Adequate supply of electricity is a determining factor in a country’s economic growth and competitiveness. The energy shortage in the southern African region has strongly affected Namibia’s economic growth, rendering efforts to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment as futile.

The African Development Bank intends to support the implementation of the Namibian government’s action plan to reduce the country’s dependency on South Africa’s energy supply and develop the Namibian energy sector. In the bank’s indicative lending program for the fiscal period 2009-2013, an indicative amount of UA85 million (US$119 million) of AfDB’s total lending envelope will be allocated toward exploring alternative sources of electricity such as hydropower and natural gas.

Devex Early Intelligence learned from implementing agency NamPower that some of these projects will pioneer the use of new technology in the region, thus regarded as a potential investment catalyst for future developers. The Namibian government hopes that developing diverse energy sources and increasing energy exports would alleviate the country’s power supply shortage and strengthen economic competitiveness.