Namibia has excellent geographical conditions for the use of renewable energies, above all solar and wind energy, as well as for the production of hydrogen. At the same time, however, the country is very sparsely populated, which makes it difficult to supply the rural population with electricity. In order to promote electrification on the one hand and to use the potential of renewables on the other, there is a need for a broadly networked association of companies, crafts enterprises and other actors in this sector. Such an association exists in the form of the Renewable Energy Industry of Namibia (REIAoN). However, so far mainly companies and actors from the capital are members, but not the many handicraft businesses and installation companies in rural areas.
In order to strengthen the association and, above all, to involve rural actors, REIAoN and the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) have founded a partnership. Their goals: To strengthen the Namibian association organisationally and to promote membership recruitment in rural areas.
After its foundation 40 years ago, the German BSW faced similar challenges as the Namibian REIAoN does today. In addition, the BSW has already supported other associations in such matters. The Namibian association was founded in May 2008 by leading companies from the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector and is today the largest association in this sector.
The two associations have defined two fields of action for their cooperation. Firstly, BSW supports the development and expansion of the organisation. This includes improved communication with the members. It is a prerequisite for recruiting new members. In addition, BSW and REIAoN want to revise the association’s statutes and establish specialist groups and committees.
In the second field of action, the partners want to promote member acquisition in rural areas. To this end, BSW is supporting its Namibian partner in designing a roadshow financed by GIZ. The aim of the roadshow is to inform the rural population about solar energy and to recruit young start-ups, craft enterprises and companies from the renewable energy sector as members.
In addition, continuous membership recruitment beyond the roadshow is necessary. To this end, the partners want to redesign the membership fee schedule so that membership is also possible for smaller companies.
Finally, the BSW is organising a learning and delegation trip to Intersolar Europe in June 2023 in Munich for probably three REIAoN employees.