Alweendo says Namibia must insist on value addition of critical raw materials before export
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo last week said the country must insist that critical raw materials are not exported without value being added locally.
Alweendo said this at a stakeholder meeting held in Windhoek.
“And where possible, we need to insist that processed minerals are used as inputs into locally manufactured goods, such as batteries, allowing us to export manufactured goods,” he added.
According to Alweendo, mining is a major contributor to the Namibian economy and stands at the forefront of the country’s sustainable national development agenda.
“It is through mining the resources that we can provide employment opportunities to the unemployed Namibians. It is through mining that we can provide a livelihood to the Namibian people, making the mining industry a beacon of light in the national strive towards prosperity,” he said.
Alweendo said recently Namibia’s journey to prosperity has been given a shot in the arm of promising things happening in both the petroleum and mining sectors.
“For example, in the petroleum sector, oil has been discovered in sufficient quantities that justify commercial production, and soon Namibia will be an oil-producing country. In the mining sector, because of the energy transition brought about by the global undertaking to address the effects of climate change, there is now a global demand for critical raw materials and metals,” he added.
Alweendo believes that it is through this that, Namibia has a clear window of opportunity to transform the economy and effectively address the triple social ills of unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
Currently, Namibia’s biggest socio-economic challenge is unemployment, especially youth unemployment.
“We, therefore, need to do what is necessary to offer more employment opportunities,” he concluded.