Global Leaders Gather in Addis Ababa for World Energy Council Executive Assembly

11 Addis-Ababa-2-456x256August 2015: At the World Energy Council Executive Assembly in Addis Ababa on 25-28 October, discussions will focus on how Africa can grow and create development opportunities whilst also considering evolving climate policies and new resilience challenges.  Already more than 20 ministers from Africa and beyond have confirmed their attendance, together with some of the most influential business and policy figures in the global energy sector.

Discussions at the Assembly will include the challenge of how to get investors and politicians to work together to find ways of overcoming the obstacles that are preventing a flow of capital to Africa, and develop its vast resources in areas such as hydropower, solar, oil and natural gas.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General World Energy Council, said: “With a resilient energy infrastructure, cross border co-operation and investment there are energy resources which could be exploited to the benefit of African prosperity. Critical success factors are the development of technical and financial skills, the enabling of entrepreneurship and the commitment to robust and balanced policies and, in the World Energy Council’s ‘Year of Africa’, we are calling for innovative approaches to deliver progress.”

Hydropower offers real opportunities for providing electricity in Africa where there is significant undeveloped potential with only an estimated 9% of reported hydropower resources developed to date according to the latest World Energy Council Hydropower Report.  Africa is expected to be a major market for future hydropower activity – it offers the chance to bring much needed electricity supplies to regions where energy resources are scarce.

In particular, the markets of Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Cameroon have significant undeveloped resources.  Regional African co-operation bodies, including the Eastern Africa Power Pool, the Western Africa Power Pool and the Southern Africa Power Pool have the potential to drive further development of hydropower where domestic resources could be developed for export to neighbouring countries with strong demand. However, cross-border issues have affected the progress of hydropower projects such as the 6,000MW hydroelectric project which it was hoped would bring energy self-sufficiency to Ethiopia.

Frei said: “There are enormous energy resources in sub-Saharan Africa – 30% of the world’s energy commodities can be found here. But regional integration, market creation and development of long value chains will be essential to maximise their potential for the region where regional co-operation is a key factor.

“Despite good growth signals from a number of countries in the region there is still a lack of investment. In our World Energy Council Scenarios Report, we estimate that an investment of between $1.2 trillion and $1.4 trillion is needed to meet the energy demands of the region by 2050.