Robert Habeck mit dem namibischen Präsidenten Hage Geinghob

© BMWK / Dominik Butzmann

Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck is visiting southern Africa for political talks from today until Thursday. Today’s first stop on the trip is Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, where the Minister is meeting various people, including Namibian President Hage Geinghob. Tomorrow he will travel on to South Africa, where, among other engagements, he will join South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the German-African Business Summit (GABS). The trip is highlighting the German Government’s efforts towards decarbonisation and diversification, as well as the various geopolitical challenges and opportunities clearly emerging in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Key issues are the global energy transition and a fair transition towards climate neutrality.

Federal Minister Habeck said: “African countries are important partners in the diversification of our value chains and the decarbonisation of global energy systems. This is hugely important, not least in light of the climate crisis, which is hitting southern Africa particularly hard. At the same time, though, some of the answers are to be found here: solar energy and wind power are important renewable resources and should be utilised. We want to intensify cooperation and expand partnerships, especially with an eye to sustainable development. It is important to shape them in such a way that the two sides benefit from each other.”

One central issue on the trip is energy cooperation between Germany and southern Africa, with a focus on the production of green hydrogen. With the virtually perfect conditions it offers for electricity generation from wind and photovoltaics, southern Africa in particular can be an attractive production site for green hydrogen. At the same time, the electrification of these countries with renewable energy and international decarbonisation can be driven forwards and possibilities created for green industrialisation.

During his visit, one task is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the administrative partnership between the German and Namibian competition authorities. The Minister is also presenting a grant award letter for a green hydrogen project for industrial-scale production of climate-neutral iron in Namibia. He is attending the signing of a declaration by the University of Namibia and Anhalt University; the two institutions intend to further intensify their joint research in the field of renewables.
From Tuesday morning, high-level bilateral talks in South Africa are on the agenda, alongside visits to companies and meetings with representatives of civil society. The aim is to enhance mutual trust and intensify cooperation.

The business delegation accompanying the Minister reflects the diversity of German business activity in Africa. Here, too, the energy sector is the main focus of political and economic interest. However, the delegation also includes representatives of the healthcare industries, technology start-ups and traditional manufacturing.

Similarly, the German-African Business Summit, which Minister Habeck will open in Johannesburg on 7 December, is targeted at all sectors of the German and African business communities. The summit brings together leading business leaders and heads of government from Germany and sub-Saharan Africa to discuss and further develop the economic ties between Europe’s biggest economy and the world’s fastest-growing region.