Presentation topic: Introduction to the Communal Governance Framework and Forest Management Plan

Meet the presenter: Mr. Johnson Ndokosho – Director of Forestry, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT).

Mr. Johnson Ndokosho is the Director of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism. He has been in the natural resource management sector for 25 years. Before joining Forestry, he has served various roles including a Deputy Director for Wildlife Utilization, Project Coordinator and Technical Advisor for MEFT/UNDP Projects on Climate Change Adaptation. He holds a Masters’ in Leadership and Change Management from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), and Masters in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) from the University of Zimbabwe, Harare. He also has a B-Tech degree in Nature Conservation from the Port Elizabeth Technikon (now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) – South Africa as well as a Diploma in Natural Resources Management from the then Polytechnic of Namibia (now NUST). Johnson is passionate about safeguarding the environment and avid outdoor lover. He is honoured to be speaking at the 2023 Biomass Fair.

Presentation topic: Best Practice Study in Bush Control

Meet the presenter: Mr. Colin Nott – Regenerative Agriculture Expert, Namibia Resource Consultants

Mr. Colin Nott is a Namibian Citizen, with an MSc in rangeland science, a certified educator in Holistic Management and now a Regenerative Agriculture Consultant. He has spent the last 30 years in Namibia and other drier parts of Africa working in the livelihoods / natural resource interface, with a focus on improving livelihoods through rangeland management, cropping and wildlife conservation. He has worked to facilitate the formation of communal conservancies as well as supported regenerative agriculture in the title deed and communal areas. He has contributed to the revision of the Namibian Revised Rangeland Management Strategy (2019) for Namibia that includes bush control and aftercare measures. This Strategy outlines the current rangeland status of the country, the grazing principles that farmers need to implement and a supportive environment to regenerate the sector at scale. He has also assisted the NAU to write up successful regenerative case studies throughout the Title Deed areas of Namibia that include bush control using various methods as well as grazing planning as a key aftercare method. The farmers’ success stories showcase increased resilience to drought as well as increased production and profitability through the regeneration of soil life and structure by improving biodiversity and soil cover. At the core are regenerative grazing principles and practices, whilst using well adapted animals, good animal performance and good animal fertility.

Colin is currently a regenerative consultant engaged throughout Africa but focusses locally to build socially acceptable, financially viable, regenerative practices that can be upscaled in Namibia. He is currently part of a team investigating bush control and aftercare best practice. Colin lives in Windhoek, Namibia with his wife Anna and two children, Zoe and Tuli.

Presentation topic: National Dialogue on Bush Biomass Industry

Meet the presenter: Mr. Angus Middleton – Executive Director, Namibia Nature Foundation.

Mr. Angus Middleton is a people centric conservation and sustainable development NGO with a large focus on natural resource management. His background also includes large scale sustainable agricultural production, rangeland management and integrated water resource management. More recently he has worked on several key economic studies which include assessments of economic instruments for biodiversity conservation as well as area specific economic potentials from natural resources. He holds an MSc in Environmental Economics and Policy from Imperial College London and a BSc in Ecological Resource Management from Newcastle University.

Presentation topic: Latest technology developments in biomass feedstock processing and international Biomass Market.

Meet the presenter: Dr Christian Rakos – President, World Bioenergy Association (WBA)

Dr Christian Rakos, born 1959, studied Physics, Philosophy and History. From 1988 – 1998 he worked at the Institute for Technology Assessment of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 1998 he joined the Austrian Energy Agency where he was responsible for renewable energies with a special focus on bioenergy. From 2004 to 2005 he worked at the Irish Renewable Energy Information Office as European projects manager. Since mid-2005 he is executive director of the Austrian Pellet Industry Association “proPellets Austria”.  From 2010- 2016 he was president of the European Pellet Council. Besides managing proPellets Austria he is CEO of Save Energy Austria Ltd., a company producing and trading energy efficiency certificates. Since May 2020 Rakos is president of the World Bioenergy Association.

Presentation topic: NIPDB Mandate and current investment projects

Meet the presenter: Ms. Margareth Gustavo – Executive Director: Strategy & Branding

Ms. Margareth Gustavo is the Executive Director for Strategy and Branding at the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB). In this role she is responsible for crafting strategies to improve Namibia’s competitiveness, including policy reform and promoting Namibia as a place to live, invest, develop and visit. In 2013 she founded Cornerstone, a brand strategy firm to work with Namibian companies invested in growing sustainable brands, following a career in brand and marketing leadership at several local companies. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and a Master’s in Business Leadership. She is currently pursuing a Masters’ Degree in Digital Business.

Presentation topic: N-BiG Biomass sector status quo assessment and investment guide development project

Meet the presenter: Ms. Mirja Stoldt – Senior Project Coordinator, Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF)

Ms. Mirja Stoldt is a people centric conservation and sustainable development NGO with a large focus on natural resource management. She has a Master of Sciences in Integrated Natural Resources Management with a focus on land and water, as well as biodiversity and conservation management from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Mirja has worked on bush governance, aftercare, and the bush to electricity value chain, and is currently supporting N-BiG in the development of an inventory of bush value chains and an investment guide for commercial and communal areas.

Presentation topic: The role that biomass can play to decarbonise major organisations in Namibia, an introduction to Debmarine Namibia carbon neutral ambitions.

Meet the presenter: Mr. Danie van Aswegen – Portfolio Manager, Strategic Projects Debmarine Namibia

Mr. Danie van Aswegen is the Portfolio Manager for strategic projects at Debmarine Namibia. He held this position for the past decade and allowed him to be pivotal in driving innovative technological advancements for his Company. He holds a distinguished academic background, encompassing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering and a Master’s degree in project management. Danie’s extensive tenure of over 24 years in the mining industry has enabled him to amass a diverse spectrum of expertise and outstanding track record in the fields spanning mining, engineering, project management, senior leadership, and innovation. Being part of world class projects like the Benguela Gem and at the same time integrating new technology, is what keeps him motivated and excited about being part of a global leader in marine diamond extraction. Danie is also at the helm of Debmarine Namibia’s ambitious carbon neutral program and pivotal in the journey towards becoming net positive. Beyond his professional achievements, Danie radiates an infectious passion that fuels his penchant for self-challenge and his capacity to inspire those around him.

Presentation topic: Vocational Qualification in Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation

Meet the presenter: Mr. Indongo Indongo – Manager- Research and Planning, Namibia Training Authority (NTA)

Mr Indongo Indongo is a qualified executive with a proven track record in conducting research, monitoring and evaluation and project management. Mr Indongo holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Master’s Degree in Public Health, a Bachelor’s Degree of Science and many other qualifications to his name. With extensive experience gained over the years working in organisations at management level such as Namibia Training Authority, Millennium Challenge Account, Society for Family Health, Project Hope Namibia, Ministry of Health and Social Services, and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, among others. Mr Indongo is experienced in terms of policy formulation and implementation, conducting research projects and performing monitoring and evaluation on projects. Mr Indongo’s recent interests are within the education sector with a particular focus on youth development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Mr Indongo has 15 years of experience at management level. Mr Indongo is also a seasonal politician and a volleyball player.

Presentation topic: International speaker -Scaling the Biochar Industry: Reimagining Business Models to Unlock Exponential Growth

Meet the presenter: Ms. McCrae Kessler – Co-Founder & President of FACET POWER

Ms. McCrae Kessler is an international environmental law, policy, sustainable development, bioenergy, and carbon markets expert with a talent for mitigating regulatory, adoption, and project development risk in emerging recycling, renewable energy, and climate technologies and a passion for maximizing their environmental, social, and economic impact.

Ms. McCrae Kessler has commercialised innovative hybrid pyrolysis and gasification systems for carbon negative green hydrogen, green methanol, biochar and carbon removal production; hybrid anaerobic and aerobic digestion systems for biogas and compost production; among other waste to value technologies. A founding, 10-year, Member of the Board of Directors of the American Biogas Council, Ms. McCrae Kessler built and ran the Council’s Federal Policy Programme for 12 years and helped grow the U.S. biogas industry from 20 companies in 2010 to 300+ representing a $68 Billion industry today. Ms. McCrae Kessler began her career in international environmental law and sustainable development policy at U.S.E.P.A. and the Centre for International Environmental Law. She continued her international and U.S. environmental law practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Arnold & Porter in New York, where she specialised in regulatory risk mitigation strategy for commercialisation of novel waste recycling and bioenergy technologies.

Presentation topic: Mobilising climate finance through bush biomass: Biochar Carbon Removal in Biomass Value Chains

Meet the presenter: Mr. Hannes Etter – Associate Director for Biochar at South Pole

Mr Hannes Etter is leading the technical biochar strategy at South Pole to scale carbon removal through climate finance. He is working with different carbon standards to ensure robustness of carbon credits derived from biochar operations and supports biochar producers to ensure compliance with the latest requirements for climate action projects globally. Hannes has a background in sustainable development and agriculture and has worked on natural capital assessment and climate change mitigation, holding an MSc in Geography with a focus on the resilience of land management under the influence of climate change from the University of Bonn.

Presentation topic: Investing in Green Technologies in Namibia

Meet the presenter: Mr. Colin Lindeque – Managing Director of Caborn Capital

Mr. Colin Lindeque is the Managing Director of Carbon Capital. Colin is a trained biotechnologist and bioentrepreneur who has over 7 years of experience within the local biomass industry. He helped establish and manage the Namibia Biomass industry Group, prior to founding Carbon Capital in 2020. Carbon Capital is a local project development and capital raising company focussed on capitalising on local and regional opportunities within the up-and-coming bioeconomy. Since its establishment, Carbon Capital has developed and operationalised the largest and most sophisticated charcoal production project in Namibia. Colin also helped instigate the SteamBioAfrica project, a European Union grant funded project commercialising novel bioprocessing technology. Carbon Capital are also currently in development of biochar, carbon credit, wood pellet, and synthetic fuel projects.”

Presentation topic: SteamBioAfrica: One year forward

Meet the presenter: Mr. Huw Parry- Founder and Director: SteamBio Ltd and Network New Europe Ltd

Mr. Huw Parry has been involved in the development of new products, processes, and ideas for over forty years. He initiated, secured funding, and led the exploitation planning of the EU Horizon 2020 SteamBio project, founding SteamBio Ltd in 2016 to take the project developments to market. After being invited to present SteamBio at the Biomass Fair in Namibia in August 2019, Huw worked closely with Colin Lindeque and others to progress the technology forward in Namibia as SteamBioAfrica. Huw is the Innovation manager for SteamBioAfrica.

Presentation topic: Biomass to electricity

Meet the presenter: Mr. Tangeni Tshivute – Project Manager for the 40 MW Otjikoto Biomass Project, Namibian Power Utility (NamPower)

Mr. Tangeni Tshivute is a Mechanical Engineer with experience in design, project management and construction management. He specialises in mechanical building services, renewable energy, and energy efficiency both from a consulting engineering background and within the utility space. He graduated with a B. Sc ENG from the University of Cape Town. Tangeni is a Registered Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of Namibia (PE 2015-01). He holds the title of Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) and Certified Energy Manager (CEM) with the International Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). He is currently the project manager for the 40 MW Otjikoto Biomass Project for NamPower (the Namibian Power Utility) where he is responsible for managing the construction of the Power Station, the structuring of the woodchip supply value chain and raising finance towards the project.

Presentation topic: Greener charcoal for the future

Meet the presenter: Dr. Sabine Hoppespeer – Charcoal Association of Namibia (CAoN)

Dr Sabine Hoppe-Speer, born in Namibia and growing up on a farm, has been involved in conservation, farming, and resource management activities at a young age. She completed her first qualification at Polytechnicon of Namibia (2001), where she received her National Diploma in Natural Resource Management in the Field of Conservation. In 2013, she received her PhD at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) from the Science Faculty. Her main focus is ecosystem rehabilitation, sustainable resource utilisation and climate change. Much of the papers she had published have been used by decision-makers for restructuring policies and management plans in South African estuaries. For the past 10 years she has been farming in the Kunene region. Her key interest is to develop a model farm, which will provide examples of sustainable resource utilisation, increasing value to wood biomass, rehabilitation of degraded land as well as to increase the profitability by diversifying farming practices. This process is already underway on one of the farms in the North west of Namibia, where she is residing.

Presentation topic: Improving charcoal production for the future.

Meet the presenter: Mrs Dagmar Honsbein – Managing Member of iDEALX integrated scientific services (iDEALX CC)

Mrs. Dagmar Honsbein is the founder and managing member of iDEALX integrated scientific services, in Namibia. iDEALX was founded in 2016.

Dagmar serves as lead consultant for various programmes and projects in Namibia. She is specialised in applied R&D; risk management; and supply and value chain development, in the real and financial sectors. Dagmar has worked both in the public and private sector. In public sector, she worked mostly at policy advice and implementation level, being head of the Government of Namibia’s Economic Policy Advisory Unit, in the Ministry of Finance.

Dagmar, since 2015, has been involved with structuring and implementing various research as well as value chain improvement initiatives. This involved strategy conceptualisation and implementation, SME development and legal/regulatory requirements for sector players. The latter in particular concerns the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, water, and energy.

Dagmar holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering and applied sciences from Aston University, Birmingham (UK); and Master of Art in leadership of sustainable finance from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt (Germany) respectively and a BSc (Wood Science); MPhil (Chemical Engineering & Applied Sciences). She is a certified expert in various finance related subjects. Dagmar is fluent in English, German, Afrikaans and French.

Presentation topic: Financing Biomass Value Chains

meet the presenter: Mr. Kamaauu Nandova – Branch Manager of Midland, Agriculture Bank of Namibia (AgriBank)

Kamaauu Nandova is the Regional Branch Manager responsible for the Midland branch at Agribank. The branch serves the central areas of the country, particularly the Khomas region and surrounding areas bordering Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Hardap regions. He has been in the employment of Agribank for the past 21 years. Additionally, Mr. Nandova is a part-time resettled farmer, currently farming at Farm Haribes, No.19 in the Mariental District, Hardap region. He farms with sheep, goats, and few cattle. He is very passionate about the growth of the agriculture industry, especially in the area of livestock production.

Presentation topic: Financing Biomass Value Chains

Meet the presenter: Mr. Tshoombe Ndadi – Chairman, Kongalend Financial Services (Pty) Ltd

Tshoombe Justice Ndadi ― Kongalend Chairman; is a Namibian social entrepreneur and astute corporate leader, whose entry into the Namibian financial landscape 19 years ago, was driven by the urgent need to provide access to affordable finance by the many (low-income) off-grid rural households wishing to acquire basic solar energy solutions to light up their homes as they had no hope of being connected to the National electricity grid for many years to come. 

Ndadi is the founder Executive Chairman of Kongalend Financial Services (Pty) Ltd., Namibia’s only development microfinance institution that has been providing productive credit to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector, including agribusinesses, driving the financial inclusion agenda of the financially excluded and underserved low-income communities in Namibia since 2010. 

Before launching Kongalend in 2010, Ndadi has served in numerous executive lead capacities within the printing and publishing industry, including the publishing of the Telecom Namibia Directory and Yellow Pages for seven years, as well as that of Botswana Telecom for two years; served as project leader for Government Diamond Valuation (GDV) between 2004 – 2009 and presiding as lead Fund Manager over the Solar Revolving Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Energy during the same period. 

As a proponent for development at grass roots level through innovative solutions, Ndadi strongly believes that impactful development can only be brought about through the formation of solid and functional partnerships between public and private sector institutions with the correct mix of skills and expertise in their respective sphere of businesses.

Presentation topic: Financing Biomass Value Chains

Meet the presenter: Ms. Yvette Hilkka Hausiku – Business Development Analyst, Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia

Business Development Analyst with an educational background in Development Finance, BCom Law, Banking & Risk and over 11 years’ experience in Development finance & SME Financing with expertise focus in:

• Business, Investment and Project appraisal
• Green financing mechanisms and strategies
• International financing sources for environment and climate change
• Research and program development
• Analysing financial data, reports and statements
• Project financial appraisal and projections
• Contracts negotiations and management
• Portfolio Monitoring and Management