Namibia has enjoyed relative stability and economic progress due to its rich depository of mineral resources as well as advanced agricultural, fishing, and tourism industries. Namibia’s population is largely rural and the country is sparsely populated, creating challenges in preventing income inequality and delivering services to the entire population. The country is increasingly looking toward digitalisation to address these issues.

Estonia and Namibia established a diplomatic relationship in 2004, Namibia is ESTDEV’s focus in Southern Africa, where development cooperation targets e-government, education, business development, and the green transformation.

One of Namibia’s biggest strides in establishing a strong democracy has been the ongoing development of e-governance, a goal that Estonia has championed with the country since 2013. To this end, Estonia’s e-Governance Academy has collaborated with Cybernetica to develop the Nam-X data exchange system. This platform is now the interface through which Namibia’s e-government services have begun.

Namibia is making significant progress in the development of renewable energy. As one of the world’s sunniest coastal countries, Namibia is considered an excellent region for green hydrogen production. In November 2022, the European Union signed a strategic partnership with the Namibian government to accelerate the production of hydrogen using renewable sources. This step, signifying Namibia’s entrance into the green transformation, has opened doors for Estonia to support the related business environment, adapt education, and raise environmental awareness and digital skills.

From 2009–2023, Namibia’s strides have been buoyed through various development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects, amounting to nearly €750,000 in funding and 12 implemented projects. As of September 1, 2023, ESTDEV is supporting six projects through which Estonian partners help to develop Nam-X’s capacity as well as cultivate several startup ecosystems, including those of green energy and circular economy. Other ongoing projects evaluate the digital maturity of the country, increase digital competence within Namibian companies, and develop digital and entrepreneurial skills in young people in a way that reinforces cultural heritage.

Global Sustainable Development Goals in Namibia

Priority Areas of Estonian Development Cooperation in Namibia

  • Digital transformation – assessing national digital maturity and preparing a corresponding roadmap, which includes the development of existing and new e-government tools and e-services.
  • Entrepreneurship – developing a start-up ecosystem and increasing 21st-century skills among young people, increasing the competitiveness of women and young people in the labor market, and introducing digital opportunities through evolving skill sets.
  • Education – developing digital and entrepreneurial skills along with environmental awareness.
  • Green transformation – supporting the green transformation in Namibia following the production of green hydrogen.

Important documents

Ongoing projects in Namibia

Project Project dates Project implementer
The creation of digital capabilities and skills development plan for the Namibian SME-sector and conduction of pilot training course 01.07.2023–31.12.2023 BCS Koolitus
Roadmap for digitalization of Namibia 01.09.2023–31.12.2023 Digital Nation OÜ
Developing entrepreneural competences and digital skills based on cultural heritage in Namibia 01.09.2023–31.12.2023 Creative Estonia
Capacity building for data exchange and e-governance in Namibia 01.09.2023–31.12.2023 Cybernetica AS
Entrepreneurship programme “Entrepreneurial Minds” 21.08.2023–20.12.2023 Tallinn University of Technology
Developing the start-up ecosystem in Namibia 21.08.2023–15.12.2023 Tallinn Science Park TEHNOPOL