor-made to close the skills gap and create opportunities for the youth to participate at levels of the Green Hydrogen Project."
Hyphen CEO Marco Raffinetti said," This is a very tough journey that we are embarking on to make this project a reality. It is transformative for the country, but it is a difficult journey. It will be a long journey, and only working together in collaboration, honestly, openly, and transparently, will make the project of this magnitude a success."