International investment, although booming, has highlighted the deficiencies in infrastructure - particularly development required to deliver electricity, says Deloitte, on the eve of the Africa Utility Week conference that will highlight energy delivery issues presently slowing growth on the continent.
Shamal Sivasanker, Power Industry Leader at Deloitte, the knowledge sponsor of the conference that will be taking place at Nasrec from 21-24 May, says the event will focus the attention of 5 000 attendees from 60 countries on the energy issues impacting on the potential growth of development, infrastructure and business in Africa.
Africa Utility Week has attracted business leaders, policymakers, engineers, municipalities, fund managers, NGOs, major utilities, and banks, among others, says Sivasanker. The conference will be enable representatives to benefit from discussions that will involve 150 speakers and offer attendees the opportunity to attend breakaway sessions of specific interest to them.
“The economic growth in Africa has highlighted the infrastructure deficiencies that will require, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, an investment of up to US$93 billion in the power sector alone. “As leaders across the continent move to create investor friendly environments, it has become increasingly obvious that sustainable growth we all desire can only be achieved through infrastructure growth driven by a strong energy sector.
“Although it is realistic to expect that world-class energy facilities can be built to meet the varied infrastructure projects across Africa, the continent must also face the allied challenges of acquiring the correct skills for energy development projects. Acquiring the funds required to finance technologies that can vary from coal-burning power stations in the south to the establishment of world-class geothermal projects in East Africa adds to the concerns of leaders,” says Sivasanker.
It is fitting, he adds, that South Africa, which produces about 46% of Africa's energy, is home to the conference at which Deloitte, as knowledge partner, will be sharing its expertise in the energy sector and hosting nine pre-conference 'think-tanks'.
Simultaneously with the conference, Deloitte will conduct its 'Insomnia Index' survey that will poll those attending about the issues facing the African energy sector in the years ahead.
“The Deloitte Insomnia Index has become well-known as a focused tool used in various industries to identify the challenges and issues that executives see as being of primary importance. Identifying the issues that keep managers awake at night, it is a tool that helps distil and identify key problem areas for future action,” says Sivasanker.
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