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Powering Africa Summit 2024: Energy transition, Capital flows, and Pace escalation of projects across the continent.

Summary

The Powering Africa Summit (PAS24) recently convened in Washington, D.C., heralding a pivotal gathering of industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to address the pressing challenges and promising opportunities in Africa’s energy landscape. Over the course of two days, participants engaged in insightful discussions, high-level boardroom sessions, and strategic dialogues aimed at catalysing sustainable development and driving impactful change across the continent.

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A significant highlight of PAS24 was the official inauguration of the partnership between the East African Community (EAC) and EnergyNet Ltd., underscoring a commitment to collaborative action and regional cooperation. Spearheaded by H.E. Honourable Andrea Malueth, Deputy Secretary General of the EAC Secretariat, this partnership signals a pivotal step towards fostering synergy and leveraging collective efforts to address energy challenges in East Africa.

A focal point of PAS24 was the Ministerial Roundtable, where dignitaries and policymakers convened to discuss critical issues such as lowering debt costs and exploring alternatives to sovereign guarantees. Abebe Selassie of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasized the importance of addressing debt dynamics and fostering climate-resilient development pathways.

The summit commenced with a compelling discussion on ‘Accelerating Energy Access,’ underscoring the urgent need for enhanced collaboration among governments, private sector entities, and international financial institutions. Esteemed speakers, including Adam Cortese of Sun Africa and USAID Administrator Samantha Power, emphasized the critical role of innovative financing models and climate-smart energy strategies in propelling electricity access across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Africa stands on the cusp of a unique opportunity. Export-Import Bank of the United States would like to be a partner on that journey.” Judith Pryor, who addressed the opening remarks on ‘How EXIM is investing in major energy infrastructure projects’.

Throughout PAS24, esteemed thought leaders and industry experts shared valuable insights and perspectives on various facets of Africa’s energy transition. From discussions on lowering debt costs and exploring alternatives to sovereign guarantees to examining the role of development finance institutions in financing a just energy transition, the summit provided a platform for robust dialogue and knowledge exchange. Pradeep Pursnani of Konexa expressed excitement about the evolving narrative in energy access, underscoring the importance of innovative strategies and inclusive solutions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A special highlight of the summit was the Celebration Dinner hosted by Deloitte, dedicated to recognizing the invaluable contributions of women in driving economic development. Adaku Ufere and Lisa Witte delivered inspiring opening remarks, underscoring the transformative impact of gender-inclusive policies and initiatives in Africa’s energy sector.

Charting the Path Forward

As PAS24 drew to a close, participants reflected on key takeaways and actionable insights garnered from the summit’s deliberations. With a renewed commitment to collaboration, innovation, and sustainable development, stakeholders departed with a shared vision of advancing Africa’s energy agenda and forging a brighter, more resilient future for generations to come. Angela Nalikka of the African Development Bank Group emphasized the urgency of a just energy transition and the imperative of ensuring access to basic equipment for sustainable development.

In summary, PAS24 served as a dynamic platform for meaningful dialogue, strategic collaboration, and actionable solutions, underscoring the collective resolve to overcome challenges and unlock the vast potential of Africa’s energy sector. As the continent embarks on its journey towards a sustainable energy future, the insights and partnerships forged at PAS24 will continue to guide and inspire transformative change across Africa and beyond.

PAS24 concluded with expressions of gratitude to participants, speakers, sponsors, and organizers for their invaluable contributions to the conference’s success. Special thanks were extended to summit sponsors, including Power Africa, Sun Africa, African Development Bank Group, and Marathon Digital Holdings, for their steadfast support.

Author

Oluoch Were is the Regional Director for Kenya, and East Africa at Renewables in Africa.

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