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African leaders commit to energy talks

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African Ministries from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Madagascar, Morocco, Rwanda and Zimbabwe will attend the Africa Energy Forum (AEF), which is set to welcome 2 000 decision-makers in Africa’s energy sector to Copenhagen this June.
AEF is the annual meeting point for Africa’s energy sector for decision-makers to explore investment opportunities, form partnerships and sign deals.
Dr Matusila Malungeni, Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is the latest to confirm his attendance.
With the objective of securing positive economic and social outcomes for the DRC, the Minister will present short, medium and long term solutions to achieve the country’s electrification aims, discussing proposed tax relief plans for thermal energy suppliers, incentives and support for investors, and strategies to raise funds to explore the country’s hydropower potential.
“We will aim to raise funds for feasibility studies for more than 500 potential sites throughout the country for hydro and solar power in order to better attract investors,” he says.
To provide a platform to the energy leaders of tomorrow, the EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative (ESEI) returns to the Africa Energy Forum this year, flying a selection of best-in-class African law, finance and engineering students to meet sector leaders and explore future employment opportunities.
The programme has sponsored 63 African students to date, working closely with universities and partners Aggreko and Norton Rose Fulbright to provide onsite training workshops and meeting opportunities with African Ministers of Energy.
“The Africa Energy Forum focuses primarily on large scale power projects, supporting the public and private sectors to get projects off the ground and connected to the grid. However, given that 600 million people live without access to basic energy in Africa, increasingly investors are looking off grid to the areas not serviced by national grids taken for granted in developing countries,” says Simon Gosling, MD of EnergyNet.
To address this demand, the Africa Energy Forum 2017 will see the return of the Off the Grid Village area as a destination and networking hub for the Energy Access and Off Grid Community. The area will feature exhibition stands for leading off grid companies, dedicated networking functions and an off grid agenda stream hosting panels, workshops demonstrations and seminars to showcase leading off grid solutions, services and expertise.