RIFE International CEO and President Kwabena Osei-Sarpong was invited to speak at African Utility Week, the continent’s largest power, energy, and water trade expo and conference held in Cape Town, South Africa on May 17, 2018. He was part of a panel discussion that deliberated on the Rapidly Deployable Solutions for Energy Access in Africa.
“I found the conference both interesting and educational with a different perspective to problem-solving in energy access, renewable energy, and energy efficiency,” Osei-Sarpong said.
Some issues discussed on the panel included “the future of Africa’s power and energy sector, job creation through power generation, financing of energy projects, energy sector investments, reducing losses, and the role of technology in improving access to power and water.”
Other professionals alongside Kwabena on the panel discussion at the Cape Town International Convention Centre included:
- Faith Chege, Associate East Africa of FACTOR[e] Ventures, Kenya
- Riccardo Ridolfi, Founder, and CEO of Equatorial Power, Uganda
- Chiedza Mazaiwana, Campaign Manager of Power for All, Zimbabwe
- Greg Midlane, Managing Director of DC GO, South Africa
The 45-minute technical workshop was moderated by Director and Project Coordinator of the Ministry of Energy, Ghana Andrew Barfour.
The workshop covered recommendations for universal access to solar energy and other energy efficient resources. Other topics discussed included the latest technologies in supporting energy efficient access, from micro-grids to off-grid solutions, and the stimulation of demand through access to efficient commercial appliances.
“Given the fact that RIFE International was the only energy efficiency company on the panel, participating companies and audience showed a keen interest in energy efficiency and how it could impact energy access,” Osei-Sarpong said.
“There is a lot of focus and investment in the renewable energy sector in Africa with little or no attention to energy efficiency because people do not understand how it affects both energy costs and access.”
The panel of experienced professionals also took time to address financing and energy investments as a lot of issues and questions were raised about how to fund some of the energy access, innovations, and the various solutions being deployed in Africa and globally.
Speaking on the topic of energy efficiency, Kwabena said, “The issue of financing wouldn’t be a problem with the incorporation of energy efficiency solutions because savings can be used to finance renewable energy solutions or other alternative power solutions.”
The audience was also interested in knowing how the integration of energy efficiency in the sector could improve electricity access and how upfront connection charges can be reduced and the battle between utilities/grid and the off-grid industry spurred by high connection costs.
Aside from the panel discussion and audience participation, “the AUW opened business and partnering opportunities with other companies across Africa interested in incorporating energy efficiency in their operations,” Osei-Sarpong said.
“We believe through our engagement, our impact would reach different parts of Africa.”
If you’re interested in learning more about financing and finding energy-efficient solutions to power the future of Africa, contact RIFE International by clicking on the button below: