Joining Opec and Shaping International Relations in Africa’s Energy Landscape

Wade Henckert

Namibia’s possible interest in joining the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) might originate from a number of foreign relations considerations:

Membership of Opec would allow Namibia to take a more active role in global energy governance.

It might also place Namibia in a position to help solve energy-related concerns such as climate change and energy security on the continent and beyond through participating in debates and decision-making processes inside the organisation.

Namibia, despite a lack of considerable oil production, may aim to assure its energy security by joining with large oil producers.

Opec membership might further provide access to energy-related resources, technology, and knowledge, enhancing its ability to fulfil local energy demands and minimise reliance on external suppliers.

Opec membership might allow Namibia to negotiate higher prices for its oil exports by coordinating production quotas with other members, which would improve government revenue and national income.

Opec offers technical support, knowledge sharing and research opportunities to its members.

Such access to experience might improve Namibia’s oil exploration, production and refining capacities.


Membership also has the potential to attract foreign investment from other Opec members, resulting in enhanced exploration operations and infrastructure development in Namibia’s oil sector.

Joining might not have a big impact on the organisation’s overall production plan.

In addition, Namibia could explore merging with other African oil producers to increase their collective negotiating leverage inside Opec.

It would also support Namibia’s long-term energy policy.

Through joining Opec, Namibia’s long-term energy policy, which might favour diversification towards renewable energy sources, would be enhanced and accelerated.

Furthermore, Opec, as a prominent multinational group, might boost Namibia’s diplomatic position in the global arena and give more bargaining power in international discussions.

Joining Opec might also increase Namibia’s regional influence and position in African and global issues.

Membership in a renowned international organisation could increase Namibia’s diplomatic power and promote closer relations with other oil-producing countries, strengthening its standing in regional and international forums.


However, Namibia’s decision to join Opec does not come without challenges:

Namibia’s oil production is quite low compared to other Opec members.

This might raise concerns about its capacity to significantly alter output quotas. Namibia’s oil sector relies significantly on foreign experience and technology.

Joining Opec might put pressure on the organisation to prioritise its interests over national advantages.

The effect of Opec on oil prices has the potential to cause market volatility, which might harm Namibia’s long-term economic stability.

Therefore, Namibia’s decision on whether to join Opec will be based on a detailed assessment of the prospective advantages and disadvantages.

The international relations side entails weighing economic benefits against possible constraints in production flexibility, reliance on global oil prices and diplomatic obstacles.

Namibia will have to assess these variables against its long-term energy ambitions and regional dynamics before making a final choice.

  • Wade Henckert is a political analyst.

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