SSA socio-economic development hinges on energy sector

With massive power shortfalls across the continent, Africa must look to increased generation, alternative energy and better grid management for economic growth


Electricity consumption and economic development are closely linked; growth will not happen without investing in the power sector. Currently 585 million people lack reliable access to electricity and by 2040, Sub-Saharan Africa will consume nearly 1,600 terawatt hours.

Sub-Saharan Africa is incredibly rich in potential power-generation capacity. There is a staggering 10 terawatts of potential capacity or more, but these resources are largely under-developed. An additional US$450 billion in power-sector capital investment is needed to cut power outages in half and achieve universal energy access in urban areas by 2040, according to the IEA’s Africa Energy Outlook report.  Achieving universal access in a sustainable way is the key to driving Africa’s economic growth, say the experts. “Economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa hinges critically on fixing the energy sector,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol. “The payoff can be huge; with each additional dollar invested in the power sector boosting the overall economy by $15.”

To discuss the challenges and debate solutions, over 3000+ industry professionals from across Africa and around the world will meet at the POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa conference and exhibition from 19 – 21 July at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Under the theme ‘Creating Power for Sustainable Growth, POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa will focus on renewable energy, sustainable power generation and distribution, pan-African power provision and smarter power infrastructure management. These co-located and integrated events, staged by PennWell Corporation in partnership with host utility Eskom, will feature presentations by international power industry leaders about the strategies and technologies the world is using now to address power sector challenges.

Among the event highlights will be an expo floor showcasing advances in power generation and distribution technology; VIP site visits to key power installations and the signing of a five-year Eskom funding agreement to support the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI) programme for advanced engineering skills development.  The Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, will present a workshop on modern Russian technologies for thermal power engineering, a Turkish Pavilion will showcase the latest solar technologies, while young engineers will showcase their innovations at the EON Consulting Gen-X Theatre.

Leading stakeholders including

Ms Lynne Brown, Minister of Public Enterprises, Republic of South Africa , George Njenga; regional executive of GE Steam Power Systems SSA; Bill Price, VP of ENEL in the US; Dawie Roodt, Chief Economist of the Efficient Group; and Shamal Sivasanker, director at Deloitte Consulting SA, will be among scores of African and international power experts presenting talks at the conferences.

Chris Edeh, Director of POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa 2016 supporting association African Sustainable Energy Association (AFSEA), says AFSEA sees the event as an ideal opportunity to engage with African policymakers. “It is typically difficult to access the right government decision-makers to discuss policies that support the advancement of energy programmes,” he says. ‘Events like POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa are practically the only places where you can get many policy makers under one roof, in the right state of mind to talk about renewables.” International investors looking to Sub Saharan Africa to build lasting partnerships to secure a sustainable energy model and build economic growth will find there is no better time be participating at POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa.

Attendees will benefit from three days of presentations, panel discussions, workshops and comprehensive exhibition floor showcasing the latest technological developments. The event will also feature targeted B2B matchmaking service and sponsored networking receptions.

Entrance to the exhibition hall is free and there are great value conference options available. For more information, please visit

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