The ministers of energy from several African countries are expected to meet in the US capital Washington DC on 27-29 January 2016 for the second annual Powering Africa Summit (PAS), the organisers said this week.
The meeting comes against the backdrop of a severe power crisis currently engulfing Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 620 million people – out of the population of 1.2 billion – live without access to electricity, more than in any world region and nearly half of the global total.
The aim of the meeting is to drive forward strategic partnerships between investors, project developers, governments, utilities and regulators to achieve the goal of bringing power to Africa, EnergyNet, the host company, said in a statement.
PAS is an investment conference where African ministers of finance and energy and US government agencies behind the Power Africa initiative meet with private sector investors and power developers from across North America and Africa.
Following a surge of private equity interest across Sub-Saharan Africa, PAS will explore the power and infrastructure projects currently piquing the interest of investors, including the gas to power supply chain.
Attendees will also receive an update on the South African Gas IPP programme and the opportunity this presents to investors. Industry and agriculture will feature on the 2016 agenda, examining the role transmission plays in the success of these industries.
The first meeting, held in January 2015, saw 17 African countries represented with 57% of attendees originating from North America.
Those who already confirmed their attendance include DR Congo energy and water resources minister Jeannot Matadi Gamanda, Namibian energy minerals Minister Obeth Kandjoze, Power Africa and Trade Africa coordinator Andy Herscowitz, South Africa’s Karen Breytenbach, head of IPP Office at the department (ministry) of energy, and Anita Marangoly George, World Bank senior director for the energy and extractives sector.
Photo: Zimbabwe schoolchildren do their homework using candlelight as a result of frequent power outages. Credit: Reuters