The European Commission’s ambitious plan for a €1 billion green hydrogen and raw materials partnership with Namibia is facing uncertainty as the southern African nation refrained from signing the multicountry “Samoa Agreement.”
This agreement, which grants the European Investment Bank (EIB) the license to operate in member countries, becomes a critical element for the success of the proposed partnership.
Namibia’s strategic partnership with the European Union (EU) is underpinned by a substantial €1 billion investment focusing on sustainable raw materials and green hydrogen. Highlighted during the United Nations climate conference, COP 26, in 2021, this initiative aligns with the global commitment to reduce emissions and transition towards green energy solutions.
Green hydrogen, a central component of the investment plan, is a clean and sustainable energy carrier produced through electrolysis using renewable energy sources. Namibia’s potential as a hub for green hydrogen production positions it as a key player in the EU’s efforts to secure a renewable energy future.
The delay in Namibia signing the Samoa Agreement poses challenges for the proposed partnership. The agreement’s absence could hinder the European Investment Bank’s ability to operate in Namibia and provide essential loans crucial for the success of the green hydrogen and raw materials project. Brussels, having touted this strategic partnership, now faces the risk of setbacks in its ambitious plan.
The EU’s Global Gateway investment strategy, aimed at countering China’s Belt and Road initiative, has identified flagship projects for 2024. However, Namibia’s reluctance to sign the agreement raises questions about the broader implications for the EU’s strategic objectives and global investment strategy.