WEC Africa regional event builds energy future for the continent

Posted on 1 March 2012

Dr Christoph Frei, Dipuo Peters and Brian StathamAfrica Energy Indaba 2012, held during 21–23 February in Johannesburg, South Africa, is Africa’s leading energy gathering which aims to facilitate interaction between energy leaders as they work towards a sustainable energy future for the continent.

In her opening speech Dipuo Peters, South Africa’s Energy Minister, recognised the importance of the forum and thanked the organisers for bringing together representatives from various countries from all over the globe who came to debate and exchange solutions to Africa’s energy challenges.  Topics discussed include African power supplies, alternative and renewable energy, oil and gas, the legal and regulatory framework, and investment opportunities in African energy projects.

In his address to the forum Dr Christoph Frei, WEC Secretary General, pointed out that Africa is in need of innovative regulatory solutions in order to reach a balance between social agendas, access to power, and government goals for economic growth.

Africa is a continent of contrasts. With the world’s fastest urbanising population, it must provide energy to meet its annual urban growth rate, which is twice as high as in Asia and Latin America.  At the same time, as home to the poorest of the poor, it must find innovative energy solutions for half of the world’s impoverished. During various panels, decision-makers and leading players in African energy planning and development debated the challenges and how to best tackle them.

A number of events complemented the Africa Energy Indaba. During a WEC workshop on energy access members from South Africa, Namibia, Algeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Senegal exchanged information on the current status and initiatives on energy access in the African region and discussed their experiences. During a government briefing in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital, Dr Frei addressed South Africa’s performance in WEC’s annual assessment of energy and climate policies. A public open panel discussion and debate in Johannesburg further discussed the relevance of WEC’s policy assessment for the country. In a workshop on Global Transport Scenarios Karl Rose, WEC Director of Polices and Scenarios, briefed industry representatives on the future of the global transport sector and the unprecedented challenges related to demographics, urbanisation, pressure to minimise and dislocate emissions outside urban centres, congestion of ageing transport infrastructure and growth in fuel demand.