Can Africa carve out a role for itself in the burgeoning hydrogen market? How do cities climate proof their energy sectors and water systems? Where will the funding come from for the 5Ds of the energy transition?

These are just some of the pertinent questions and topics up for discussion during the upcoming Enlit Africa, taking place from 8 to 10 June, featuring live sessions with the sector’s leading minds. The online platform will be opened with a welcome address by South Africa’s mineral and energy resources minister, Gwede Mantashe.

Hydrogen

“Countries such as South Africa and Kenya already have the infrastructure in place which can be leveraged to take advantage of green hydrogen both for production and export,” says Hendrik Malan, partner and Africa CEO at Frost & Sullivan Africa and moderator of the upcoming session on: The role of Africa in the global hydrogen-generation marke.

“Hydrogen, specifically green and blue,” he explains, “has the potential to considerably accelerate sub-Saharan Africa’s electrification rate. Furthermore, through export of this green resources, local economies can be strengthened, driving job creation, and establishing countries as key suppliers ahead of the rest of the world.”

According to Malan, while hydrogen is still in the R&D and early implementation phase, governments already need to put the respective legislation and regulations in place to enable fast implementation.

Climate change

Climate change and its effect on the future of the energy sector is a critical theme that forms a thread throughout the Enlit Africa programme. From the opening session’s panel that will focus on the 5Ds of the energy transition – namely decarbonisation, decentralisation, democratisation, digitalisation and deregulation – to how African governments are currently devising their own climate change policies. 

“We all know that the global community has decided to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees. The consequences of an overshoot are too catastrophic to contemplate and so we need to invest more in adaptation strategies,” says Dr Roland Nkwain Ngam, programme manager for climate justice and socio-ecological transformation at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Ngam, who is speaking in the Climate finance – adaptation and mitigation session adds, “Coal power is killing us and we need to force polluters to pay their fair share for adaptation activities.”

Enlit Africa will also feature an exclusive interview with City of Cape Town executive director Kadri Nassiep on how the City of Cape Town is addressing climate change.

Speakers and moderators on the programme include:

  • Ashish Khanna, Practice Manager: West and Central Africa, World Bank, USA
    Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO, Siemens, South Africa

  • Dr Albert Butare, a former Minister of State for Infrastructure in the Republic of Rwanda and currently the CEO of Africa Energy Services Group Ltd

  • Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO, ENGIE Energy Access, Belgium

  • Dr Jarrad Wright, Principal Researcher, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa

  • Mandy Rambharos, GM: Just Energy Transition Office, Eskom, South Africa

  • Ashish Kumar, Head of Innovation, Shell Foundation, United Kingdom

  • Tobi Busari, Team Lead: Embedded Generation and Renewable Energy, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Nigeria

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