UNDP Regional Director Visits Erongo Region

December 12, 2023

UNDP Staff and Erongo Governor's staff pictured

As part of her mission to Namibia, UNDP Africa Regional Director, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, visited the Erongo region on 25 November 2023, to discuss possible collaborations and engagement between UNDP Namibia and the Erongo Region.


The Honourable Governor of Erongo, Hon. Nevile Andre Itope, alongside the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer of Swakopmund Municipality, hosted the Regional Director, Deputy Regional Director, Ms Noura Hamladji and UNDP Staff. 


During her visit, she applauded the office of the governor’s efforts in creating an enabling environment for UNDP operations, emphasizing on the importance of their partnership for progress. During the meeting with Hon. Nevile Itope, Ms Eziakonwa expressed her gratitude for the collaboration between the UNDP and the people of Erongo region and noted the successful collaboration between the UNDP and the Swakopmund Municipality in ensuring urban food security and livelihood support.

Staff pictured at the Hydrogen Site in Erongo Region

"The partnership between the UNDP and the Erongo region has been instrumental in driving sustainable development. I am inspired by the commitment and passion demonstrated by the Governor, Hon. Nevile Itope, and his team in ensuring a prosperous future for the region”,


she said while acknowledging the extensive work being carried out by the UNDP in Erongo, specifically in areas such as climate change, support for small miners, and the conservation of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME). She also highlighted the role of innovative champions and their contribution to sustainable development. Hon. Nevile Itope briefed the regional director of the ongoing interventions that aim to address the emerging development challenges such as growing rural to urban migration that manifests itself through the unplanned influx of residents, which consequently overburdens public services systems health, education, housing et.c. 


He further highlighted the regions exploratory work in green hydrogen, which he said are good opportunities for job creation and investment, especially working with the private sector. The governor mentioned some of the possible areas for collaboration and engagement, including economic advancements (youth and women), renewable energy skills development, climate change-related projects, smart cities and food security. He alluded to the fact that the region is keen to also embark on various assessments to establish their performance against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Continuing her visit, Ms. Eziakonwa embarked on a field trip, visiting key regional locations. Among these visits was Namport in Walvis Bay, where she observed the crucial role of the port in facilitating trade and regional development and in the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) Additionally, she visited the Japan Funded Build Back Better Urban Agriculture Project in Swakopmund an initiative that showcased the importance of sustainable agriculture and the support provided by international partners in advancing food security in the region and across 7 additional in Namibia. 


During her field trip, the UNDP Africa Regional Director also explored the Green Hydrogen project, which holds immense potential for the agricultural sector. The project aims to produce green Hydrogen and Ammonia utilizing renewable energies. By establishing green schemes for ammonia nitrate crops and integrating green hydrogen technologies in sectors like agriculture and cleaning, the project promises to provide valuable insights into sustainable energy solutions and creating employment especially for young people. 


The Green Hydrogen "Clean Energy" project is in its first implementation phase, with an investment of €30 million in constructing a state-of-the-art Hydrogen Academy that will train technicians, artisans, and industrial, mechanical and software engineers. The company have a Memorandum of Understanding with Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), University of Namibia (UNAM) and Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) to provide them with graduates in those key fields. The plan is to be fully operational by April next year, and the first hydrogen production is earmarked for July 2024, while the export of Ammonia will be by 2025. Phase 2 will cost €200 million, while Phase 3 will cost €31.5 billion. Hydrogen will be used locally in the first phase, the second phase will be for exports, and the last phase will be for commercial phase. 

Recommended was a Gender policy to ensure that women are empowered through employment and the training and learning of industry specialists. 


Ms Eziakonwa concluded her visit by reaffirming the UNDP's commitment to continue working hand in hand with the Erongo region to achieve its development goals. The Erongo Region and UNDP Country Office pledge to explore areas of collaborations that will bring about opportunities for all.


The Regional Director was accompanied by Ms Noura Hamladji, UNDP Africa Deputy Regional Director, Ms Noura Hamladji, Ms Alkha Bhatia, UNDP Resident Director in Namibia Country Office, Ms Joy Kategekwa, Strategy Advisor on Africa, UNDP staff members and partners. 


Signage of the Cleanergy Solutions Namibia with layout of site