Al-Ahram’s 3rd annual energy conference discusses challenges, potentials in Africa’s energy sector
Doaa A.Moneim, , Monday 30 Dec 2019
The Al-Ahram Energy Conference, which kicked off on Sunday, discussed the challenges and potentials facing the energy sector in Africa and Egypt

Egypt’s Deputy to the Electricity Minister Osama Asran said Sunday that about 600 million Africans, which is half of Africa’s population, lack access to electricity resources, and around 80 percent of African companies suffer from power outages.

Asran added that 70 percent of the continent’s population depends on biomass energy to meet their needs, which causes air pollution and 500,000 deaths per year.

The comments came during the evening sessions of the first day ofAl-Ahram’s 3rd annual energy conference.

Potentials to be tapped

Asran said that Africa has plenty of energy resources but needs investments to make use of them effectively, especially in infrastructure.

Asran said that the African market is promising but has yet to be tapped due to challenges including insufficient funding, low private investments, and weak infrastructure for transportation, which Egypt has been able to overcome.

The African Union, which is being chaired by Egypt in 2019, has an ambitious programme for upgrading African infrastructure until 2040, according to Asran.

Asran said that the energy initiative Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi launched in the 12 parties conference held in Paris in 2015 has completed its first phase, as 206 renewable energy projects were implemented ahead of schedule with a total of €6.5 billion.

Head of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) Mohamed El-Khaiat discussed five pillars for new and renewable energy sustainability in Egypt and Africa regarding the required infrastructure and investment diversify.

Head of the petroleum and mining chamber at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Tamer Abu Bakr said that partnerships between the government and the private sector maintain Egypt’s sustainable development and introduce tech solutions that had not existed before.

Meanwhile, vice chairman of the London-based Shell Company Mo’taz Darwish revealed that Shell’s work strategy in Egypt focuses on deep sea drilling, adding that the company has applied for Egypt’s international bid in the Red Sea and managed to win one of the offered concessions, and that it is currently working in the Mediterranean and exporting natural gas.

Darwish asserted that Egypt is a promising market and is attractive to investors, adding that Shell has participated in the petroleum sector modernisation project through offering needed training and introducing expertise in collaboration with the American University in Cairo.

EGEMAC invested EGP 3.700 billion in Egypt

Chairman of the Egyptian-German Electrical Manufacturing Company (EGEMAC) Medhat Ramadan said that since its inception in 2014, the company, which the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company owns 63 percent of its shares, has focused on domestic manufacturing and invested EGP 700 million to establish two factories in the MENA region.

Ramadan said that the company’s business in Egypt is estimated at EGP 3.7 billion.

Karim Badawy, the executive director of Schlumberger, a London-based oilfield services company, said that the company has participated in the petroleum sector modernisation project, announcing the signing of an agreement to conduct a seismic survey in the Gulf of Suez.

Badawy praised the launching of the Egyptian petroleum ministry’s new website, which offers data for investors and aims to boost cooperation between the ministry and international companies.

The vice chairman of El-Sewedy Electric, a leading Egyptian engineering services company, said that his company has collaborated with Siemens to establish an electricity plant in Beni Sweif, adding that the company has managed to acquire four companies in Greece and has worked on a number of projects in Tanzania, South Sudan, and Dubai.