Energy transformation in Africa is necessary to ensure that the 600- million people on the continent who do not have access to energy gain access, says regional event Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, who adds that the growing population and the need for African industrialisation will continue to fuel the demand for power.
The AEI – which facilitates exhibitions, discussions, debate and networking opportunities among African governments and companies – is expected to surpass all previous editions of the event, Hart enthuses.
“With more than 1 000 delegates and 3 000 visitors in 2017, the AEI’s aim is to find solutions to Africa’s energy challenges and, within this context, lies a business opportunity for energy and related companies to participate and access business.”
The event caters for – but is not limited to – energy companies, technology providers, engineering, procurement and construction contractors, financiers, development finance institutions, legal fraternities, developers and utilities, as well as power pool representatives.
“We cover many areas of the energy mix, from nuclear and solar to off-grid solutions attracting a diverse list of attendees to the conference and the exhibition.”
Hart further mentions that visitors to the exhibition are provided added value with the complimentary technical and seminar workshops on offer for the full two days.
“These workshops provide insights into a variety of aspects relating to the energy sector by industry experts and offer visitors an opportunity to participate for as long as they wish or for the full two days.”
A host of exhibitors will showcase products and services that offer solutions for the energy demands across Africa.
Hart explains that the energy sector comprises so many different aspects that it requires a variety of focused discussions and forums to address the need for knowledge and shared experiences, as well as the challenges and opportunities available.
“Given that more than 600-million people in Africa lack access to energy, these gatherings are critical to begin unlocking opportunities for businesses to access energy-project opportunities and ultimately provide energy.”
She notes that a practical example of integrating African energy opportunities is to have a specific topic that serves as a platform from which challenges and opportunities can be discussed.
Hart says the AEI hosts a number of side events, including the Women in Energy Conference, aimed at developing and growing women in the energy sector; the Africa Gas Forum, aimed at unlocking and understanding gas opportunities in Africa; and the World Energy Council Scenarios Workshop, aimed at creating scenario planning for the African energy sector.
The AEI will also host the Indaba Energy Leaders Dialogue, which is a roundtable, comprising energy ministers and CEOs discussing issues relevant to regional integration and energy project implementation; the Nuclear Forum, which forms part of the nuclear debate; the South African Power Pool Project (SAPPP) Forum, which will host a forum with its members that will include exploring the emerging power and utilities market structure.
“The SAPPP Forum will focus on the increased demand for power in Africa and how this will impact on the current power utilities and the regulatory landscape, as well as what new investment potential is available to upgrade and develop,” she adds.
The Independent Power Producer (IPP) and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Conference, which aims to understand how to structure a bankable IPP energy project and the impact of a PPA, will also be held.
“We believe that it is important to grow a truly African event that addresses and finds solutions for Africa by local people,” Hart concludes.
The AEI will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, on February 20 and 21.