Enlit Africa: shedding light

High-profile VIPs will deliver keynote addresses across the event. (Image source: Enlit Africa)

With May functioning as South Africa’s National Energy Month, from 16-18 May at Cape Town’s International Conference Centre, speakers at the Enlit Africa conference will ignite conversations between delegates, and innovators will unveil solutions to the energy crisis in the country and elsewhere on the continent 

Formerly known as African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, Enlit Africa features a live conference, an exhibition showcasing new services, product launches and state-of-the-art technologies, roundtables, co-located events and site visits, networking events and exclusive one-on-one interviews with industry professionals.

The conference will feature a number of focused events including the Women in Energy breakfast which will provide a unique opportunity to network with and learn from some of the most influential women in the industry. Visitors will have the chance to network with this engaged cohort of women and be inspired by speakers such as Raksha Naidoo, chairwoman, Women in Mining South Africa; a senior representative, Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE); Elizabeth Marabwa, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, South Africa; and Nthato Minyuku, chairwoman, Enlit Africa Women in Energy committee.

Other speciality events at Enlit Africa include the Municipal Forum, a dedicated programme for municipalities and local government and the secure, by invitation only CEO Forum, where utility CEOs will share leadership insights and industry technical solutions with exclusive partners.

Cutting-edge exhibits

The exhibition will provide a platform for more than 250 global exhibitors to showcase their solutions-focused products and services. With solutions for utilities, municipalities and the commercial and industrial sectors, the products range across the generation, transmission and distribution sectors, including renewable energy, traditional generation technologies and newer technologies, such as electric mobility and storage. Entrance is free and the free to attend programme on the exhibition floor is CPD accredited for all SAIEE registered engineers.

Within the exhibition space are knowledge hubs that give attendees the opportunity to gain technical insight from OEMs and industry specialists on a wide range of engineering-related topics. The GreenHub, for example, will celebrate the latest innovations and technologies in the green energy space.  It is a collaboration between Green Cape, Wesgro, Atlantis SEZ and City of Cape Town.

Inspiring speakers

High-profile VIPs delivering keynote addresses include the Minister of Electricity and Alderman James Vos, mayoral committee member for economic development, City of Cape Town. Attendees will gain exclusive insights into the Government's plans for energy in South Africa and beyond, including the strategy for dealing with load-shedding and the Just Energy Transition Investment update.

Other sessions at Enlit Africa include:

Day 1: Integrating Just Energy Transition Objectives into Crisis Handling

As the world's 12th biggest carbon emitter, how does South Africa transition into an economy that attracts investment, creates new industries, and jobs, and achieves energy security and climate resilience? More importantly, how do we deal with the immediate reality of the South African energy landscape and ensure short-term needs align with longer-term goals while preventing further economic losses and regaining the trust of the South African people?

Notable highlights on this day include a welcome address from Alderman James Voss; a keynote speech from Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister of Electricity, South Africa; an update on Eskom’s efforts to deal with the current environment from Calib Cassim, acting GCE of Eskom; and insights on the progress being made on the separation and operation of the new National Transmission Company from Segomoco Scheppers. 

Day 2: Unpacking Africa’s Just Energy Transition

How to address the combined need for a transition with the promise of access, while ensuring that productive use of energy, long-term employment and economic development opportunities are part of the delivery strategy? 

The keynote panel discussion, sponsored by Siemens, will include: 

Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO, Siemens South Africa,

Abel Didier Tella, secretary general, Association of Power Utilities of Africa (APUA), Cote d’Ivoire,

Albert Murungi, head of ICT, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited, Uganda,

Also invited is newly appointed managing director and CEO of Kenya Power, Joseph Siror.

Topics to be covered include the skills required to make a just energy transition in Africa a reality, as well as the technologies needed to ensure a robust, sustainable energy sector across Africa. 

Across the conference on Day 3

On the third day of the conference, attendees will be privy to a range of panel sessions and keynote speeches covering a wide array of topics shaping the continent’s energy sector. These include:

Main Stage – Beyond the Utility: A discussion focusing on the new landscape facing IPPs, and securing finance for Africa’s power sector;

• Strategic Stage – Regional and technology Spotlights: These will include digitalisation, decommissioning of coal-fired power plant and hydrogen in Africa;

• Renewable Energy and Storage Hub – Demystifying the Democratisation of Energy: The Public and Community Ownership session will unpack the role of communities, policymakers and other stakeholders in the transition to renewable energy.

• Generation, T&D and Water Hub: Technical presentations, junior green pitch sessions, skills development, plus solutions to improve delivery, deployment and operation of transmission assets.

Aside from the keynote speakers, other contributing VIPs include: James Mackay, CEO, Energy Council of South Africa; Ken Poonoosamy, CEO of the Mauritius Economic Development Board; Lisa Witte, acting deputy coordinator, Power Africa, USAID; Jacob Irving, CEO of the Energy Council of Canada; Dipak Patel, head climate finance and innovation, SA Presidential Climate Commission; Somila Xosa, Director of Transport Fuels and Renewables, SA Department of Science and Technology; Kaashifah Buekes, CEO, Freeport Saldanha; and Mandy Rambharos, VP Global Climate Corporation, Environmental Defense Fund. 

The conference will also benefit from the insights of utility CEOs from Kenya, Uganda, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, Rwanda, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa, Gambia, Ethiopia, Cape Verde and Botswana, alongsid municipal representatives from around South Africa.

ICLEI, the African Legal Services Facility, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Standard Bank, The Power Partnership, and the Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) will also be represented to share expertise. 

Once the conference is over, the exclusive site visit programme will begin on Friday, 19 May, with a range of tours to power plants and fascinating sites of energy innovation.

To download the full programme, register for the conference or to secure your free Expo ticket visit Enlit Africa.