Bank Windhoek’s Chief Treasurer, Claire Hobbs, said that with the recent discovery of oil and gas off Namibia’s coast and the finds of highly sort after lithium, Namibia is becoming an attractive prospect for direct foreign investment, fast-tracking it for economic growth, it needs. Hobbs shared these remarks at a stakeholder event that hosted several key coastal customers for breakfast in Walvis Bay on Friday, 14 April 2023.
“After significant investment in the Walvis Bay Harbour and related infrastructure, as well as the work being done in developing the Walvis Bay Corridor, Walvis Bay remains significant and stands to contribute and benefit immensely by facilitating the export of these commodities, oil, gas and lithium, while continuing to act as the logistics hub for our neighbours,” she said.
Hobbs also took the opportunity to remind the audience that the world currently finds itself in a precarious state. She said climate change's effects touch everyone with a cruel contrast, both nationally and internationally. “Namibia is taking significant steps to contribute toward turning the tide of climate change. It has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 91% over the next five years and reaching net zero by 2050. Its significant contribution is the move towards alternative sources of energy generation and the potential to pioneer green hydrogen on the continent," she said.
Claire Hobbs also added that Namibia owes itself to be energy-secure and to reach its goals to become and remain competitive on the continent and globally. “Bank Windhoek is poised to partner with our clients who want to be part of making that difference,” she said.
Hobbs emphasised to audiences that while the country advocates the move to sustainable and renewable energy, it must also recognise that oil and gas are essential to transition energy sources. “As we journey together toward an energy-independent future, we stand to gain by meeting increasing international demand for energy and commodities while working towards Namibia’s growth and the prosperity of our people,” said Hobbs.
Hosted by Bank Windhoek’s Executive Officer of Marketing and Corporate Communication Services, Jacquiline Pack, the event’s speakers also included Rowland Brown, one of Namibia's more notable economists. Brown gave an economic overview on what can be expected over the coming months locally, regionally and to what extent the global economic predictions impact Namibia and its operations.
Managing Director at Seawork Fish Processor Jürgen Sander said he appreciates that Bank Windhoek brought subject matter experts to an information-sharing session. "So many factors impact our fishing sector. To have an economist forecast a monetary overview settles our nerves since it prepares us for what to expect. I encourage Bank Windhoek to continue with such sessions in the coastal region,” said Sander.
Hobbs concluded by thanking the attendees, mainly in the fishing, oil, property and mining sectors. "We value our relationship with you and wish to be a part of your journey toward a sustainable future for your business,” she said.