Tackling Africa’s Energy Problem


More than 800 delegates are expected to attend this year’s international investment forum for Africa’s power industry

By Maureen Chigbo  |  May 27, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

AFRICA’s combined economies are predicted to grow at 7 percent over the next two decades. This is faster than China. A recent report from the World Bank also indicated that the GDP of a third of African countries grew by at least 6 percent last year, despite the estimate that power outages cost African economies on average around 2 percent of their GDP. This is why African energy ministers and government officials will be converging in Barcelona, Spain, for the African Energy Forum, AEF, which is expected to find solutions to the energy challenges of the continent.

This is against the realisation that significant economic growth rates evident in many African countries are unsustainable without massive energy investments. The opportunities and challenges provide an exciting future for those engaged in Africa’s power market and AEF 2013 will provide all key stakeholders an opportunity to discuss how they can work together to close the current power gap and meet future electricity demands.

Already, 12 ministers from African countries have confirmed their attendance at the forum which is now in its 15th year and has established a reputation as the annual meeting place for Africa’s power executives. The latest government official to confirm his attendance at EnergyNet’s Africa Energy Forum 2013 is Salvador Namburete, minister of energy in Mozambique. He will join ministers from Botswana, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Tunisia in Barcelona.

Apart from the ministers, heads of utilities, regulators and international energy companies will address the forum and other pressing issues concerning Africa’s power sector at the forum which holds from June 18 to 20. More than 800 delegates are expected to attend this international investment forum for Africa’s power industry to compete for partnerships and deals.

Bruno Cockburn, AEF’s programme development director, said: “We are delighted that the forum remains an important investment tool for proactive African stakeholders looking to address the power and infrastructure investment gap head on. The international community’s response this year has been extraordinary this year already.”

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