The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) speak to a future which preserves our natural environment and resources, ends poverty and increases quality of life for all. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development saw all 17 Goals adopted by UN Member States in 2015. Now five years in, what does progress look like, and is it enough to deliver the 2030 goals?
As the impact of climate change grows ever apparent, the international energy community is under increasing scrutiny to develop sustainable power sources. Some of the most innovative sustainable energy solutions are being developed right now in Africa, but what role could or should Africa play in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7)?
Under the overarching theme ‘Investment & Impact’, the Africa Energy Forum’s (aef) 2020 programme will put sustainable development and the impact of power projects under the spotlight. A participant at the 2019 Forum in Lisbon commented: “The potential to generate highly attractive financial returns while effecting significant social impact is perhaps more prevalent in Africa than anywhere else in the world.”
As the international energy community adapts to rapidly evolving technologies and an increasing demand for sustainable solutions, the need for knowledge-sharing and innovation has never been greater. The aef 2020 agenda has been shaped to reflect these opportunities, welcoming Chairwoman Damilola Ogunbiyi as CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, SEforALL.
The aef 2020 programme
In line with SDG7, aef will host a stream dedicated to unpacking Africa’s role in achieving “affordable and clean energy for all”, debating how the continent can meet energy demands in light of global sustainability goals. A new structure to the 2020 agenda introduces dynamic sessions prioritising interactivity between panellists and delegates. Formats include interactive Q&A sessions, deep dives, roundtables, and hard-hitting debates.
The Tech & Tools stream will examine how the 4th Industrial Revolution is set to play out for Africa, discussing the future of battery storage, disruptive technologies, and artificial intelligence in 2020 and beyond. A special Project signing session on the opening day will see partners and sponsors sign power projects with public and private sector partners in front of a live aef audience.
The EnergyNet Student Engagement Initiative returns to invite promising finance, law and engineering students from Africa to Spain, the aef host country, to meet energy ministers, participate in workshops, and learn about the opportunities for energy development in their respective countries.
The Africa Challenge Cup will return to aef – a football tournament raising money for charity while providing an outstanding networking opportunity for attendees. Barcelona is the ideal city to build on the success of the 2019 tournament and exceed our charitable contribution.
New for 2020, aef will host an Industry Quiz for teams of sponsors and delegates. Quiz rounds will take place throughout the agenda on the exhibition floor over the course of the three days. The winning team will be recognised with an awards ceremony and prize at the aef 2020 closing ceremony.
Scott Mackin, Managing Partner at Denham Capital and sponsor of the Forum, commented: “aef is simply the most efficient and effective conference that Denham attends around the globe; it’s our opportunity to see everyone dealing with African energy in one setting at one time.”
The 22nd aef will take place in Barcelona, Spain from 30th June to 3rd July. ESI