Namibian Economics To The Point – January 2022

1 Feb 2022

Most parts of Namibia received good rains in the second half of January, caused by effects of the tropical storm Ana, which had earlier hit Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique. The Hardap and the Neckartal dams in southern Namibia are now full.

The first ever public quick charging station for electric vehicles was unveiled in a Windhoek shopping centre.

The local tourism company Gondwana Collection Namibia has announced it will manage the “Am Weinberg” boutique hotel, now The Weinberg Windhoek. The managment will start soon. All hotel employees will retain their jobs. The management deal was reached after a new owner bought the hotel, which has 41 rooms, as well as conference facilities.

The Namibian government is expected to make an announcement about an offshore oil and gas discovery made by Dutch oil giant Shell end of December.

Germany has removed Namibia from the list of high risk Covid-19 destinations since 30 January. A day before that, the United Arab Emirates lifted an entry ban for Namibian citizens and other nationals from African countries. The ban had affected activities of the Namibian pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020.

Angola has opened two border posts along the Namibian border on 01 February. The remaining border posts to Namibia will open on 15 February.

Namibian citizens and persons living in Namibia with a permanent residence permit – who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 -, are no longer required to provide a negative PCR test when re-entering Namibia after a trip. The Namibian government announced this during the first national Covid-19 briefing in the New Year. Since 16 January they only need to provide a valid authentic vaccination card of the health ministry on entry.

According to the national statistic agency, Inflation has jumped to 4.5 percent end of December, up from 4.1% in November.

Oil giant Shell drilling along Namibian coast

Shell has started drilling off the southern parts of the Namibian coast in December and announced that traces of oil and gas were found at its Graff-1 well.

An international news agency reported this month, that the drilling had shown very successful results. This prompted the Namibian mines and energy ministry to state that it would only make an official announcement about the results, once it had receive all data and analysed them.

Shell owns 45 percent stake in the offshore Petroleum Exploration License 39 (PEL 39). The Qatari company Qatar Petroleum also has a 45% stake while the state-owned company Namibia Petroleum Corporation (NamCor) owns ten percent.

Angola-Namibian border opens after nearly 2 years

The Angolan government has opened the main border post to Namibia at Oshikango from 01 February after 22 months, since the first Covid-19 case was reported in Namibia in March 2020. The Katwitwi border post further east also opened the same day. All other remaining border posts between Angola and Namibia will open on 15 February.

This was agreed during a bilateral meeting on 21 January at Ondjiva, a town in southern Angola, just 11km north of Oshikango.

The Oshikango border post to Angola. Photo: Angop


The reopening the common borders will allow the movement of people and goods, which will enhance socio-economic conditions. The usually busy Oshikango town came to a standstill in the past 22 months. The Namibian authorities had allowed Angolans to cross the border for medical purposes only. At the recent meeting, the Angolan government stipulated that in order to enter Angola, visitors must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test and a vaccination certificate with two doses. Persons who only have one vaccination dose, where two are needed, must undergo 7 days quarantine at their own cost.

First copper concentrate at Kombat mine

The Canadian mining company Trigon Metals announced that its first copper concentrates were produced at the Kombat mine in Namibia on 30 December 2021. Trigon has brought new life to the dormant copper mine near Otavi.

The revived Kombat copper mine near Otavi. Photo: Trigon Metals

The company noted that its teams worked through the Christmas period to complete the installation of filter presses and trial runs of the entire production process to achieve this milestone. According to a press-release, the concentrate produced exceeded the expectations of management, demonstrating that the combination of new equipment from Xinhai and refurbished equipment from the historic operation are operating well. Importantly, production continues for the planned export of the first concentrate shipments. Full commercial production of copper concentrates is set for March 2022.

The revived Kombat copper mine near Otavi. Photo: Trigon Metals

The Kombat copper project is regarded by Trigon as its flagship project. The company’s mining and prospecting license areas cover an area of more than 7,500 hectares in the Otavi Mountains.

Quick charging station for electric vehicles unveiled

Since 29 January, the growing fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) in Namibia can be charged at a quick charging station at a parking deck in a Windhoek shopping centre.

The local company “EVs Namibia CC” and the Grove Mall shopping mall jointly set up the first public direct current (DC) fast charging station.

According to Conrad Roedern of “EVs Namibia” some 45 EVs are roaming the Namibian streets. “A survey with current EV owners pointed to Grove Mall as the preferential fast-charging site in Windhoek,” Roedern said.

Grove has a 2.8 Megawatt solar photovoltaic plant on their roof and some of that electricity produced is used for the charging station. The DC fast charger has a power of 40 kW and has 2 “nozzles”. When charging 2 cars simultaneously power will be split 50/50. Nissan Leaf and Nissan eNV-200 EVs connect via their CHADEMO-standard fast-charging ports fitted on these EVs. The second nozzle allows to fast-charge most cars of European origin, like the BMW i3 and Volkswagen’s ID3 and ID4 models.

More standards can be accommodated using plug-adaptors. Car owners take the nozzle off the hook and insert it into the DC port of their vehicle. They can do their shopping or have coffee while their car is charging.

The good news is that for the coming 12 months, the fast-charging will be for free. After that, in early 2023, payment will be made via electronic funds transaction (EFT) from a client’s bank account. The quick charging station is then activated by swiping a RFID card or via a QR-code and App. Each EV owner will receive a RFID card on request.

The price per kWh fast-charged will lie around N$5.50, said Roedern, whose company imports pre-owned EVs from abroad.

Author: Brigitte Weidlich

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