Gen-X Nelson Mandela
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In honour of Nelson Mandela Day (18 July), South African students have an opportunity to showcase their work and engage with leaders in the power field at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa next week.

The Gen-X Theatre, pioneered by POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa advisory board member Bertha Dlamini three years ago, gives the next generation of power sector professionals a unique opportunity to present their ideas and engage with industry leaders and VIPs from across the continent and the world.

Gen-X also creates a setting where aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators can be discovered by prospective funders and financiers.

Since inception in 2015, Gen-X has received support from SAIEE, ABB South Africa, City Power and Matleng Energy Solutions. It has supported 20 students from South Africa and Swaziland.

Gen-X experience of a lifetime

Previous participants report that the Gen-X experience has been hugely beneficial for them in a number of ways. “This is a great initiative. It exposes young researchers in engineering to best practice, technologies and experts. This gives us a chance to get input, ideas and feedback from the outside world to improve our work,” said Siyanda Biyela, an M.Sc Engineering (Elec) student at Wits.

“This opportunity [helped build] my confidence in the energy industry through exposure, reading, writing and presenting,” said Thembinkosi Maphosa, a PhD student at the UWC School of Business and Finance.

“Gen-X seeks to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the power sector, and with support from the power sector, we would like to expand the initiative to include students from across Africa,” said Dlamini.

Nelson Mandela Day

Running from 12:45 to 14:30 in the exhibition area on all three days of POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa, the Gen-X Theatre will include talks by African industry leaders and presentations by young electrical engineers and post-graduate students from South Africa. The presentations will be adjudicated and awards presented for the best papers.

In support of Nelson Mandela Day, POWER-GEN & DistribuTECHAfrica has sponsored ZAR30,000 to this important initiative.

POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2018 will be staged from 17 – 19 July at the Sandton Convention Centre. The event is attended by over 3,000 power industry stakeholders, utilities and sub-Saharan government officials from pan-Africa and abroad.

Find out more here or follow @PGAFRICA on Facebook and Twitter.

This year, a partnership has also been secured with European Utility Week to be held from 6 - 8 November 2018 Vienna, Austria to enroll the top three Gen-X presenters in their Initiate! Young Talent Programme – EUW in Vienna. “This will be a lifetime experience for our young stars in energy,” says Dlamini.