Opinion – Hagenomics: Green Hydrogen, Welwitschia Fund and Complexity

Dylan Mukoroli

There is no shame in admitting that Covid-19 has given the Namibian economy a good beating, and we are still feeling the effects. The special Russian-Ukrainian military operation/invasion did not make things more encouraging either.

But one thing that came out of it was perhaps the greatest motivation, push and political will for economic diversification. This, in turn, will have great prospects for economic growth, job creation, and economic literature with regard to economic diversification and economic complexity.

The term Hagenomics stems from the economic thought, effort, and economic modus operandi that President Hage Geingob has championed since taking office. It is normal and fair that we give him a term that reflects the economic scenarios arising from his leadership.

Economic complexity can be defined as the composition of a country’s productive output and represents the structures that emerge to hold and combine knowledge. The work currently being done by the National Planning Commission, the Economic Advisory Office of the Presidency and the Harvard Growth Lab will greatly inform and change the economic landscape of Namibia.

Ongoing work will enable more responsive economic planning and ensure that economic policies are realistic and growth-oriented.

On green hydrogen, no expression has been used more by the administration than green hydrogen. The term is not only championed locally, but Her Excellency has promoted her outlook on prominent international stages and platforms. The region by green hydrogen superpowers, such as Belgium, indeed gives the assurance that international lobbying is taking off.

Perhaps the most profane explanation and analogy of green hydrogen was made at the plenaries of the Namibia National Organization of Students (Nanso) congress by Presidential Economic Advisor James Myupe.

He gave the most basic, yet exciting insight into what green hydrogen is, its prospects in Namibia, the process of producing green hydrogen and the exciting investments that will change the economic landscape as we see it. know.

We have learned surprisingly that Namibia is labeled as a green hydrogen superpower. Certainly, the right momentum is building and we refuse to be left behind in such an exciting development.

It is encouraging to see that there needs to be more knowledge about the issue and prospects of green hydrogen, as mentioned above. The country as a whole needs to understand exactly what the government is trying to achieve. There must be a national green hydrogen information sharing program. Mass support for this will go a long way towards the overall success of the green hydrogen agenda.

We are learning from the Harvard Growth Lab that there are high expectations for economic growth in the coming years. When you couple this with the growth of green hydrogen, the situation becomes more encouraging. The Harvard Growth Lab further draws attention to Namibia’s economic structure, market dynamics, strategic space, and opportunities for growth.

This is particularly important, as each item features real-time data and information on the breadth of Namibia’s economy and complexity. Data from the Harvard Growth Lab indicates that with the opening up of diversified opportunities, economic growth should exceed 4%.

This is the kind of growth needed to create jobs, eradicate poverty and revive the infrastructure sector and its technical jobs.

Simply put, not if, but when we as a country succeed in implementing this green hydrogen program, we can expect a lot.

Another important economic element brought by Hagenomics is our own sovereign wealth fund, called the Welwitschia Fund. The fund focuses on building national resilience by insulating the socio-economic structure against cyclical shocks while promoting intergenerational prosperity for all Namibians through the distribution of benefits arising from the current use of the country’s natural resources.

The fund will also ensure that Namibia does not lose key investments in Silicon Valley and other markets that still guarantee returns. Another significant approach the fund is to engage in is an Invest in Namibia initiative, in which the fund aligns its funding with Namibian start-ups that meet expectations and have the capacity to disrupt the MSME space.

The above raises a much-needed new debate, which is the case for government intervention in business. These are the mechanisms that a government introduces, such as state-owned enterprises, pro-growth policies, sovereign wealth funds, etc.

As a country, the government intervenes a lot in the business sector. A comprehensive debate needs to take place on how a social pact between SOEs and the private sector will create social capital and a new structure for facilitating industrial growth for the country.

2022-05-20 Staff reporter

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Sharon D. Cole