Renewable energy and access to electricity is critical for development and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, over 600 million people on the continent have no access to energy, with average electricity grid access a mere 20%. In addition, a mere seven countries on the continent have electrification rates exceeding 50%.
Sub-Saharan Africa has access to a wealth of primary renewable energy supplies, with the potential to source an additional 10 terawatts of solar energy, 1,300 gigawatts of wind power, and 1 gigawatt of geothermal potential. Accelerating investment in renewable energy can help Africa achieve much-needed structural economic transformation and poverty reduction.
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HE Prof. Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi is Egypt’s Minister of Renewable Energy and Electricity. He graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University in 1968 and earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from Imperial College, University of London in 1978. Dr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi is an Electrical Consulting Professional Engineer with a track record of over 1500 projects in Egypt, Arabian Gulf countries & Africa, during over 40 years of engineering practice. He is also the founder and Chairman of the Electromechanical Consulting Engineering firm: “SHAKER Consulting Group”, and its subsidiaries in many of Arab and African Countries.
Sarah Butler-Sloss is an internationally recognised leader in the field of green energy and has been for the past twenty years. In 2001, she founded the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, renamed Ashden a few years ago. Ashden’s mission is to increase access to energy for the poor, reduce poverty and combat climate change. Ms Butler-Sloss regularly contributes to UK and global policy debates in the field of sustainable energy and is an active member of the UN’s International Sustainable Energy for All Practitioner Network.
Engineer Ibrahim Samak is the Chairman and CEO of the Stuttgart-based advanced technology firm, Engcotec. His company designs, develops, produces and markets photovoltaic projects, which are required to transform solar energy from the sun into electricity. Engcotec’s projects include the 189 kw installation at the Lehrter Bahnhof (Main Railway Station) in Berlin, which consists of 780 custom-made modules. Engotec has also worked on the Reichstag Building, and the New German Chancellery. Under Engineer Samak’s leadership, Engcotec has become a global power in the area of alternative energy. His philanthropic activities, conducted under the auspices of “African Hope”, a charity organisation, which he founded, extend to African nations where AIDS/HIV and education have become issues of social emergency. In 2009, the Afro-European Media Group named Engineer Samak No. 1 in the “Top 100 Africans in Germany”.
Prof. Hesham El-Askary is an Earth System Scientist with a major interest in natural hazards, atmospheric events and using renewable energy as the only way to address global climate change issues. In 2016, he was named as the regional coordinator on a $3 million Euro grant from the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020. The project, known as GEO-CRADLE, deals with Coordinating and integrating state-of-the-art Earth Observation Activities in the regions of North Africa, Middle East and Balkans. Organisations including the National Science Foundation, NASA, United States Department of Agriculture and the European Union have supported Prof. El-Askary’s work.
Lucia Bakulumpagi-Wamala’s focus is on developing and implementing collaborative renewable energy projects that engage communities, empower women and contribute to environmental sustainability. As the Founder & CEO of Bakulu Power, a renewable energy company based in her native Uganda, Ms Bakulumpagi-Wamala’s goal is to power our tomorrow with projects and initiatives that foster social, environmental and economic development in her native country and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, Forbes Magazine named Ms Bakulumpagi-Wamala one of the 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa. Currently, Ms Bakulumpagi-Wamala is participating in the Senior Executive Program – Africa at Harvard Business School.
Jasandra Nyker is the CEO of BioTherm Energy, a renewable energy investment and project development platform focused on sub-Saharan Africa. She is on the board of SAWEA (South African Wind Energy Association), and is one of just three South Africans on the World Economic Forum’s 2012 list of Young Global Leaders selected from 59 countries around the world. Ms Nyker holds an MBA from the London Business School, where she was a Merrill Lynch Scholar, and a Business Science degree in Finance from the University of Cape Town.
Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj leads the 55-strong Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton, where he completed his PhD, progressing from a researcher to a Personal Chair in Sustainable Energy. For more than 25 years, Professor Bahaj has pioneered sustainable energy research and established the energy theme within the University. He founded the International Journal of Marine Energy (IJOME), for which he is the Editor-in-Chief. In 2012, Prof Bahaj was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to Southampton City Council—believed to be the first such appointment in the UK and in 2014, the UK’s Science Council named him as one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists. Over the last 6 years, Prof Bahaj and his team designed and deployed six solar photovoltaic mini grid projects in Africa some of these are in collaboration with the Governments of Kenya and Uganda.
Ana Hajduka is the founder and CEO of Africa GreenCo, which helps to establish renewable energy power markets and act as a credit-mitigating intermediary for power projects. Ms Hajduka is qualified as a lawyer in England, Wales and the State of New York, and is an infrastructure and energy professional with more than 12 years’ experience. In March 2015, Ms Hadjuka was appointed by the UNECE as the Team Leader responsible for a Project Team in charge of developing international renewable energy PPP standards as part of the Sustainable Energy for All agenda.
Mansoor Hanayun is a graduate from Imperial College London where he obtained honours (M.Eng) degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering. He was the founder and the first Chairman of ‘e.quinox’ 2008 and co-founded BBOXX in 2010. Mr Hamayun is responsible for the global strategy of BBOXX, which includes HR, new markets and industrial partnerships. Mr Hamayun spends considerable amounts of time in the market attempting to create the framework and partnerships necessary to fulfil the social aim of the BBOXX – mass electrification.
Alex Katon, Executive Director of InfraCo Africa, is a specialist in leadership, strategic planning, partnership agreements, PPA and EPC negotiation. Prior to joining InfraCo in 2013, Mr Katon was based in Dubai as the Regional Head of Strategy & Communications for International Power-GDF SUEZ in the Middle East, Turkey & Africa region. He started his investment career at CDC Group plc, where he worked on African infrastructure projects and ran an SME venture capital fund in Lusaka, Zambia. Mr Katon is an ACA and holds a BA Hons in Economics/Accountancy from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Wadé Owojori is the M4D Utilities Programme Manager, responsible for ensuring programme objectives are delivered to time, within cost and scope. Mr Owjori joined the GSMA in 2011. Prior to joining the M4D Utilities team, he was the project manager responsible for managing the rich communications services (RCS) roadmap and product specifications. Mr Owojori has project managed various product development and User Experience (UX) testing cycles with multiple operators and vendors as part of the Network 2020 programme.
A former fund manager, Dr Alex Money has over 15 years of practitioner experience in investment and industry. His research interests include corporate water strategy, infrastructure, investment, renewables and development. Dr Money is responsible for four programmes at the Smith School, including ‘Making Light Work’, which focuses on a unique model for delivering utility-scale solar powered electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, and ‘Bridging the Gap’, which considers innovative solutions to the challenge of insufficient investment in infrastructure.