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The challenge of improving access to energy will be addressed at the upcoming Enlit Africa conference and expo when it returns to Cape Town from 16-18 May 2023

Enlit Africa africa energyMore than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend the event in Cape Town. (Image source: VUKA Group)

The second day’s keynote session will focus on Africa’s just energy transition and the importance of ensuring that energy access is a central outcome of that transition.

“We believe that the issue of energy access cannot be ignored,” commented the event’s content director, Claire Volkwyn. “With figures predicting that between 700 million and 900 million are currently without energy access in Africa, this is a crisis that must be addressed.”

In a report released by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 21 March, some of the real-life impacts of the lack of energy access, such as implications for health, education, poverty reduction and sustainable development, were addressed. The report, ‘Commodities at a glance: Special issue on access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa’, warns that without additional efforts, the region’s population without access to clean fuels could increase to more than 1.1 billion people in 2030.

“Access to a reliable and quality energy supply is vital to the economic development of any country,” the report noted. “It drives industrialisation, boosts productivity and economic growth, spurs human development, and is crucial to achieve almost all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Africa at an energy intersection 

“Africa has arrived at an intersection between affordability, reliability and access to power,” Volkwyn stated. “While this position presents incredible opportunities and inspires innovation, at the same time, it also creates some tension, particularly regarding the SDGs and the energy transition.”

She explained, “Africa’s just energy transition ambitions are being tested in the face of a global recession, rising poverty, unemployment and falling revenue. In addition to the staggering sums of investment that have been identified for the technology and headline achievements of the energy transition, Africa is facing the reality that it will likely not meet SDG7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

“But, there is also lot to celebrate and we will share many success stories and showcase new innovations.” 

This year’s programme features an incredible line-up of experts from across the African continent who will share their winning strategies and projects with the 5000+ expected delegates and visitors. Another huge vote of the confidence in Africa’s energy sector will be the exciting and vibey expo floor with 250 suppliers of expert technologies and services, including country pavilions from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Taiwan and the USA.

Some of Africa’s leading lights in the energy sector who will speak at Enlit Africa in May include: 

• Edson Uamusse, Fundo de Energia (FUNAE), Mozambique

• Geoffrey Muli, managing director of Kenya Power, Kenya 

• Jennifer Baldwin, transmission & distribution team lead, USAID, Power Africa, RSA

• Kellie Murungi, chief investment officer, East African Power, Kenya

• Mandy Rambharos, VP: Global Climate, Corporation, Environmental, Defense Fund, USA (formerly of Eskom’s Just Energy Transition Office)

• Mercy W. Wairua, legal counsel – energy project finance and infrastructure, Lion’s Head Global Partners, Kenya

• Patrick Agese, CEO, PAMAfrica, Nigeria

• Sumaya Mahomed, energy consultant, Uganda

• William Brent, chief marketing officer: executive to expand rural energy services, Husk Power Systems, Kenya

• Ziria Tibalwa Waako, CEO, Electricity Regulatory Authority, Uganda.

Programme sections and themes

A flagship annual industry event since 2000, Enlit Africa will offer the 5,000+ attendees – representing the entire power and energy value chain – multiple opportunities to meet, do business and inspire each other, driving energy action into a working plan for the years ahead. From governments, municipalities to large energy users, investors, EPCs, IPPs and start-ups, Enlit Africa is a constantly growing, inclusive, end-to-end power and energy conference and solution focused exhibition, that addresses every aspect of Africa’s energy transition.

The programme will also focus on finance and investment strategies, renewable energy, storage and alternative solutions as well as generation, transmission and distribution. The spotlight stage sessions will provide sector innovators from across the continent the opportunity to share their next new ideas or showcase success stories and case studies from across the continent.

The co-located events (invitation only) are the Municipal Forum, CEO Forum and Women in Energy. 

Industry support

As a longstanding must-attend date on the annual energy industry calendar, Enlit Africa is once again sponsored by leading technology and services providers, including ACTOM, G3-PLC Alliance, Conlog, Elsewedy Electric, Prime Alliance and South Pole. 

The City of Cape Town is the host city with the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy serving as the host ministry. Eskom is the host utility with Frost and Sullivan as a knowledge partner.

Register to attend Enlit Africa by visiting the website: or download the 2023 Conference Programme here