Virtual series: African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa


African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa may have been postponed to November 2020 but due to popular demand for information, expert opinion and connections with your peers and customers, you can now register to attend any of the ten virtual sessions.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Exploring private sector participation in the African power and water sector

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • What are the projections for the macroeconomic environment? 
  • What models for private sector participation are available and why?
  • What are the challenges with private sector participation and how to overcome them?

Angela Nalikka, Manager – National and Regional Power Systems, Power Systems Development Department, African Development Bank, Uganda
Ajay Trikam, Director Energy (Green Economy), Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, South Africa
Terje Osmundsen, Founder/CEO, Empower New Energy, Kenya
Liezl Cecilai Harmse, Chief Utility Management Officer, African Development Bank, Zambia (on hand for Q&A)

Adopting new behaviours to influence emissions across Africa

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

New projections for economic growth in 2020 are in flux, but there is a suggestion emerging that the impact of COVID-19 creating lockdown situations around the world could significantly curb global carbon emission. The effect is likely to be less pronounced than during the global financial crises of 2008-9 and emission declines in response to past economic crises suggest a rapid recovery of emissions when the pandemic is over. 

But prudent spending of economic stimulus measure and permanent adoption of new work behaviours could influence how emissions evolve in the future.

Confirmed Panel:

Hiten Parmar, Director | uYilo e-Mobility Programme, South Africa

Egmont Otterman, Director | Infrasalience, South Africa

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

 Maintenance: key to keeping the lights on

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • Scheduled maintenance and the ripple effect of not following through
  • Various constraints in the African context with a specific look at the role inadequate capacity and financial limitations play in maintenance measures not being implemented
  • Rolling out maintenance even when it means high levels of expensive OCGT usage and/or load shedding

Panel to be confirmed.

The energy transition for Africa in a post COVID-19 world

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

Stimulus and recovery measures in response to the pandemic must foster economic development and job creation, promote social equity and welfare, and put the world on a climate-safe path. By making the energy transition an integral part of the wider recovery, governments can achieve a step-change in the pursuit of a healthy, inclusive, prosperous, just and resilient future.

In this session we will discuss the energy transition in light of the financial havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic and ask the following questions:
· How policy will support such a transition
· The role of renewable energy and the resulting need for job creation and skills development
· The role of each stakeholder in this transition
· Investments and fiscal support

Confirmed speakers:

Ursula Wellman, Community, Skills and Enterprise Development Project Specialist, Atlantis Special Economic Zone, South Africa
Maloba G Tshehla, Head of Strategy and Growth, ED Platform, South Africa Abe Cambridge, Founder and CEO, The Sun Exchange Silvia Piana, Head of Regulatory Affairs for Africa Region in the Global Power Generation Division, ENEL

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Investment opportunities for South African SMMEs working in the green economy

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • What criteria and enterprise creation priorities are funds looking for?
  • What does a high-impact project look like?
  • What are the first steps to achieve investment?

Energy access matters

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • How then do we make sure that the most vulnerable of customers in low income households, many served by off-grid mini grids, remain connected in a time of crises? 
  • What can mini-grid companies do to keep the lights on?


Dr Sanusi Ohiare | Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, Nigeria

Dr Linda Davis | Giraffe BioEnergy, Kenya

Aaron Leopold | Africa Mini-grid Developers Association, Kenya

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Financial Health in the aftermath of COVID-19: lessons learnt and best practices for African Power Utilities

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • What are the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 and the best replicable practices worldwide to overcome a financial crisis?
  • How can Utilities plan better for financial risks and crisis? 
  • What solutions are available for African Utilities to improve their financial sustainability?

Confirmed speakers:
Gadi Taj Ndahumba, Head of Power Sector at the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF)
Batchi BALDEH, Director, Power Systems Development Department, African Development Bank
Abel Tella, Director General, Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA)
Johan Greyling, Partner – EY (Transaction Advisory Services) Energy & Natural, Ernst & Young
Yadviga Semikolenova, Senior Energy Economist | World Bank

 Impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s water sector

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • How do you tackle false information?
  • How can water utilities and municipalities build resilience and increase freshwater management and sanitation facilities?
  • What is the role of donor assistance towards developing countries affected by COVID-19?
  • How to integrate urban water (potable water, waste water and storm water), with blue green solutions?


Rose Kaggwa, Director Business and Scientific Services | National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda 

David Onyango, Former Managing Director | Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company, Current Consultant, AFDB, Côte d’Ivoire 

Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO | Water Research Commission, South Africa 

Feleke Zewge Beshah, Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry/Engineering | Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Friday, 15 May 2020

Solutions for City and Municipal revenue management

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

The impact a crisis has on the revenue management of local municipalities.  Looking at the following key components: 

  • Constricted revenue collection capabilities
  • Efficient and equitable use of available cash resources


Dr Dirk Brand, Senior Lecturer Extraordinary | University of Stellenbosch School of Public Leadership

Miyelani Holeni, Group Chief Advisor | Ntiyiso Consulting

Key considerations in smart grid and metering communication

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

This session will look at:

  • Communication options – hybrid systems
  • Backhaul and security
  • Interoperability

Confirmed panel:

Emad Elsewedy, Chairman & CEO | El Sewedy Electrometer EMG 
Mark Ossel, Board Member, Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP), Netherlands 
Don Taylor, Technical Consultant, STSA, South Africa