Sponsor Insights

Major players in Africa’s energy sector

As well as being the Forum's longest standing sponsor, Aggreko is also one of the most prolific providers of energy on the continent right now and consistently for over twenty years, since before Africa's electricity sector became fashionable. Excitingly for utilities and major energy consumers looking for reliable and responsible solutions, Aggreko has just launched three new products including a Solar-diesel hybrid solution, Mid-speed heavy fuel oil generators and Next generation gas using the latest technology from Jenbacher. All of these solutions are designed to reduce costs and increase the efficiency for their customers. It's a product which we imagine will be showcased on their pavilion at this year's Forum.

This year's country host Vestas is one of the world's largest dedicated wind energy companies, powering some of Africa's most impactful wind farms. With the biggest projects in South Africa and Kenya we're excited to see their latest projects on display at the Forum.  We’re grateful to Vestas’ Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Anders Runevad, for joining the discussions with Ministers in the opening sessions of this year's Forum on 6th June.

For the third year running, ENGIE – one of the world's leading operator in electricity, natural gas and energy services- is hosting the exhibition which has expanded significantly over that period. ENGIE manages the development and operation of thermal power and renewable energy assets in several African countries. It is a first-mover in independent power generation in South Africa and built Africa’s largest wind farm in Morocco. It is currently building the 100 MW CSP Kathu CSP plant in South Africa and is now also focusing on decentralized solutions for rural areas.

Speaker interviews from our sponsors

In the run up to the Forum, we've collected some insights from speakers on what African countries they'll be interested to learn about at this year's AEF, advice for investors on the continent and what outcomes they hope to achieve by attending.

Bhavtik Vallabhjee, Head: Power, Utilities, Infrastructure – Advisory Coverage, Barclays Africa

Are there any African countries you are particularly excited about in terms of their energy development potential over the next few years?

Absa/ Barclays tends to focus more on the English-speaking countries in Africa. With that in mind:
o    South Africa – due to the imminent gas IPP and future rounds on Renewable Energy
o    Ethiopia. The country has a nascent IPP industry. 
o    Zambia & Mozambique. We are confident that whilst both of these countries have some challenges currently, the dust will settle and in the medium term, the outlook for the power sector remains positive. 
o    Ghana. As gas from the various fields begins to flow, I have no doubt that the economic fortunes of Ghana will significantly improve. With access to fuel and a strong economy, I believe Ghana looks promising in the medium term. 

Read the full interview

Romain Py - Investment Director: Transactions, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM)

What advice would you give to new investors on the continent?

Be patient, have a long-term view and stamina.

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Eric Maxwell, Director of Business Development – Africa — Manitoba Hydro International Ltd

Why are you supporting the Africa Energy Forum this year?

MHI has participated in and sponsored the AEF for 10 years, and we deem it a valuable piece of our marketing and business development activities for Africa. The AEF is by far the finest collection of energy players, both from the continent and those interested in bringing solutions to the continent, whether it is expertise, goods, or investment. Because MHI assists power utilities, governments, and private sector clients around the world in the efficient, effective, and sustainable delivery of electricity and natural gas, the AEF is a key vehicle to acquire real leads on the continent. Participating in this event over the years has led to real growth opportunities for the company.

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Lucy Chege: General Manager: Energy/Environment Infrastructure Financing, DBSA

Which companies/organisations are you excited to meet and hear updates from this year?

The line- up is very impressive and we look forward to meeting a great mix of senior government officials and international developers.(it’s very difficult to select as everyone is a contributor to the Energy value chain)

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Martin Haupts, Chief Executive Officer, Phanes Group

What advice would you give to new investors on the continent? 

Know the market and sector. It is important to understand the country from an economic and regulatory perspective for a project to reach bankability. Learn about the different players in the market, who is serious and what is the value they can add to the countries’ developments. Africa’s markets will continue to be a major investment target in the years to come – especially in the renewable energy space. The continent needs investors that see the possibilities and make a commitment to Africa’s future development. The time is definitely right.

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Pierre-Yvan Graviere, Head of Power, Bollore Africa Logistics

Are there any African countries you are particularly excited about in terms of their energy development potential over the next few years?

Africa has seen a tremendous growth in terms of energy projects in last few years. Many African countries are involved and we fortunately have our own teams in 43 African countries which enable us to follow our clients nearly everywhere on the continent.
Please let me list only list a few of them Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Egypt, Benin, Ethiopia, Rwanda…

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Slav Gatchev, Managing Director, Delphos

Why are you supporting the Africa Energy Forum this year?

We sponsored Powering Africa DC two years in a row and this year we decided to switch gears and sponsor AEF. It is undeniably the premier Africa energy event in a crowded field and we believe that it gives us the best platform to share with developers and sponsors how we can help them raise money for their projects. 

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Praveen Umredkar, Associate Director - Africa Practice, Synergy Consulting

What advice would you give to new investors on the continent? 

Investors need to recognize that energy development in Africa is still at a nascent stage. This means that the development period is longer, on average 18-24 months, when compared to the Middle East. Africa requires developers actively invest high risk development capital, combining patient investment with technical capabilities.

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Vahid Fotuhi - Managing Director, Project Origination, Access Power

What outcomes do you hope to see from the meeting?

To have frank discussions about how to overcome the hurdles facing us in the various African markets that we are active in.

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