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Investing in energy projects in Africa: the deal makers are gathering at African Utility Week

Six months of Trump, derisking renewable energy investments and country project pipelines are just some of the key sessions during the upcoming African Power Finance & Investment Forum that is part of the African Utility Week conference and expo at the CTICC in Cape Town from 16-18 May.

Says African Utility Week event director Evan Schiff: “we developed the African Power Finance & Investment Forum in response to a strong demand from investors and project leaders, to provide a unique insider’s perspective on the outlook for African energy. The forum will feature expert speakers who will identify the key trends impacting project finance in regional energy markets with updates on and insights into market opportunities, sources of capital, financing instruments and access to project finance.”

Some of the leading speakers and sessions at African Power Finance & Investment Forum:

African utilities in an upside down world
– Dr Jerome Booth, leading expert investor in emerging markets, author of ‘Emerging Markets in an Upside Down World’; Chairman of New Sparta Asset Management; co-founder of Ashmore, UK:
“I shall be talking about the failure of finance theory, which has led to massive distortion in risk perceptions and asset allocation globally. This has impeded capital flow to private markets in Africa, to the detriment of both African economies and global savers”.

The big three: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana
– Gavin Serkin, Managing Editor, Frontier Funds Consultancy, author of ‘Frontier: Exploring the Top Ten Emerging Markets of Tomorrow’, UK:
“When you compare against the UK and US, most of Africa is doing the right thing! It’s all relative. The biggest opportunities occur where there is opportunity to scale access by consumers to services taken for granted by the rest of the world, and in this respect nowhere comes close to Nigeria.”

Courting Capital: All investment dollars are not created equal
– Subha Nagarajan, Managing Director for Africa, OPIC, USA:
“Investors seeking opportunities in Africa should not have outsized return expectations, and should be willing to take a long term view of market evolution when balancing their risk-return expectations. One of the biggest challenges to investing in Africa continues to be the dearth of infrastructure required to support project construction and implementation.”

Understanding of risks and their pricing – how can the supply of long-term local currency financing and hedging be improved?
– Harald Hirschhofer, Senior Advisor, The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), The Netherlands:
“I think there is too much fear about the uncertainty of some renewable business models which drive up credit spreads. For example, solar technology is well tested now, project implementation risks are low in many countries, and pay as you go schemes work with low default rates. Bankers do not yet fully appreciate this.”

The art of the deal (How Trump’s policies impact Africa)
– Andrew Moorfield, Head of Natural Resources, Exotix Partners, UK:
“We are finding that there is appetite for emerging and frontier market projects. They just have to be structured appropriately and hit the return requirement for investors”

The full interviews with these and other speakers can be viewed here: http://www.african-utility-week.com/expertinterviews

Award-winning energy platform
The 17th annual African Utility Week will gather over 7000 decision makers from more than 80 countries to source the latest solutions and meet over 300 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions the event also boasts a five track conference with over 300 expert speakers.

The conference programme will address the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors: ranging from generation, T&D, metering, technology and water.

The African Utility Week expo offers an extensive technical workshop programme that are CPD accredited, free to attend, hands-on presentations that take place in defined spaces on the exhibition floor. They discuss practical, day-to-day technical topics, best practices and product solutions that businesses, large power users and utilities can implement in their daily operations.

Industry support
The leading global advisory firm KPMG is this year’s diamond sponsor for the event while industry stalwarts EPG, GE, Huawei, Landis+Gyr, Lucy Electric, Ontec and Shell are platinum sponsors. The gold sponsors are Aberdare Cables, Conlog, Oracle Utilities, SAP, SBS Tanks, SNPTC and Vodacom.

African Utility Week and Energy Revolution Africa is the flagship energy event organised by the multi-award winning Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and part of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK. Other well-known energy events by Spintelligent are Future Energy Nigeria (formerly known as WAPIC), Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Future Energy Uganda and Future Energy Central Africa.

Earlier this year, Spintelligent won four major awards at AAXO’s ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards, with African Utility Week named the joint winner for Best Trade Exhibition 6001-12000 sqm category (with the World Travel Market).

Dates for African Utility Week and Energy Revolution Africa:
Conference and expo: 16-18 May 2017
Awards gala dinner:  17 May 2016
Site visits: 19 May 2016
Location: CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

Website: http://www.african-utility-week.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfricaUtilities #AUW2017
Linkedin: African Power Forum

Senior communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone:  +27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com


Feature Image Source: 123rf