5th December, 2014
Regional collaboration in the power and water sectors, the untapped potential of renewable energy and investment challenges will be top of the agenda at the 15th African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and exhibition, returning to the CTICC in Cape Town from 12-14 May next year.
The event is expected to again attract more than 5000 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.
The event brings together utility professionals from across the globe to learn, share knowledge and debate the key topics that will secure the future development of Africa’s power and water industries.
The new event director for African Utility Week Evan Schiff said: “Based on consultations with the industry, we have extended the conference and exhibition by an extra day, so we now offer three days of conference sessions, networking and an extra plenary session. The theme of our opening plenary session is: ‘Africa is open for business’. 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, Mr Mamadou Biteye, is part of our high-level line-up.”
“Our most important aim is to remain relevant by providing the best industry insight and knowledge to attendees. To ensure we are plugged in to the most up to date information, we work very closely with leading and pioneering individuals and companies in the sector. Our high-level advisory board is a veritable who’s who of the power and water industries and our conference and technical workshop programmes reflect this with topical, up-to-date discussions and presentations,” he said.
In respect to challenges in the industry, the African Utility Week director says “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.”
Another major challenge is access to finance for investment in energy projects and infrastructure development. To address the calls for more information on this key sector, African Utility Week 2015 presents 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. It will have the objective of encouraging funding and revenue inflows into the utility sector by engaging leading decision makers on the global finance and investment arena.
Eskom will again 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.
The three-day event will include an invitation-only, Utility CEO 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.
The event will also feature an award ceremony in ten categories which will includes the ‘Outstanding Woman in Power’.
Attending the African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa exhibition is free when registering in advance and it showcases energy saving technologies and services for the industry and features hands-on demonstrations and CPD-accredited technical workshops on the exhibition floor. Log on to www.african-utility-week.com for free registration.