The first Africa Renewable Energy Leaders’ Summit (ARELS) officially launched today at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. The two-day-long international conference organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia and Africa set itself as the central meeting place for industry leaders as well as government representatives from Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda to discuss the present and future of green energy in East Africa.
The morning session on April 4 saw an exceptional line-up of experts and decision makers. Unveiling the future of renewable energy in Kenya, the principal secretary of the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Eng. Joseph K Njoroge, said: “Our compass for the socio-economic development of this country is the Vision 2030. One of the main catalysts to make Kenya an industrialising nation is renewable, sustainable, competitively priced and affordable energy. Indeed, it is impossible to achieve the goals of our Vision 2030 without energy defined the way I have.”
According to the director of Renewable Energy at the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Eng. Isaac Kiva, Kenya needs an investment of USD52 billion to meet its 2015-2035 Generation and Transmission master plan, with power demand expected to rise to 4,732MW by 2030. “Having adequate power from renewable sources will not only ensure security of supply and cost effective tariffs; it will enhance the competitiveness of Kenya, and facilitate its socio-economic transformation,” Eng. Kiva stated.
Held under the patronage of Hon. Charles Keter, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, ARELS is a brand new platform catering to the needs of the growing African renewable energy industry. “Rapid population growth and urbanisation are boosting energy demand in East Africa. Renewable energy is the only viable solution to support the region’s sustainable development, preserving its natural ecosystem,” Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Exhibitions director, stated.
“By facilitating networking, business and learning opportunities with industry stakeholders, we aim to provide an effective platform to gain on-the-ground insight into East Africa’s energy policies, opportunities and challenges directly from top-level regulators, policy makers and fund managers,” Ms Heijmans added.
On the first day of the Summit, organiser dmg events also made a donation to the Safeguard Orphans Widows Organization (SOWO) in Kenya, ARELS’ official NGO partner. SOWO has a number of high-profile and successful programs, which also include the fight against energy poverty and climate change by increasing access to clean and affordable energy for the growing rural population.
“We firmly believe in making meaningful contribution back to the communities where we operate, and ARELS is no exception. Our partnership with the non-profit organisation SOWO falls in line with our company’s CSR program, supporting local development and economic growth,” Matt Denton, president – dmg events, Middle East and Africa, explained. “It is an honour to collaborate with SOWO, which also works in providing renewable, affordable energy to rural populations.”