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Final speaker list for Virtual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa

« COVID19 has demonstrated what could happen when nations unite around a common cause. Several developed countries have deployed stimulus packages equivalent to 10-15% of their GDP. Providing such global support and stimulus to climate change would place the world on a confirmed carbon-neutrality by mid Century.

African countries have chosen to remain low GHG emitters, committing to decouple their economic growth from high emissions/energy intensity across all sectors through policies and investments that demonstrate high greenhouse gas reduction potential, avoid lock-in to greenhouse gas intensive activities, create green jobs, increase productivity, and Contributes to poverty reduction.

IEA (2019) estimates that Africa’s share of global emissions will rise minimally to
4.3% by 2040 from current levels of about 4%. Achieving this will require substantial resources to enable the continent to take advantage of the falling price of renewable energy technologies to harness its abundant solar, wind, hydro and geothermal resources. »  – Dr Anthony Nyong, Director: Climate Change and Green Growth, African Development Bank and featured speaker during the Virtual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa programme from 11-15 May 2020.

Full conference programme:

Monday, 11 May 2020

Exploring private sector participation in African power sector 

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

This session will look at:

• Areas for private sector participation in the context of the African power sector
• Models for private sector participation
• Current challenges to private sector participation  
• The need for Power Sector reform and progress in the last 10 years
• Bank actions and programs in support of strengthening the enabling environment
• What does this mean for the Commerical and Industrial market?

Moderator: Romain Py, Chief Investment Officer, AIIM, South Africa

Panel speakers:
– Angela Nalikka, Manager, National and Regional Power Systems, Power Systems Development Department | African Development Bank
– Terje Osmundsen, Founder/CEO | Empower New Energy, Kenya
– Ajay Trikam, Director: Energy (Green Economy), Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, South Africa

Adopting new behaviours to influence emissions across Africa

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

This session will look at:

New projections for economic growth in 2020 are in flux, but there is a suggestion emerging that the impact of COVID-19 creating lockdown situations around the world could significantly curb global carbon emission. The effect is likely to be less pronounced than during the global financial crises of 2008-9 and emission declines in response to past economic crises suggest a rapid recovery of emissions when the pandemic is over. 

But prudent spending of economic stimulus measure and permanent adoption of new work behaviours could influence how emissions evolve in the future.

Panel speakers:
– Hiten Parmar, Director | uYilo e-Mobility Programme, South Africa
– Egmont Otterman, Director | Infrasalience, South Africa
– Anthony Nyong, Director: Climate Change and Green Growth, African Development Bank, Cote d’Ivoire

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Maintenance: key to keeping the lights on

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

This session will look at:

Advice for African utilities with inadequate capacity or financial limitations
Where are the opportunities and growth areas for the private sector?
What technologies and processes should be on the radar of African utilities?

Moderator: Nicolette Pombo- van Zyl, Editor, ESI Africa

Panel speakers:
– Nthabiseng Kubheka, Regional Service Executive | GE Steam Power: Sub- Saharan Africa, South Africa
– Riaan Meyer, Managing Director | GeoSun Africa, South Africa
– Obiri-Agyei Boakye, Senior Reliability & Asset Integrity Engineer | Eskom (Generation), South Africa
– Walter Umbricht, Sales Director | Distran, Switzerland

The energy transition for Africa in a post COVID-19 world

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT 

Stimulus and recovery measures in response to the pandemic must foster economic development and job creation, promote social equity and welfare, and put the world on a climate-safe path. By making the energy transition an integral part of the wider recovery, governments can achieve a step-change in the pursuit of a healthy, inclusive, prosperous, just and resilient future. We will discuss the energy transition In light of the financial havoc created by the COVID-19 pandemic and ask the following questions:
– How policy will support such a transition
– The role of renewable energy and the resulting need for job creation and skills development
– The role of each stakeholder in this transition
– Investments and fiscal support

Moderator: Claire Volkwyn, Editor, Smart Energy International

Panel speakers:
– Ursula Wellman, Community, Skills and Enterprise Development Project Specialist | Atlantis Special Economic Zone, South Africa
– Maloba G Tshehla, Head of Strategy and Growth | ED Platform, South Africa

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Initiate: How to attract investment opportunities for South African SMMEs working in the green economy

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT
This session will look at:

– Introduction to the Green Outcomes Fund
– What criteria and enterprise creation priorities are funds looking for?
– What does a high-impact project look like?
– What is the current landscape for SMMEs and what are their needs?
– What are the first steps to achieve investment?

Moderator: Tine Fisker Henriksen, Innovative Finance Lead, UCT GSB Bertha Centre, South Africa

Speaker panel:
– Greg McDonald, Head: Financial Sector Funds | Edge Growth Ventures, South Africa  
– Mark van Wyk, Head: Unlisted Investments, Portfolio Manager | Mergence, South Africa
– Emile Fourie, Founder, YWaste, South Africa

Energy access matters

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

This session will look at:
– How then do we make sure that the most vulnerable of customers in low income households, many served by off-grid mini grids, remain connected in a time of crises? 
– What can mini-grid companies do to keep the lights on?

Moderator: Claire Volkwyn, Editor, Smart Energy International

Speaker panel:
– Dr Sanusi Ohiare | Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, Nigeria
– Dr Linda Davis | Giraffe BioEnergy, Kenya
– Aaron Leopold | Africa Mini-grid Developers Association, Kenya

Thursday, 14 May 2020

CEO Forum: Financial Health in the aftermath of Covid-19: lessons learnt and best practices for African Power Utilities 

12:30 SAT | 10:30 GMT | 11:30 WAT | 13:30 EAT | 12:30 CAT

This session will look at:

– What are the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 and the best replicable practices worldwide to overcome a financial crisis?
– How can utilities plan better for financial risks and crisis? 
– What solutions are available for African utilities to improve their financial sustainability?

Moderator: Nomvuyo Tena, Conference Producer, African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa

Speaker Panel:
– Gadi Taj Ndahumba, Head of Power Sector at the African Legal Support Facility(ALSF)
– Batchi BALDEH, Director, Power Systems Development Department, African Development Bank
– Yadviga Semikolenova, Senior Energy Economist | World Bank
– Johan Greyling, Partner – EY (Transaction Advisory Services) Energy & Natural | Ernst & Young
– Abel Tella, Director General, Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA)

WASH as first line of defense against Covid-19: unpacking the African water sector response

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

This session will look at:
– Myth busters – tackling the threat of false information: current research findings on whether water is a possible medium of transmission of COVID-19.
– Water and healthcare (can hospitals cope with increased water needs and will utilities match supply with demand?) 
– How can water utilities and municipalities build resilience towards increasing freshwater management and sanitation facilities? 
– Will the flow of much-needed development assistance towards the water and sanitation sector in developing countries be affected by the COVID-19 response as donor countries focus resources on addressing the pandemic within their borders? 
– How to integrate urban water (potable water, wastewater and stormwater), with blue-green solutions?
– How is COVID-19 affecting African water professionals through partnerships and exchange programmes, conferences, etc. (what are the current coping strategies being deployed?)

Moderator: Paul Yillia, Research Scholar (Water Programme), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria

Panel speakers:
– Rose Kaggwa, Director Business and Scientific Services | National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda 
– David Onyango, Former Managing Director | Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company, Current Consultant, AFDB, Côte d’Ivoire 
– Dhesigen Naidoo, CEO | Water Research Commission, South Africa 
– Feleke Zewge Beshah, Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry/Engineering | Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Friday, 15 May 2020

Municipal Leader Forum: Solutions for City and Municipal revenue management

13:00 SAT | 11:00 GMT | 12:00 WAT | 14:00 EAT | 13:00 CAT

The impact a crisis has on the revenue management of local municipalities.  Looking at the following key components: 
– Constricted revenue collection capabilities
– Efficient and equitable use of available cash resources

Moderator: Peet Du Plessis, President, CIGFARO, South Africa

Speaker Panel:
– Dr Dirk Brand, Senior Lecturer Extraordinary | University of Stellenbosch School of Public Leadership
– Miyelani Holeni, Group Chief Advisor | Ntiyiso Consulting
– Roland Hunter, Director and Specialist Consultant | Hunter van Ryneveld (Pty) Ltd

Key considerations in smart grid and metering communication

15:00 SAT | 13:00 GMT | 14:00 WAT | 16:00 EAT | 15:00 CAT

The smart grid – an electric network capable of two way electricity and data flows that can detect, react to changes in the network, that has self-healing capabilities and allows electricity customers to actively participate in the system.

Essentially the two way flows of information is enabled with communications – and this is where things become challenging. It is a complex collection of components that enables to flow the information along the grid – yet there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to picking the communication technology best suited to your particular environment.

This session will look at:
– Communication options – hybrid systems
– Backhaul and security
– Interoperability

Moderator: Claire Volkwyn, Editor, Smart Energy International

Speaker Panel:
– Mark Ossel, Board Member | Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP), Netherlands
– Emad El Sewedy, Chairman & CEO | El Sewedy Electrometer Group, Egypt  
– Don Taylor, Technical Consultant | STSA, South Africa

Register online here: https://www.african-utility-week.com/virtual/virtual-programme

Leading event
The virtual event, taking place from 11-15 May 2020, is a free, online initiative after the 20th annual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will now take place from 24-26 November at the CTICC in Cape Town. It is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals. The event brings together over 10 000 decision makers from over 90 countries, including 35 African countries, to source the latest solutions and meet over 350 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions, the event also boasts a CPD-accredited strategic conference and technical presentations with over 300 expert speakers.

African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa recently won the AAXO ROAR Award for Best Trade Exhibition in the 12000+ sqm category for the third time.

About the organisers
African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa 
is the flagship energy event organised by Clarion Events Africa, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors. Other well-known events by Clarion Events on the continent include Future Energy East Africa, Future Energy Nigeria, the Utility CEO Forums, Nigeria Mining Week, DRC Mining Week and Africa Mining Forum. Clarion Events Africa is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group and African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa forms part of Clarion Energy, which runs over 40 events that cover the oil, gas, power and energy sectors, making it one of Clarion Events’ largest portfolios.

Dates and location for African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa:
Virtual conference: 11-15 May 2020
Conference and expo: 24-26 November 2020
Location: CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

Websites: www.african-utility-week.com ; www.powergenafrica.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfricaUtilities    #AUW2020   #PGAF2020
Linkedin: African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa

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