APO News from Africa:
African Ministries from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Madagascar, Morocco, Rwanda and Zimbabwe have confirmed to attend the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) (www.Africa-Energy-Forum.com) to date, which is set to welcome 2,000 decision-makers in Africa’s energy sector to Copenhagen this June. AEF is the annual meeting point for Africa’s energy sector for decision-makers to explore investment opportunities, form partnerships and sign deals.
His Excellency Dr Matusila Malungeni, Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the latest to confirm his attendance. With the objective of securing positive economic & social outcomes for the DRC, the Minister will present short, medium and long term solutions to achieve the country’s electrification aims, discussing proposed tax relief plans for thermal energy suppliers, incentives and support for investors, and strategies to raise funds to explore the country’s hydropower potential. “We will aim to raise funds for feasibility studies for more than 500 potential sites throughout the country for hydro and solar power in order to better attract investors.”
A platform for African Students
To provide a platform to the energy leaders of tomorrow, the EnergyNet (www.EnergyNet.co.uk) Student Engagement Initiative (ESEI) returns to the Africa Energy Forum this year, flying a selection of best-in-class African law, finance and engineering students to meet sector leaders and explore future employment opportunities. The programme has sponsored 63 African students to date, working closely with universities and partners Aggreko and Norton Rose Fulbright to provide onsite training workshops and meeting opportunities with African Ministers of Energy.
Off grid energy at the Africa Energy Forum
“The Africa Energy Forum focuses primarily on large scale power projects, supporting the public and private sectors to get projects off the ground and connected to the grid. However, given that 600 million people live without access to basic energy in Africa, increasingly investors are looking off grid to the areas not serviced by national grids taken for granted in developing countries,” commented Simon Gosling, Managing Director of EnergyNet.
To address this demand, the Africa Energy Forum 2017 will see the return of the Off the Grid Village area as a destination and networking hub for the Energy Access and Off Grid Community. The area will feature exhibition stands for leading off grid companies, dedicated networking functions and an off grid agenda stream hosting panels, workshops demonstrations and seminars to showcase leading off grid solutions, services and expertise.
Distributed by APO on behalf of EnergyNet Ltd..
About the Africa Energy Forum:
Contact: Amy Offord – Marketing Manager
Event dates: 7-9 June 2017
Event location: Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
Organisers: EnergyNet, part of Clarion Events Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8068
EnergyNet (www.EnergyNet.co.uk) arranges investment forums, investment meetings and conferences focusing on the energy and industrial sectors in emerging markets, including both conventional and sustainable energy. For more information please visit www.EnergyNet.co.uk.
- Image: A busy panel discussion at the Africa Energy Forum in London, June 2016
The World Bank Group (www.WorldBank.org) launched XL Africa (www.XL-Africa.com), a five-month business acceleration program designed to support the 20 most promising digital start-ups from Sub-Saharan Africa. Start-ups will receive mentoring from global and local experts, learn through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors. With support from prominent African investment groups, XL Africa will help the 20 selected start-ups attract early stage capital between $ 250,000 and $ 1.5 million.
“Digital start-ups are important drivers of innovation in Africa,” says Makhtar Diop, Vice President for the Africa Region at the World Bank. “To scale and spread new technologies and services beyond borders, they need an integrated ecosystem that provides access to regional markets and global finance; pan-African initiatives like XL Africa play a critical role by linking local start-ups with corporations and investors across the continent.”
The program comes at a time of increasing interest in the African digital sector. According to a recent report by Disrupt Africa, in 2016, the number of tech start-ups that secured funding increased by 16.8% compared to 2015.
“XL Africa aims to put a spotlight on the continent’s growing digital economy by scouting for and supporting the most innovative tech start-ups,” said Klaus Tilmes, Director of the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group. “The success of these ventures will create a demonstration effect that can attract much-needed growth investment in the sector and catalyze scaling of transnational businesses in the region.”
The program’s flagship activity includes a two-week residency in Cape Town, South Africa, where the ventures will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from their mentors, peers, and local partners. The Cape Town residency will conclude with the Venture Showcase, a regional event in which the entrepreneurs will present their business models to a select audience of corporations and investors.
“The program’s unique combination of targeted mentorship and access to investors represents a vital resource for digital ventures ready to grow,” said Lexi Novitske, Principal Investment Officer for Singularity Investments, a venture group based in Lagos, Nigeria. “By connecting innovative business ideas with the knowledge and resources available in the ecosystem, XL Africa will create a pipeline of investment-ready companies, unlocking better investment opportunities for regional and global investors.”
The program will collaborate with prominent African investment groups, including the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), AngelHub Ventures, Goodwell Investments, Knife Capital, Nest Africa, Silvertree Capital, Singularity Investments, South African Business Angel Network (SABAN), TLcom Capital, Zephyr Acorn and 4Di Capital, and corporate partners, such as Orange, .Eco, Ringier, and Thomson Reuters.
Interested companies can apply online on the XL Africa website www.XL-Africa.com by Monday, June 12, 2017.
XL Africa is funded by the governments of Finland, Norway, and Sweden, and administered by the World Bank Group with implementation support from IMC Worldwide, VC4A, and Koltai & Co.
Distributed by APO on behalf of The World Bank Group.
Nicola Vesco, World Bank Group
+1 (202) 458-2405
Natalia Pipia, Program Lead, XL Africa
- Image: XL Africa Infographic
- Image: XL Africa Banner
- Image: XL Africa Scaling Up Digital Innovation
Today, Ambassador Nikki Haley met with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and congratulated him on his new role as top executive of the organization. They discussed the United States and the African Union working together to advance peace, security, and human rights across the continent. Ambassador Haley praised Chairman Faki for making peace in South Sudan a priority and encouraged him to lead efforts to seek justice for victims of the country’s civil war, now in its fourth year.
Ambassador Haley underscored the important role the African Union can play combating terrorism in the region. In addition, Ambassador Haley thanked the African Union for its focus on greater accountability for peace and security operations in Africa.
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.