Namibia launches sovereign wealth fund after oil discovery Energy News

There have been two major oil discoveries in the southern African country this year.

Namibia launched its sovereign wealth fund months after oil majors TotalEnergies and Shell discovered oil off its coast.

At a launch ceremony in the capital Windhoek on Thursday, President Hag Geingob said the Viva Fund would receive an initial infusion of N$262 million ($16.3 million) and invest 2.5% of its portfolio in local to fill the country’s infrastructure financing gap.

The fund will receive a portion of royalties on all mineral resources sold, as well as some taxes and money raised by the government’s divestment from its investment holdings.

“We look forward to the prospects and opportunities presented by recent discoveries of oil and green hydrogen, which have the potential to further increase the capital of the fund,” Geingob said.

Other resource-rich African countries with sovereign funds include Angola, Botswana, Libya and Nigeria.

In February, TotalEnergies said it had discovered a high-quality reservoir at its Venus prospect offshore Namibia, which a source told Reuters held more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

This is the second major discovery made by Shell in a month after announcing a major discovery.

Known for its gem-quality diamonds, gold and uranium, Namibia has been considering the creation of a sovereign fund since 2009.

The southern African country aims to become a green hydrogen player by 2026 and has selected a preferred bidder for a multi-billion-dollar project.

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