…Access to space technology highlighted
Namibia’s representative at the United Nation’s Office in Austria has recommended that Namibia include nuclear energy in its energy mix to ensure security of supply. Delivering his presentation during the Foreign Policy Review conference, Namibia’s Ambassador to the UN and other International Organisations in Austria, Simon Maruta, on how the UN is contributing to poverty eradication, he outlined the need for the establishment of a Nuclear Science and Technology Programme as well as a Nuclear Science and Technology Research Centre.
Namibia is currently facing immense power shortage, a situation brought upon mainly by the country’s over-reliance on electricity imports from South Africa. So dire is the situation that in recent months the country experienced numerous power outages. However, the Ministry of Mines and Energy explained that the outages were not caused by depleted power supply. Maruta urged government to “sensitise the public on the inclusion of nuclear energy into the energy mix and to develop a policy in this regard.”
He added that nuclear energy remains a viable source of energy due to the fact that it is stable and has low carbon emissions. There are currently 439 nuclear reactors in operation worldwide and nuclear is expected to grow by 80% by 2030. “There is a growing interest among newcomer countries to add nuclear power into their energy mix. It is not possible to industrialise without enough energy,” he said.
Maruta also touched on Africa’s outer space strategy, which is seen as a tool to bolster development.
“Outer space is of critical importance to the development of Namibia in all fields, be it agriculture, disaster management, remote sensing climate forecast, banking as well as defense and security,” he said. Maruta cautioned that: “Namibia’s access to outer space technology products is no longer a matter of luxury and is a need to speed up access to these technologies and products.”
The ambassador also recommended that Namibia identifies key mineral resources to be linked as mineral resource diplomacy at both bilateral and multilateral forums. He gave the example linking gold, uranium and diamond diplomacy in exchange for vocational training, scholarships and youth employment.