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Au 1646.14 $/oz Change: 15.09
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Indaba to shape Africa energy policies

31st January 2020 BY: Mc'Kyla Nortje
Journalist

The Africa Energy Indaba conference provides a yearly programme that shapes energy policies for the continent.

The conference will take place this year from March 3 to 4 at the International Convention Centre, in Cape Town.

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“The Africa Energy Indaba 2020 will shed light on what is required of municipalities to consider when procuring from independent power producers (IPPs) and finding solutions to energy access,” says Africa Energy Indaba MD Liz Hart.

The theme of this year’s event is Catalysing Investment and Business Opportunities in the African Energy Sector. The event aims to link key energy stakeholders with investors and project developers, as well as to access energy opportunities and, ultimately, do business.

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“In realising Africa’s energy vision for a sustainable energy future, the dialogue and key outcomes transpiring from this event will provide business-growth opportunities for Africa’s energy sector and inspire change in this realm.”

In addition, the conference will unpack the principal success factors regarding IPPs, as well as the procurement of these IPPs, consequently empowering energy stakeholders to proactively and swiftly capitalise on these opportunities.

Other features of the event include the African Ministerial Panel, which will discuss the theme of the event.

Meanwhile, Hart says two current issues have a “considerable impact” on Africa’s energy sector – the signing of South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The signing of 27 outstanding power purchase agreements with IPPs last year represented the largest procurement by the Department of Minerals and Energy in history, amounting to R56-billion of investment.

“The signing of such agreements denotes the country’s commitment, alongside 195 other countries, to the Paris Agreement for reducing carbon emissions globally,” says Hart.

The signing further signifies government’s commitment to economic growth and prosperity inSouth Africa, sustaining its – and by association, Africa’s – standing as a preferred energy investment destination, she explains.

Further, the AfCFTA agreement will constitute the world’s largest free trade area, consolidating an integrated market of 1.3-billion consumers with a combined gross domestic product of about $3.4-trillion.

Successful implementation of the agreement is set to have a considerable impact on the continent’s energy sector, says Hart.

“Regional integration of energy represents a viable solution for emerging economies to enhance their energy landscapes. “Regional integration is pivotal to ensure that energy resources are moved from localities where they are most affordable to where they are required.”

Improved energy trade and energy integration initiatives will boost economic development in Africa by reducing transaction costs and allowing for market and economic collaboration, conclusively accelerating investment incentives.

Meanwhile, over the past 20 years, the political and economic climate in Africa has improved, making Africa a viable investment decision for international stakeholders, she says.

Having an abundance of natural resources for power generation and an increased interest in low-carbon technologies, battery storage, distributed generation solutions, and integrated grids, as well as the signing of IPPs and the AfCFTA agreement, Africa’s energy realm is undergoing a positive transition, simultaneously creating a multitude of opportunities for African nations to capitalise on, concludes Hart. 

EDITED BY: Zandile Mavuso Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features
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