Nedbank Namibia hosts oil and gas financing discussions

Namibia hosted yet another successful evening of industry discussions, this time bringing together an inspiring cohort of industry leaders and government officials in the oil and gas industry.

The engagement served as a platform to cultivate collaborations among regional neighbours, government entities, and Namibia’s major oil and gas industrial sectors, allowing them to discover synergies and uncover the unexpected connections.

Opening the evening’s proceedings, Nedbank Namibia Managing Director, Martha Murorua, underscored Namibia’s promising economic growth trajectory.

‘Our economy is poised to capitalise on substantial opportunities in green hydrogen technology and oil and gas sectors,’ Murorua noted, adding that traditional industries like mining and fishing, which have long been the backbone of the Namibian economy, are also experiencing significant growth,” she said.

‘Truly, with so many opportunities for innovation and development, it’s an exhilarating time to be engaged in the corporate and investment banking sector in Southern Africa,”

In his keynote address, Director General of the National Planning Commission Obeth Kandjoze, provided an overview of the latest developments in the local oil and gas sectors.

Kandjoze highlighted the Namibian economy’s robust growth in 2023, citing a 4.2% increase driven primarily by expansions in mining and substantial investments in oil and gas exploration.

‘Even prior to commencing oil production, this industry has significantly contributed to our country’s economic growth,’ he highlighted. ‘In 2023, global oil consumption reached 103 million barrels per day, along with 4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas consumed. Considering the immense global demand for these resources, imagine the vast potential we have yet to harness when we begin local production.’

Regarding environmental concerns, Kandjoze assured attendees that the Namibian government remains committed to stringent environmental management. ‘We know the magnitude of the opportunities that lie ahead for us and that if we play with the environment that opportunity will be taken away from us.’

Kandjoze concluded by echoing the vision of the late President Dr. Hage G. Geingob, emphasising the government’s dedication to forging collaborative partnerships with private sector entities who share their passion and dedication for inclusive growth in Namibia. ‘Today, more than ever, we must stress the need for advancing economic development where no one is left out, no matter their race, gender or creed.’

In his address, the President of the Namibia Mining Chambers and MD of Dundee Metals, Zebra Kasete, shed light on the potential synergies between the mining and oil and gas sectors to stimulate economic growth.

He assured attendees of the significant growth potential that still lies within mining, historically the largest contributor to the nation’s GDP, outlining plans for the opening of two new mines before 2030.

He emphasised the symbiotic relationship between the mining and oil sectors, noting the considerable environmental pressure on major oil companies to decarbonise, efforts which necessitate metals.

‘To be environmentally compliant they will need the metals we mine such as copper, lithium, uranium, and iron ore, amongst others,’ Kasete. ‘The oil and gas industries have already started moving into the mining space for this purpose and given their substantial financial resources, they can significantly expedite our supply chain processes.’

Kasete highlighted the mutual demand for skilled labour in the mining, oil and gas and green hydrogen industries, including artisans, electricians, welders, geologists, and engineers.

‘Collaboration is crucial here,’ Kasete insisted. ‘We must foster partnerships with government and tertiary institutions to establish training facilities that can expand the talent pool and equip our workforce with essential skills. Without this investment, mines risk losing our workforce to the more financially robust oil industry giants.’

The event also hosted a panel discussion focused on unlocking the economic potential of the oil and gas industry, provided a platform for insightful contributions from experts including Director General of the National Planning Commission, Obeth Kandjoze; Acting Managing Director of Namcor, Ebson Uangata, Head of Oil and Gas at Nedbank London, Mr. Christopher Coombs, and Executive Corporate and Investment Banking at Nedbank Namibia, Tjivingurura Mbuende.

During the discussion, Coombs highlighted the remarkable evolution of Namibia’s resource landscape over the past decade.

‘Namibia started the decade at a very negative resource base and is now in talks with industries that are worth billions of pounds,’ he noted, underscoring the unprecedented scale of change occurring within the nation.

Reflecting on the investment potential, Coombs stressed that TotalEnergies has committed 50% of its $100 million global exploration budget to Namibia in a single year—a clear indicator of the substantial opportunity present in the region.

‘Such a commitment signifies confidence not just in future production, but in the near-term prospects. By the end of the decade, Namibia has the potential to become the top producer of oil in Sub-Saharan Africa.’

Coombs elaborated on the significant infrastructure demands associated with oil and gas development, encompassing ports, airports, a robust transport network, accommodation, and more.

Addressing the importance of local participation, Coombs stressed, ‘It’s not just about brick-and-mortar infrastructure; it’s about empowering the local workforce. They must be upskilled and integrated to seize the vast economic opportunities ahead.’

Mbuende expanded on this, asserting that within five years, Namibia could experience GDP growth unprecedented in decades.

However, he emphasised, ‘The challenge in Namibia hasn’t always been GDP growth—it’s been ensuring that the wealth trickles down. It’s about ensuring more and more people can share in the benefits.’

Dr. Terence Sibiya, Managing Director of Nedbank Africa Regions, expressed gratitude for the wealth of knowledge and advice shared during the event and extended thanks to the Nedbank Namibia team for hosting a productive and inspiring series of discussions.

‘As Nedbank, which is one of Africa’s largest financial services groups, we believe that our success depends on the degree to which we deliver value to society. We do this by living our purpose of using our financial expertise to do good,’ Sibiya said in closing. ‘We know that if we help our neighbour, our clients, we are helping ourselves in the long run.’

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