Power projects in Africa are increasingly viewed as attractive investments by foreign and African investors says Nicole Smith, project director of the Power Indaba Summit which is taking place from 14-16 March 2011 at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa. Development finance organisations, multi-lateral financiers, private investors, fund managers as well as government and utility delegations will be attending this high-level summit, particularly from countries in the SADC and COMESA regions and further afield from West African power houses Nigeria and Ghana. 

The investment imperative
According to Power Indaba’s Nicole Smith, “the investment imperative and how to harness what is available in terms of financing and making it work for Africa is key for the summit.”  She continues:  “the overarching context is that Africa IS attractive post-recession and all eyes, European, American, Asian, are on Africa. Not only this, African finance organisations and investors are themselves wanting a piece of the action and are seeing some kind of viability in certain regions for taking risks in investing in power projects.”

Understanding Africa’s energy mix
Summit discussions will also cover the role of development finance institutions as well as what financing models have worked.  Smith says:  “we are examining the importance of diversifying Africa’s energy mix – the need for renewable sources of energy versus traditional non-renewable sources for energy.  We ask whether a PPP (private public partnership) is the best model for financing power in Africa and explore other innovative methods of financing have been used previously, even in other sectors, which may be applicable for power.” 

According to Smith the summit format of Power Indaba lends itself to one-to-one meeting sessions that will offer unparalleled discussions between financiers, project developers and utility and government delegations. She notes:  “these meetings will open discussion on real business opportunities and the implementation of systems for ensuring power infrastructure projects in Africa are bankable and investment friendly.”

Eskom’s Brian Dames and Minister Dipuo Peters
Power Indaba runs parallel to the African Utility Week conference and exhibition which features Eskom’s CEO Brian Dames and the South African Minister of Energy, Elizabeth Dipuo Peters as headline speakers.  A joint opening session ensures that the high level discussions which start off the event are shared by all attendees and set the tone for high level discussions throughout the remainder of the summit.

Highlights of the Power Indaba programme include:

Opening keynote address:  The investment imperative, current investment in African power projects and the need to encourage private sector participation.
Dr Nkosana Moyo, Vice President & COO, African Development Bank, Tunis*

Keynote address:  What makes a successful project
Jeffrey Humber, Director, Africa Infrastructure Programme, USAID, USA

Keynote address:  SADC and beyond: strategies for infrastructure projects
Admassu Tadesse, Group Executive, Development Bank of Southern Africa, South Africa

Access Nigeria – executive insider briefings on the investment opportunities and incentives. 

  • Presidential Task Force on Power
    • Prof. Bart Nnaji, Chairman*
    • Eng. Uzoma Achinaya, Head, Performance Monitoring Team on Distribution & Market Operations
    • Mr. Eyo Ekpo, Team Leader for the Regulatory & Transactions Team
  • ICRC – Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Commission
    • Eng. Mansur Ahmed, Director General*
  • BPE – Bureau for Public Enterprises
    • Ms. Bola Onagoruwa, Director General

Access South Africa

  • Department of Minerals and Energy
    • Nelisiwe Magubane, Director General*
    • Ompi Aphane, Acting Deputy Director-General of Electricity, Nuclear and Clean Energy*
  • National Treasury
    • Karen Breytenbach, Senior Advisor, PPP Unit
  • National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA)
    • Thembani Bukula, Chairman, Electricity Sub-Committee
  • Eskom
    • Chose Choeu, Divisional Executive, Corporate Affairs
    • Yousuf Haffejee, Head of Purchasing Division

Development finance round table: Panel discussion to examine the requirements to attract investment and financing models in the context of understanding the energy mix.

  • Alfredo Abad, Head of Southern and Eastern Africa, European Investment Bank, South Africa
  • Damien Navizet, Investment Officer, Energy Sector Specialist, Agence Francaise de Developpement, South Africa
  • Georg Gruner, Senior Project Manager,Saharan Africa Regional Office, Kfw IPEX-Bank GmbH
  • Dave Smit, Structured Finance, Energy, FMO, Netherlands
  • Paul Eardly Taylor, Head of Energy, Utilities & Infrastructure CoverageStandard Bank, South Africa
  • Andrew Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), Macquairie, South Africa

*invited speakers

Event dates and location:  14-16 March 2011 at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa
Event websites: www.powerindaba.com and www.african-utility-week.com

For more information, interviews and media accreditation:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Tel.  +27 21 700 3558
Fax.  +27 21 700 3501
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@clarionevents.com