In recent years, the African continent has drawn a lot of attention because of its economic growth and its growing population. Nevertheless, although the energy demand is expanding, Africa is facing a lack of energy supply. Thus, one of the biggest challenges of the African continent in the coming years will be the exploitation of the energy sector potential. It is reported that two-thirds of the African population is lacking energy: it represents 621 millions people. As such, energy is a challenge but also an opportunity for companies. An energy shift would definitely enable the continent to attract new investors and improve the wellbeing of the population.
The African continent is large. Different strategies are therefore feasible ranging from renewable, hydroelectric, geothermal energy as well as solar energy. However, considering the continent as a homogenous territory could be misleading. This therefore raises the question: What are the strategies to implement per region according to the current situation and what could drive business opportunities?
Christian VAN DORPE, Aquapower Africa
Maurits WAARDENBURG, McKinsey & Company
Christian has a long experience as top executive in the energy sector. He is also an advisor for energy and geopolitical issues for various institutions (Belgian government, House of Lords, EU parliament, Sub-Saharan countries). Christian was Chairman of the Belgian and Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce in France and is still Chairman of the Forum Francophone des Affaires in Luxemburg. Apart from his position at Aquapower Africa, he is currently Chairman of Metaphora (Investment Consulting Company) and Vice President of Coolight Technology.Maurits WAARDENBURG
Maurits Waardenburg is a project leader at the McKinsey & Company Brussels office. He has worked with government, private sector and not-for-profits organizations on economic development across Africa and the Middle East. In particular, he focuses on the topics of rural development, sustainability and climate adaptation. Maurits will talk with us about the work McKinsey is doing with other partners to bring power to the many, including rural electrification and off-grid solutions.
Annie Mutamba will moderate the debates. She has 15 years of experience in communication and advocacy in the public and private sector in Washington, DC and Brussels. She is the co-founder of Meridia Partners, an advocacy firm specialized in helping African organizations to engage effectively with European and international institutions.