Johannesburg, February 19, 2013?? Leading experts and investors in Energy, as well as regional and international energy stakeholders have convened a three-day meeting at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg to explore opportunities and solutions to Africa?s energy challenges.
Key on the agenda of the 5th?annual Africa Energy Indaba, organised by the African Union?s (AU) New Partnership for Africa?s Development (NEPAD) Agency, South African National Energy Association (Sanea) and the World Energy Council (WEC), is to accelerate the implementation of NEPAD?s Energy Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
PIDA provides a common strategic framework for African stakeholders to build the infrastructure necessary for more integrated energy networks in Africa with sufficient generation capacity. One of its objectives is to ensure sustainable access to energy for Africans by 2040.
Speaking at the opening session, Professor Mosad Elmissiry, HEAD of NEPAD?s Energy programme said:??Africa is endowed with rich energy resources and minerals which are very much underutilised. The purpose of PIDA is to utilise the Continent?s enormous energy resources in an optimal economical and sustainable manner? so as to improve the living conditions of the African population; particularly for those living in countries that have the lowest access to these resources.?
South Africa?s Minister of Energy of South Africa,
Ms Dipuo ?Peters
PIDA will achieve this by developing additional energy generation?? projects, integrated regional transmission networks, oil as well as gas pipeline projects. 15 energy priority projects identified by African Heads of States and governments and will be implemented by 2020.
Most of the power utilities will be inter-connected through transmission corridors which will cut across Africa from North to South and from East to West. In the long term, PIDA aims to help deliver a well-connected Africa and facilitate energy flows between African countries.
Minister of Energy of South Africa, Ms Dipuo Peters said:??The energy sector remains a sector that is crucial to the realization of the PIDA goals ? in fact ? it is the enabling factor that would see the success of this initiative.?
Prof Elmissiry, Head of NEPAD?s Energy Programme, among
However, to address energy poverty and access, an estimated $25 billion of investment was needed annually until 2030 in order to eliminate the energy backlogs in Africa, Minister Peters said.
One of the key objectives of the Indaba, which will run until February 21, is to tackle the issue of what can be done to ensure that appropriate funding is provided to implement PIDA and empower Africans with energy.
Presentations on day one included briefings from African and international energy? experts and investors on the importance of renewable energy sources for Africa?s development, policies and legal limitations as well as business opportunities for building sustainable energy projects for rural Africa.
The Indaba also provided media with an opportunity for direct interaction with the high-level plenary speakers to address current and emerging trends in the energy sector.