While Rwanda is commemorating 30 years of genocide, many Africans know all too well what can happen when media outlets single out certain groups of people and Individuals for constant attacks. Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines instigated the hate. “The Namibian” newspaper has become the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines of Namibia with their hate fill rhetoric and xenophobia. Africans understand how demonisation cultivates hatred that leads to death on a horrifying scale.

From the moment we honored late President Hage Geingob, the AEC and its leadership and board members became the number one enemy of “The Namibian”. “The Namibian” does not represent the views Namibians have of Africans and the Oil and Gas industry. Namibians are good people.

This hate and the xenophobia from “The Namibian” is abhorrent, detestable, beyond humanity, and must be condemned by all. We all need to come together in solidarity in standing up to the evils of white supremacy, Xenophobia and intolerance of all forms. Such bigotry should have no place in our society. History will not judge them well.

In a free-market society, international energy companies will choose to operate elsewhere if corruption and human rights violations make a country too expensive and too risky for operations. That will result in missed opportunities that African countries cannot afford to lose.

Opportunities to strategically harness our petroleum resources to grow our economies and bring about a better, safer quality of life for Africans. Opportunities to minimize energy poverty. And opportunities to lay a strong foundation for a successful energy transition.

To build a better future for Africans, we cannot be lackadaisical about addressing corruption, violence, and unacceptable treatment of men, women, and children. In addition to being wrong on every front, the devastation these activities cause today also rob Africans of a better future.

“The Namibian” wants to know who invited the AEC to the energy Conference.

Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley, Jesus, Tupac and the Pope. It will be good to know who invited similarly over 1,000 delegates who were present at the conference, including “The Namibian”.

OPEC and Namibia

Conversations between governments and international organisations are private. The AEC did not participate in a bilateral meeting between OPEC and Namibia and can not comment on the content or substance of those meetings.

Namibia has a role to play in addressing climate change and energy poverty in Namibia and Africa. It continues to show this leadership role globally and working together with others to advocate for an all-inclusive solution to the twin challenges of energy poverty and climate change which is key.

OPEC’s Declaration of Cooperation is a unique platform that facilitates cooperation between 23 oil-producing countries based on mutual respect, trust, and dialogue. They share information and lessons learned by other energy states. We urge everyone to listen to the speech by the OPEC Secretary General at Namibian International Energy Conference as well as do some well-informed journalistic work on these issues rather than being drawn into gossip inuendo and slander .

OPEC has expanded its dialogues with China, India, Russia, and the US, as well as with international organizations and global corporations. The majority of OPEC members are African. Working with others states in a cooperative manner provides the much needed stabilizing force in the energy markets and saved the energy industry from collapsing and in returned paved the way for energy companies to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to explore for energy offshore Namibia with some amazing results.

For the African Energy Chamber, the criticism, consistent slander and repetition of gossip from “The Namibian” newspaper does not have any merit. We really do not care about the hit jobs you seek to carry out on your new found hate figure because we know “The Namibian” newspaper has an obsessive love affair with the AEC and its leadership. If these criticisms were objective and more even-handed, they probably could keep people more against our leadership or the AEC. Our 4 million strong membership continues.

Personal and Xenophobic Attacks on foreigners

“The Namibian” newspaper has made it a point to drive a xenophobic agenda which we find dangerous. These undertones that are not good. We condemn it. We know that this is not a representation of “The Namibian” people.

At the AEC we believe racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, immigrant-bashing, or gay-bashing is wrong. You know, black bigotry is just as bad as white bigotry and God is not interested in any of that. The oil and gas industry is not a place for xenophobia and we will not condone this kind of behaviour.

At a time when we all should be focused on Namibian Content and inclusive women participation in the oil and gas industry, “The Namibian” has decided to focus on demonising even Namibians that mean good and have defied the odds to make it in a mostly white male dominated industry. We believe women should be drivers of the oil sector in Namibia. We all will be better if that happens and we have to work towards that goal.

Using wrong photos and without apologising

To confuse the face of a dark skin black man and light skin black man explains the quality of the writing and the publication. It takes us back to the era of “blacks are no good and they are all the same”. To confuse the names also further explains the height of their vindictive agenda. Anytime a person who is lumpenproletariat moves up to a position no one expected, they will always be subject to envy and personal attacks.

Knowledge Katti should be recognised for his extraordinary work in the energy sector in empowering Namibians through his philanthropy, investments, and advocacy for racial and economic justice for all Namibians. Through his work, new opportunities are being created for Namibians. No western companies in the same industry have endured such attacks in a similar fashion. It is of no interest to “The Namibian”. The attacks by this tabloid comes from the cheap seats. They are mad because they didn’t participate in the oil investment and knowledge took the risk more than 10 years ago and it paid off. The envious bystanders will continue their smear campaigns.

We at the AEC are happy Namibians will not be fooled. They will not be victims of plantation climate politics. Namibians are not going to be the battered wife for “The Namibian”. Namibians will rather walk naked than wear their wretched dress and their dangerous lies. Their immoral xenophobia does not represent who Namibians are.

Energy poverty and local content

Many black professionals in Namibia thought if they study hard and get good grades, they would follow the same professional track as their white counterparts, and reach for that Namibian dream—only to find out it was a nightmare. This has to change and the oil and gas industry is an amazing opportunity for young Namibians to be trained and get well-paying jobs.

There is a tradition of fighting against the odds and we are going to continue pushing for a Just Transition, making energy poverty history and local content in the oil and gas industry. Our position of speaking truth to power is not non-negotiable. We are not backing down on our support for Namibia’s right to develop its oil and gas sector.

The Europeans and the Americans are doing it. What is wrong for Namibia to develop its oil and gas and improve the living condition of its people. We urge Namibians to produce every drop of Hydrocarbons they can find in Namibia and use the resources to industrialise their country.

We will push our training programs for forty Namibians across Africa (Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Algeria, Senegal, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea) in oil and gas companies. This will allow them to be ready for energy jobs in their country. Our focus will continue to encourage investments into Namibia and promoting growth as we have done all over Africa. If we want oil companies to do more business with us, we must use the time-honored strategy of providing incentives. Incentives such as levying reasonable taxes and royalties, reducing red tape, and implementing fair profit-sharing contracts and local content policies.

Fair, wise, and balanced local content guidelines, for example, foster ongoing investment here while making sure Namibian people, communities, and businesses reap the benefits of African natural resources now and going forward.


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