Energy access in Africa a key topic at this year’s Enlit Africa

5th May 2023


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The upcoming Enlit Africa conference and expo will address the challenges of access to energy in Africa. The conference will be held over three days on May 16 to 18. 

The keynote session on day two of the conference will focus on Africa’s energy transition and the importance of ensuring that energy access is at the core of that shift.

“We believe that the issue of energy access cannot be ignored. 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,” says Enlit Africa content director Claire Volkwyn.  

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development released a report last month which highlighted some real-life impacts of the inaccessibility of energy in Africa which has implications for health, education, poverty reduction and sustainable development. The report warns that without additional efforts, the region’s population without access to clean fuels could increase to over 1.1-billion people in 2030.

“Access to a reliable and quality energy supply is vital to the economic development of any country. 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),” details the report.

Africa at Energy Intersection

“Africa has arrived at an intersection between affordability, reliability and access to power. 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,” says Volkwyn.

She adds that Africa’s just energy transition ambitions are being tested in the face of a global recession, rising poverty and unemployment, and falling revenue. The staggering sums of investment that have been identified as necessary for the technology and headline achievements of the energy transition, mean 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.

Despite this, Volkwyn says Africa still has a lot to celebrate ahead of this year’s instalment. “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 about 5 000 expected delegates and visitors.”

“Another huge vote of 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 US,” she points out.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features





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