HomeConference ProceedingsConference Proceedings 2018: Strategic

Conference Proceedings 2018: Strategic

Wednesday, 12 September 2018



Chairman and moderator: Albert Butare, Former Minister of State: Energy and Water / CEO, Africa Energy Services Group, Rwanda


Organiser’s welcome:

  • Kelly Easton, Programme Director, Spintelligent, South Africa


Sponsor’s welcome:

  • Johan  Helberg, Country Manager, Siemens, Kenya


Host ministry welcome address:

  • Dr Joseph Njoroge, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Kenya

10:00 – 10:15

Presentation: Setting the scene – Energy programmes in the COMESA region

11:00 – 13:00

Exhibition tour, networking and lunch break


Regional utility solutions

Room: Lenana

Session 2.1

The digital utility continued. What can be done to accelerate integration and what are the tools to reduce technical losses?

Moderator: Rebekah Shirley, Chief Research Officer, Power for All, Kenya

13:00 – 13:15

Presentation: Digital utility plans in progress

Johan  Helberg, Country Manager, Siemens, Kenya / Marco Rahner, Head of Technical Sales and Engineering, Siemens, South Africa

13:15 – 14:15

Panel discussion: Embracing digital disruption – what have we learnt from the digital utility shift?

  • What are the latest grid innovations?
  • Skills and workforce readiness
  • Developing an integrated energy plan: planning for off-grid and grid expansion
  • How do we ensure utilities aren’t left behind when it comes to advancements?
  • Johan Helberg, Country Manager, Siemens, Kenya
  • Miroslav Poljak, Member of Managing Board, Koncar, Croatia
  • Anthony Mburu , Business Development, Telsa, Kenya

Eduoard Heripret, General Manager East Africa, Schneider Electric, Kenya


Alternative energy solutions

Room: Aberdares

Session 2.2

Bankability of mini-grid projects

Moderator: Pepin Tchouate, Regional Technical Adviser, Power Africa Transactions and Reforms Programme (PATRP), Kenya

13:00 – 13:15

Presentation: Achieving scale in distributed generation through standardisation and results-based financing

Sam Duby, Africa Director, TFE Consulting, South Africa

13:15 – 14:15

Panel discussion: Improving the outlook and bankability of mini-grid projects – how do we heighten the financial appetite for the sector?

  • How do we fast-track building large pipelines of projects
  • Sharing some of the innovative work
  • Solutions around losses due to high or uncertain inflation
  • Interest rates from commercial loans
  • Working together to reach the same goals
  • Orjan Alexander Pedersen, Founder and COO, Empower New Energy, Norway
  • Andrew Githaiga, Head of Regional Lending, SunFunder, Kenya
  • Aaron Leopold, CEO, Africa Mini –grid Developers Association (AMDA), Kenya

Ricardo Ridolfi, CEO, Equatorial Power, Uganda

14:15 – 14:45

Networking and coffee break

Session 3.1

Enhancing customer service and communication to drive utility revenues

Moderator: Robert Kisubi, Senior Partner, Songa Communications, Uganda

14:45 – 15:00

Presentation: Restructuring to drive revenue generation for utilities

Jeremiah K. Kiplagat Director, Kenya Power, Kenya

15:00 – 16:00

Panel discussion: What has the greatest success in curbing theft and increasing customer payment?

  • How can we encourage the public to report theft?
  • Increasing customer convenience
  • What are the benefits of raising and improving a utility’s public perception
  • Badru M. Kiggundu, Chairperson: Projects Steering Committee ( PSC), UEGCL, Uganda
  • Christopher Opio, Customer Service Engineer, Umeme, Uganda

Jeremiah K. Kiplagat, Director, Kenya Power, Kenya

Session 3.2

Innovative approaches to mini-grid payment methods

Moderator: Patrick K. Tonui, East African Regional Representative, GOGLA, Kenya

14:45 – 15:00

Presentation: Utilising the crypto-economy to accelerate global progress towards universal energy access

Rik Wuts, Co-founder, PowerHive, Kenya

Case study: Innovating for income-generating appliances

Amanda DelCore, Associate, Factor[e], Kenya

15:00 – 16:00

Panel discussion: Mini-grids for productive use and beyond: business model innovation towards financial viability

  • Cooperation and coordination with developments
  • How can the demand be stimulated through access to productive use appliances
  • How can we build electricity load growth by building local productive businesses
  • Bankability of rural customers: the need for productive use demand side support
  • Ricardo Ridolfi, CEO, Equatorial Power, Uganda
  • Erick Donasian, Managing Director, Off Grid Electric, Tanzania
  • Jackson Mutonga, Project Advisor, GIZ, Kenya
  • Nataliey Bitature, CEO, EnerGrow, Uganda

Ilana Cohen, Market Engagement Director, GSMA, Kenya


Networking function


Thursday, 13 September 2018

Regional utility solutions

Room: Lenana

Session 4.1

Mitigating financial risks to mobilise private sector involvement
Moderator: Christian Wright, Managing Director / Head of East Africa, Globeleq, Kenya

09:30 – 09:45

Presentation: Challenges of power projects in the context of the post-conflict countries – the case in Somaliland

Abdirahman M. Abdilahi, Energy Specialist, Somaliland

09:45 – 10:45

Panel discussion: Solutions for mitigating the following risks and increasing bankability:

  • Insurable credit risk
  • Certification to eliminate developer/ technology risk
  • Local currency funding
  • Political and government related risk
  • Nontechnical losses
  • Commercial risk – can people pay?


  • Dustin Homer, Director of Client Solutions, Fraym, US
  • Shelmith Theuri, Investment Officer, SunFunder, Kenya
  • Harriet Chebet Ng’ok, EU-Funding Project Manager, Finance Competence EU, Kenya

Elijah Isabu, Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance, (SUNREF)/  Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya


Alternative energy solutions

Room: Aberdares

Session 4.2

The impact of net-metering in East Africa
Moderator: Beatrice Muthoni, Energy Specialist, Kenya

09:30 – 09:45

Presentation: How can we win the race to a clean energy future for East Africa through renewable sources?

Izael Pereira Da Silva, Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research and Innovation, Strathmore University, Kenya

09:45 – 10:45

Panel discussion: What is the impact of net-metering and what does it mean for the industry?

  • An update on energy banking services
  • Commercial and industrial strategies for net-metering
  • Projects under development for net-metering
  • Are there international examples and lessons that can be learnt?

Tariffs for net-metering


  • Kamal Gupta, Director – Solar and End User Business, Schneider Electric / Chairmen of Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), Kenya
  • Izael Pereira Da Silva, Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research and Innovation, Strathmore University, Kenya

John Mutua, Senior Manager, Economic Regulation, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Kenya


Networking and coffee break

Session 5.1

Tariff models that encourage economic growth and private sector participation

Moderator: Frank B. Sebbowa, Principal Consultant, Frank Energy Consults, Uganda

11:15 -12:30

Panel discussion: How to achieve a transparent and independent regulatory framework to ensure long-term investments

  • Voices of the manufacturing sector – how can we stimulate growth?
  • What can change to attract and maintain private sector involvement?
  • Plans for inter-country collaboration
  • Considerations for the best tariff models and specific implementation practices to be adopted by each region
  • Future and current plans to revise power tariffs


  • Richard Okou, Technical Director, Energy Regulatory Authority (ERA), Uganda
  • Godfrey Chibulunje, Director of Electricity, Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), Tanzania
  • John Mutua, Senior Manager, Economic Regulation, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Kenya

Sylvester Makaka, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Kenya

Session 5.2

Community engagement: Tackling inflated land costs
Moderator: Beatrice Muthoni, Energy Specialist, Kenya

11:15 -12:30

Presentation: Energising East Africa; challenges and impact
Hans Peter Christophersen, Trade and Energy Counsellor, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Ugana

Panel discussion: Ensuring transparency in the land acquisition component of a project – how can we enable mutual benefit?

  • Safeguarding fairness in compensation and/or other benefits
  • Understanding and managing community grievances
  • Profit sharing with communities to stimulate global growth and productive use of energy
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Fast tracking successful implementation

Developing a pro-community utility – local leaders involvement


  • Johnson K Muthoka, Land Economist, Ketraco, Kenya
  • Hans Peter Christophersen, Trade and Energy Counsellor, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Uganda
  • Pam Onyanyo, Managing Director, Renewvia Energy, Kenya

Kevin Doyle, Community Engagement Advisor, Power Africa Transactions and Reforms Programme (PATRP), Kenya

12:30 – 13:45

Exhibition visit, networking and lunch break

Session 6.1

Room: Aberdares

NEW: Interactive case study

Moderator: Amayo Passy Ogolla, Programme Officer, Society for International Development (SID), Kenya

Apply your knowledge and experience to a real life challenge. Hear and understand the case study and collaborate with colleagues in a roundtable exercise to work through solutions.  Bring personal experience and solutions learnt from the conference to the case study


Case study presentation: Detailing the scenario and real life challenges on renewable energy in Tanzania

Matthew Matimbwi, Executive Secretary, Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA) / Chairperson, East Africa Renewable Energy Federation, Tanzania

14:00 – 15:30

Working groups – find solutions and sharing personal experience to solve the following challenges:

  • Substandard solar PV products
  • The weak national grid
  • Financial performance of national utilities
  • Coordination of the sector
  • Allocation of funds for maintenance
  • Decision makers adopting renewable energy
  • Vandalism
  • Understanding regulation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Data on market trends and resources
  • Empowering women


Feedback and conclusions


End of conference networking