18 November 2009 – Africa needs to spend $93 billion per annum over the next ten years to in order for Africa “catch up on infrastructure with other developing regions “ according to a report released this week by the United Nations.  The report, Africa’s infrastructure: A time for Transformation (http://www.infrastructureafrica.org/aicd/), provides a comparison between Africa and other developing regions in the world and provides insights into the outlook for the power, water, transport, ICT and telecoms industries in Africa.
 
Of the estimated $93 billion required for infrastructure development, 40% of that is required by the power sector, with an additional 20% being needed for development in the water sectors.  The total infrastructure spend amounts to some 23% of GDP for some of the low-income countries in the region and 10 – 12% of GDP for middle-income and resource-rich countries.
 
While it has been identified that Africa already spends $45 billion per annum on infrastructure development, this falls short of the estimated $93 billion required.  However, by making more efficient use of resources, an additional $17.1 billion could be released.  This includes some $8 billion through greater efficiencies at power plants and through increased road maintenance and an additional $4.2 billion by raising user charges for infrastructure services – “better pricing of power would produce the greatest dividends” according to the report.
 
The issues of cost reflective tariffs, financing of power infrastructure and more efficient use of resources are some of the themes that will be addressed during the 2010 African Utility Week and Power Indaba conferences which are taking place in Durban in February next year.  From the 22 – 25th February 2010, the power, water and finance leaders of the African utilities sector will be meeting at the International Convention Centre in Durban to discuss the ways to optimise the performance of these crucial sectors.
 
Now in its 10th year, African Utility Week will bring real insight into how to optimise the revenue potential of utilities through smart metering and revenue protection; the realities of running a utility as a commercial enterprise and strategies to get the most out of existing infrastructure through rehabilitation, maintenance and increased efficiency.  The role of renewable energy will be examined as a component of a comprehensive energy mix and rural electrification and access to water will be debated by industry visionaries

Power Indaba will introduce attendees to Africa’s power and infrastructure investment leadership. The forum attracts ministers, utility leaders, IPPs, project developers and power pools, plus commercial and development finance institutions and will focus on:

How major power projects prove their feasibility and attract finance
Understanding the incentives government offer private investors and debate cost-reflective tariffs
Defining regional capacity requirements and opportunities for cross border interconnections and trade

African Utility Week and Power Indaba will bringing delegates face to face with the entire landscape of decision makers from Ministers and government officials, Managing Directors and General Managers, procurement managers, engineers, project leaders and advisers. With extended capacity to cater for over 2,000 attendees and the expanded exhibition area will feature over 150 exhibits from the world’s most innovative power technology and service providers, African Utility Week and Power Indaba are the only forums for effectively understanding and gaining insight and contacts in the power and water sectors in Africa.

For more information on these world-class events, please visit our websites: www.african-utilitiy-week.com / www.powerindaba.com  or contact the Conference Director, Claire Volkwyn (claire.volkwyn@spintelligent.com) or phone +27 21 700 2500