Over the years the Africa Energy Indaba has facilitated the private gathering of Ministers from around the continent encouraging dialogue in another prominent Africa Energy Indaba side event: the African Ministerial Meeting and Indaba Energy Leaders’ Dialogue (IELD). As part of World Energy Council’s (WEC) Africa strategy, the IELD gathers African energy leaders and stakeholders to exchange views on critical issues facing the energy industry in informal, off the record discussions.
Sub-Saharan Africa has many hurdles to overcome with large parts of the population living in rural and scattered areas with no access to electricity. The Indaba Energy Leaders’ Dialogue 2017 brought together key leaders and ministers from across Africa, to discuss some of Africa’s energy challenges and to share examples and solutions. Topics and insights from Energy Leaders’s Dialogue were used to form the foundation of the critical themes for the upcoming 2018 Africa Energy Indaba.
Some recurring themes in the dialogue included the need to view Africa holistically; and for communities to extract value out the entire energy ecosystem. State owned utilities still play an important role in the integration of various systems, however one big grid solution may not be sufficient for such a big need and many countries are looking at alternative solutions to supplement.
- Solutions need to be a combination of various strategies, focusing strongly on regional integration of the energy sector, sharing suitable energy resources across the continent and a common understanding of challenges, needs and priorities.
- Education is urgent: specific targeted programmes should be aimed at young leaders so transformation can reach the intended outcome.
- Ensure it is attractive for available investors: need policy, infrastructure and human capabilities to increase investor confidence. Outdated risk assessment models need to be updated with current facts.
- Reinforce existing systems for short term better efficiency.
- Connecting the dots between all the elements e.g. available technology, financing, coordinated and harmonised policies to address the barriers.
- Embrace the private sector.