Cape Town, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- May 27, 2013
“Bigger and better” is how all concerned describe this year’s African Utility Week and the co-located Clean Power Africa that took place in Cape Town, South Africa from May 14-15.
The 13th conference and exhibition was attended by nearly 5,000 power and water professionals from more than 60 countries, 27 of them African, at what was the largest utility gathering of its kind on the continent.
As in previous years, the event, which is organised by Cape Town-based Spintelligent, made news headlines, while global sponsors such as MTN, Symbion Power, Ernst & Young and Bentley Systems were among the many technology giants at the utility expo.
Eskom Chief Executive Brian Dames once again was the keynote speaker, saying African Utility Week “has become an annual pilgrimage on the calendar of African electricity and water utilities, and as Eskom we are proud to have been a part of it for the past 13 years.”
Guest speaker, South Africa’s Water and Environmental Affairs minister Edna Molewa addressed the opening session, bringing attention to the nexus between water and power.
A first for African Utility Week this year was an exclusive Utility CEO Forum, which brought together the utility heads from more than a dozen African countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Kenya, Namibia and Uganda to discuss strategic goals, regional cooperation, utility reform and reputation management.
“It was particularly good to see the robust, good natured disagreements as it highlighted an opportunity for diverse opinions to be shared and discussed,” said program director Claire Volkwyn. “We are very excited about the next CEO Forum and to taking these discussions forward.”
Among the feedback, Norman Ndaba, Global Client Services Partner (GCSP), Director: Power & Utilities at Ernst & Young, a platinum sponsor, said: “Africa is on the move and African Utility Week gave a real glimpse that the energy divide in Africa can be leapfrogged by 2030! The urgency and the seriousness with which utility company executives are starting to treat the challenge of providing access to acceptable, affordable energy in an accountable manner is encouraging.”
African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa will return to Cape Town next year from May 13-14.