This month’s blog comes from Karmen Tornius, Assistant Producer
Dear EnergyNet friends and colleagues,
It is a pleasure to provide an update regarding our East Africa portfolio, which has been hugely boosted by our short but sweet trip to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
Our Managing Director Simon Gosling and Africa Director Valeria Aruffo joined me in Addis to lay the foundation for our upcoming summits Regional Energy Co-operation Summit: East and Africa Energy Forum: Off the Grid– our two annual co-located summits taking place in Addis Ababa in March 2019.
Ethiopia has started a new year – 2011 according to the local calendar – on 7th of September, and there are definitely winds of change in the air in Addis Ababa. I was excited to touch ground on the night of Meskel festivities, with bonfires peacefully crackling across what many have started to call “the capital of Africa”. Meskel celebrations meant that while my colleagues in Ethiopia were enjoying their well-deserved Bank Holiday, I had the opportunity to make all the arrangements for the following day – one full of meetings with the energy leaders in the country.
In addition, I was pleased to finally meet our colleague from the World Bank in Ethiopia in person, considering the unrivalled support and spirit of partnership that the World Bank has shown regarding our vision to organise these regional and pan-African summits in Ethiopia.
My colleagues Simon and Valeria flew in directly from Accra, Ghana, having just hosted a successful Regional Energy Cooperation Summit: West. It’s wonderful to hear how the hard work of the team paid off in Accra, with some of the largest players in the energy sector in the region, such as ECG, GRIDCo and ERERA from the public sector and Stanbic, Tullow Oil, Kosmos and other private sector, taking the meeting to a whole new level. We look forward to replicating this success in East Africa.
The highlight of our trip was the meeting with Hon. Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, H.E. Seleshi Bekele. Following our long-standing relationship with the Ministry in Ethiopia and Hon. Minister’s provisional endorsement of our event, it was truly inspiring to sit down and receive a confirmation of not only our event’s relevance and alignment with the developments in the energy market in the region, but also Hon. Minister’s commitment to engage with regional energy leaders and the business community.
We left the meeting with the full endorsement from Hon. Minister Seleshi Bekele and plans for a brainstorming meeting with public sector decision makers in order to join forces for a truly impactful event in March 2019.
In high spirits, we discussed our upcoming summits with heads of Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA) and Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) amongst others. It was such a privilege to gain insights from the most senior level representatives of the energy sector in Ethiopia and understand the priorities for these institutions. The overwhelming feedback was that our events are incredibly timely and welcome, as the country’s energy sector transforms its public-private relationships and looks to strengthen cooperation with other countries in the East African region.
It is my pleasure to announce that RECS: East and AEF: Off the Grid are officially endorsed by both EEA and EEU, whose participation adds incredible value for our guests.
With my notebook full of insights from our colleagues in Ethiopia, I am excited to return to the draft agenda and add a whole new layer of content, from expert decision makers with years of first-hand experience on the ground.
If you would like to join us at our upcoming summits in Ethiopia or tell me about your projects, companies or associations that facilitate delivering energy access to disconnected communities, please do not hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in the East African region? Receive the latest updates about East Africa’s energy sector by joining our regional mailing list: http://bit.ly/2CiTiju
I would love to discuss how we can combine forces and make a real change!