Emma Theofelus Nominated One Young World Politician of the Year Award

Namibia’s deputy minister of information and communication technology, Emma Theofelus, has been nominated for the One Young World Politician of the Year Award 2022.

This is the second year in a row that she has been shortlisted for the award. The award was created to help counter low levels of political engagement and increased disillusionment with political processes that young people are experiencing across the world, this award celebrates the world’s leading young politicians who have infiltrated the old guard of politics.

According to reports, under 2% of young people under the age of 35 are represented in the various parliaments around the world.

Theofelus has been shortlisted alongside a dynamic group of 15 young politicians from across the globe, including Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Iceland’s minister of science, industry, and innovation, and former minister of justice.

One Young World says that these 15 young politicians have all been shortlisted because of the considerable impact they have made to politics.

“The One Young World Politician of the Year Award recognises five of the world’s most outstanding politicians between the ages of 18 – 35, who are using their positions to have a positive impact on young people in their communities and countries. Through their important work, these candidates highlight the benefit of including young people in politics,” the organisation says.

The shortlisted nominees are currently being reviewed by One Young World’s expert judging panel, which will decide the final five winners.

The winners will be announced in mid-March and will be presented with this award at the One Young World 2022 Summit.

“To be nominated and selected two years in a row is surreal! I am grateful for the opportunity to serve at this level of public service and grateful for the faith entrusted in me by President Hage Geingob,” Theofelus said.

“Congratulations to all the other incredible young politicians that have been nominated from across the world!”

The nomination comes just a few months after she was recognised in 2021’s BBC’s list of 100 inspiring and influential women.


Namibia At Dubai Expo 2020

Namibia’s team has been at Expo 2020, being hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for five months. The goal has been to attract investors and mark the country as a premier tourism and investment destination on a global scale.

Namibia’s pavilion, under the custodianship of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), is located in the ‘Opportunity’ district of the Expo. It has been highlighting priority sectors such as renewable energy, marine diamonds & mining, tourism and conversation, and cultural heritage.

This year, for the first time in World Expo history, every participating country will have its own pavilion.

Thus far, since officially opening its doors on 1 October 2021, the Namibian pavilion has recorded a steadily increasing number that has surpassed 146,000. This is, on average 37,000 visitors per month.

According to Catherine Shipushu, NIPDB’s Marketing and Communications manager, the pavilion has generated 23 investment leads thus far. She says this is well above the targeted 10 leads a month.

Catherine Shipushu, NIPDB’s Marketing and Communications manager

“Most investor interest is in the area of Green Hydrogen. Recorded leads indicate investor interest in other key industries such as agriculture, education, tourism, and various trade activities. In terms of country of origin, over 50% of potential investors emanate from the United Arab Emirates, with less than 10% of African origin,” she says.

According to the team, the highlight of the Expo so far has been the Namibia Renewable Energy Summit in November 2021. It was attended by participants from all over the globe, including potential investors from China, India, Zimbabwe, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

The summit was organised to showcase investment opportunities in the renewable energy space and to provide insight into the legal framework that governs investments in the Namibian energy sector.

Although there is only a month left before the World Expo concludes, Namibia’s pavilion has a packed schedule that will carry right until the final week, with promises of a strong finish.

“In March, Namibia is expected to celebrate its biggest month yet at the Expo. The Namibian Pavilion has put together a schedule packed with events to coincide with the Expo’s thematic weeks and aligned to the country’s own strategic agenda,” says Shipushu.

Namibia, where the ocean meets the desert

There is a Namibia Investment Conference slated for 23 March. This conference is envisaged to be the climax event of the country’s Expo 2020 Dubai journey and will be one of the final pitches on investment opportunities, brand awareness, and export promotion.

A day later, Namibia National Day will be on full display. All participating countries are accorded an opportunity to celebrate their National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Namibia’s National Day will be celebrated on 24 March 2022. Part of the celebrations will include a tour of the Namibian and UAE Pavilions, respectively, a parade and performances to showcase Namibia’s unique culture,” says Shipushu.

This National Day celebration is also when the Namibian Braai in Dubai will take place, featuring Namibian cuisine, beverages, and music. This multi-sensory event will be a vibrant showcase of Namibia’s cultural heritage on the global stage.

“The Expo has also put together key events in March where high-ranking Namibian officials are expected to participate. More information on these and the above-mentioned events will be shared at a later stage.”

The journey has not been without its challenges. Travel restrictions imposed on Namibia and other African countries, particularly during the height of the Omicron variant in December 2021, stifled some of the Namibian team’s plans.

Despite this, Shipushu says, “We have found a solution to this challenge by leveraging technology to ensure that all investment promotion activities continue as planned. The NIPDB has the mammoth responsibility to ensure a return on the government’s investment into this Expo.

As such the Board remains committed to carrying out this assignment to ensure that the outcomes of the country’s participation at the Expo positively contribute towards ensuring economic prosperity for all Namibians.”