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African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa has been rebranded as Enlit Africa

May 25, 2022

After two years in limbo, the African events industry is making a comeback in June 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa, with the latest edition of Africa’s most respected power and energy event: African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa, which is now known as Enlit Africa.

Collaboration to fast-forward Africa’s energy transition

At COP26 in 2021, South Africa signed a $8.5 billion energy transition deal intended to contribute to the early retirement of coal plants, building cleaner energy sources and support of coal-dependent regions. But what does the transition away from coal mean for jobs in the coal mining sector and how does the country plan to reskill the existing workforce to move towards a greener economy by 2050?

The reality is that the transition away from coal threatens 120,000 jobs at heavily unionised mines and power plants, in a country that by some measures has the world’s highest unemployment rate and where one job often feeds a large family.

So how does a country overcome these challenges? The solutions will be unpacked during the Opening Keynote Session of Enlit Africa in Cape Town on Tuesday 7th June at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Themed “Collaboration to Fast-Forward Africa’s Energy Transition’ and sponsored by GE, this critical discussion will see Eskom South Africa Group Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter, Mark Carrato coordinator of USAID’s Power Africa and other invited guests unpack these questions and suggest proposals that will advance the African energy transition in a way which is equally beneficial for the environment, communities and business.

A Just Energy Transition for Africa
Shiferaw Telila, CEO of Ethiopian Electric Utility, will be joined by Tanguy Bekale, Chair, African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change in Gabon, as well as representatives from Siemens and Ghana Electricity Company on the Day 2 Keynote Session of Enlit Africa. In this session, the conversation from the Day 1 opening keynote will be expanded to determine how opportunities such as those being opened up by Eskom’s Just Energy Transition Partnership in South Africa can be replicated across the African continent.

Enlit Africa will also ask the question: what needs to happen to avoid climate vulnerable, low carbon emission countries from slipping through the cracks as we pursue the energy transition?

The realities of a transition in Africa’s energy landscape need to be considered and carefully planned to avoid any number of challenges. These include a desire not to put African countries in debt to meet climate ambitions and recognition that as the continent that contributes the least to global emissions, Africa is in a unique position to ask for meaningful financial and technical contributions from the international community.

Enlit Africa joins forces with the best in the African energy industry

Enlit Africa aims to address these issues in detail, with speakers, sponsors and exhibitors from the across the entire African energy value chain — from energy investment to utilities, mining to engineering, industrial development to storage, Enlit Africa will cover it all.

The energy transition is more than just a transition to cleaner energy – it is a journey to a completely new energy landscape in which generation, transmission and distribution networks evolve and adapt to bi-directional electricity flows, distributed energy, intermittent renewable energy and other new grid technologies. However, this transition is not just about embracing the new – it is about understanding the role that more traditional infrastructure will play in the future and considering the role a multitude of technologies are going to play.

To do so, we must adapt – and that is part of the story behind our name change. At the beginning of 2021, we rebranded as Enlit Africa, transitioning to embrace the new dynamic and welcome the step change in Africa’s power and energy industry. Our programme reflects the entire power and energy landscape, asking the hard questions and providing the answers to the most challenging questions.

We believe that the collaborative efforts of civil society, government and all impacted stakeholders are necessary to ensure a just, sustainable, affordable and timely energy transition for Africa.