HomeRegional NewsAfricaCause to celebrate Africa Day amid a lack of energy access

Cause to celebrate Africa Day amid a lack of energy access

This week we saw Africa Day come and go without much ado. We asked you about the relevance of this internationally-observed day—and what it means to you.

Originally published in the ESI Africa weekly newsletter on 27/05/2020

One regular ESI Africa reader, David Birungi, responded by highlighting the need for advancing energy access, stating: “Those physicists who founded Amps, Volts and Ohms did their part. We must diligently do our bit to deliver them FASTER to all Africans, at a socially responsive cost.”

It’s a statement that should not be needed in the 21st century but, unfortunately, is a reality for many who live without any form of energy access. 

For me, it’s an opportunity to raise awareness on how diverse each African country is and the importance of this diversity in doing business in each region. Notwithstanding the challenges in access to energy, clean water, sanitation, health services and housing, we also must raise awareness on the successes and advances achieved.

Being cognisant of the steps toward positive change can only give rise to more such stories. One of these progressive steps can be witnessed in the rise of renewable energy.

The use of solar photovoltaic in off-grid installations, hybrid plants, and mini-grid projects has achieved much, such as pumped water for agriculture, power for indoor lighting, electricity at healthcare clinics and access to information and banking through charged mobile phones.

Each of these steps deserves to be heard.

On that note, join me on Thursday, 28 May at 14h30 GMT, for a live discussion into how successful the South African REIPPPP has been to date on engaging local communities and why.

The live digital broadcast, hosted by the Africa Energy Forum, will answer these questions:

  • Are IPPs engaging effectively enough with local stakeholders and communities?
  • Why is it important for project developers to think about social impact?
  • What lessons have been learnt for the next round?
  • What design principals are needed in policy to achieve success?

It’s precisely the type of conversation that lends itself to what makes Africa Day important.

Until next week.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.