Guest Contributor | Jan 17, 2023 | 0
Over N$500 million spent on 15 sustainable green projects
Fifteen projects in agriculture, tourism, efficient technologies, and renewable energy benefited from N$589 million disbursed through the now concluded Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) programme.
The three-year programme was launched in Namibia in 2018 and is financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia as the host of the technical assistance facility to the programme.
Some of the highlights of SUNREF under the sustainable tourism industry include the Vingerklip Lodge in the Kunene Region as a recipient of N$3,8 million for the installation of a solar power system, under sustainable smart agriculture. Avagro in the Erongo Region was financed to the tune of N$10 million and under the sector of sustainable renewable energy, N$111 million for the 5 MegaWatt solar plant in Rosh Pinah.
A grant of N$1 million was also made available to the Environmental Investment Fund to set up a technical assistance facility that oversaw the interactions between project sponsors and banks. The three commercial banks which provided a green line of credit to project sponsors were Bank Windhoek, Nedbank Namibia and FNB Namibia.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the SUNREF Namibia programme last week, Executive Director in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry, Teofilus Nghitila said the programme has been an important driver of Namibia’s transition towards a low carbon and climate-resilient economy.
“With global energy demands on the increase, coupled with the reduction of natural resources and the negative impact of fossil-based energy sources on the environment, the issues of clean, sustainable energy and the importance thereof in economic development and global well-being have become a persistent reality. New business models, specifically energy innovation and the efficient use of resources are key components of mitigating these challenges,” Nghitila said.
The programme is the global green finance label of the AFD. In the context of energy and environmental transition, SUNREF helps private actors in southern hemisphere countries seize the opportunities of this transition via an innovative approach.
Ambassador Sébastien Minot of the French Embassy in Namibia said the SUNREF Namibia programme is one example of the many initiatives implemented by Namibia’s European partners, reflecting a common commitment to an even stronger partnership.
“The European commitment to green finance and new horizons in Namibia is growing. Before taking further steps with our Namibian partners, we are happy to see a project come to fruition today,” Minot said.