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Nepad hosting SADC symposium on bioenergy investment

27 July 2012 – The New partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) agency will host the "Bioenergy Investment Symposium for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region" in, Sandton, Johannesburg on July 30 and 31, 2012.

The symposium is sponsored by the ACP Business Climate Facility (BizClim), which provides technical assistance for improving the business climate in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean.

The aim of the symposium is to establish a world-class bioenergy investment incubator for southern Africa. It is also indicative of the organisation’s intent to create a platform for member countries to participate in this burgeoning new industry.

The Nepad agency, the implementing body of the African Union, is  keen to efficiently and effectively utilize the vast resources of bioenergy in Africa in  a sustainable manner to achieve both energy and food security for the African population. The symposium will bring together some of the leading developers and investors from the bioenergy community to brainstorm and to come up with concrete steps to drive the development of sustainable bioenergy industry in the Southern Africa region.

"In the context of world economic crisis and increasing global demand for renewable energy sources, the successful development of a thriving biomass and bioenergy industry in Southern Africa would at once be a catalyst for economic recovery for the region and serve to establish the region as a major global force in the supply of biomass and bioenergy, " Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of Nepad, says.

Nepad will also be represented by Professor Mosad Elmissiry, head of the Nepad agency’s energy programmes, is expected to provide a situation analysis of the bioenergy in Africa and Nepad’s strategy for its sustainable development for both food and energy security.

"We all recognise the opportunity that Africa has to be a leader in the supply of biomass and bioenergy products, but this will not happen without support for innovation and appropriate public and private funding mechanisms,” Gavin Maxwell, executive chairman of Ireland’s Coolfin partnership, and who is expected to be the Chairman of the two-day event, says. "We hope that this benchmark symposium will be the catalyst for both."

Among topics lined up for discussion will be status of trans-national investment and bottlenecks for capital deployment and asset funding criteria for bioenergy and power in Africa. Promoters of bioenergy projects in the region will also be given an opportunity to present their business case or pitch for investment or partner cooperation.