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Namibian President Kicks Off First Visit to South Africa

Namibian President, H.E. Hage Geingob, and South African President, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, began official proceedings in Pretoria on Thursday, as part President Geingob’s first official visit to South Africa since his 2015 election.

The visit aims to strengthen relations between the two trading partners, examine mutual economic and political interests, and assess global energy security concerns. The heads of state will also re-evaluate the Bi-National Commission (BNC), a 2013 framework that allows for bilateral policy decisions and relationship-building.

President Ramaphosa’s office stated that the visit “will afford the two countries an opportunity to solidify their bonds of friendship through assessing progress made in the implementation of the decisions of their BNC”.

South Africa is Namibia’s largest export partner and supplies 40% of Namibia’s electricity import demand. Namibia imports between 50-60% of its total annual electricity consumption from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), a common power grid and electricity market between countries in the SADC region.

However, the country is seeking to replace electricity imports with domestic power generation capacity, particularly through large-scale green hydrogen development that could generate electricity at a cost as low as $0.2-0.3 per kWh. South Africa would also stand to benefit from lightened power trading volumes routed through the Southern Cape, resulting in increased transmission capacity and reduced energy losses.

“South Africa has the highest number of companies doing business in Namibia. Bilaterally again, the countries have signed over 90 bilateral agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, covering a wide range of sectors. This is the highest number that Namibia has sided with any bilateral partner,” said Penda Naanda, Executive Director for South Africa’s Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, at the Third Session of the Namibia-South Africa BNC last month in Windhoek.

President Geingob was greeted at the airport by a delegation including Naanda and South Africa’s Minister of Employment and Labor, H.E. Thules Nxesi, and is expected to return to Namibia this Saturday .

Source : EnergyCapital&Power