Japan to assist Namibia develop rare earth industry

Japan’s Minister of Economic, Trade, and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, has expressed his admiration for Namibia’s abundance of natural resources, including rare earth.

“Namibia has rich resources, including minerals that are necessary for technological innovation and also for development,” Nashimura said when meeting his Namibian counterparts at the State House on Tuesday.

Accompanied by a strong delegation of business leaders, Nashimura held bilateral talks with the Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, and Lucia Iipumbu, the minister of industrialisation and trade.

He said his visit sought to accelerate and intensify bilateral relations between Namibia and Japan and that the Japan Organisation for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy have signed an agreement to conduct a study on Namibia’s rare earth mineral resource.

The survey on the rare earth supply chain will lead to the establishment of a rare earth industry in Namibia, he said.

Japanese companies have also expressed interest in exploring opportunities in the field of renewable energy, particularly green hydrogen.

Japan’s ITOCHU Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hyphen Energy Namibia on Tuesday aimed at collaborating in areas of green hydrogen and ammonia production.

The agreement was signed by Shinya Ishizuka, the deputy executive officer for ITOCHU Africa, and Marco Raffinetti, the chief executive officer of Hyphen Hydrogen Namibia.

Alweendo said Nashimura’s visit to Namibia is testament that government’s effort to attract investors is bearing fruit.

“When it comes to the green hydrogen strategy that we have, Japan is a key global partner that can even make our strategy better. Not only in terms of becoming a potential off-taker for either green hydrogen or ammonia, but equally just to be part of the whole value chain of the strategy that we have,” he said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency