Regional collaboration in the power and water sectors, the untapped potential of renewable energy and investment challenges will top the agenda at next year’s African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and exhibition, returning to the CTICC in Cape Town from 12-14 May, 2015.
Commenting on the content for next year’s programme, African Utility Week event director, Evan Shiff, said: “There is a growing need for regional collaboration: establishing a regulatory framework for the entire region and cross-border power supplies and exchanges.
“Furthermore, there is vast untapped potential in solar PV, wind, and geothermal that can be used as power generation sources.”
The theme of the opening plenary session is ‘Africa is open for business’.
Mr Shiff said: “We have a few surprises up our sleeves in terms of keynote speakers and at this stage we can confirm that the Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director for Africa, Mamadou Biteye, is part of our high-level line-up.”
Focus on finance
Next year’s event, which will run over three days for the first time, includes a new Finance & Investment conference track that will create a unique forum for utilities, governments and project developers to meet with international, regional, local and alternative financiers to explore new opportunities arising from the utility industry, address relevant challenges, and answer some of the thorny funding questions.
Roundtable CEO forum
The invitation-only Utility CEO Forum is the only African forum where C-level executives from Africa’s leading utilities come together to discuss pressing topics within the industry and to accelerate cross-border collaboration, development plans and the advancement of regional centres of excellence throughout Africa. Utility executives from countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are expected to return.
Celebrating women in power
The inaugural African Utility Week Industry Awards last year were a sold-out success with companies and individuals in the power and water industry honoured in categories ranging from Lifetime Achievement, Municipality of the Year to Clean Energy Project of the Year. For the 2015 event there will be a total of ten categories, with a new category that has been added, namely Outstanding Woman in Power.
Eskom is again the host utility for the event, Cape Town the host city while the event also enjoys the support of professional industry bodies such as the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), the Power Institute for East and Southern Africa (PIESA) and Southern Africa Asset Management Association (SAAMA).
Big suppliers of technology and services to the sector have also already signed up as high-profile partners at the event, including global player DNV GL as exclusive diamond sponsor, while Accenture, Building Energy, MarelliMotori and Rubbytad are the four platinum sponsors.
African Utility Week 2015 is expected to again attract more than 5,000 attendees and feature 250 exhibitors, 190 speakers, eight conferences, free technical workshops on the expo floor, three high-profile plenary sessions and the coveted industry awards gala dinner.