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UK hosts African ministers to first ever UK-Africa Renewable Energy Ministerial Symposium

THE UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) on Friday, December 3, hosted the first ever UK-Africa Renewable Energy Ministerial Symposium to deepen UK-Africa collaboration in the renewable energy sector. Bringing together British and African leaders, the symposium created a platform to exchange best practices, align objectives, and explore bilateral opportunities in the renewable energy industry.

The virtual symposium brought together several energy ministers, international energy companies, investors and financiers across Africa along with the UK Minister for Exports Graham Stuart.  Attended by more than 300 participants across Africa, with attendees hailing from regulatory bodies, key private sector players and UK companies, the event was received as a great opportunity for collaboration and exploration of the larger opportunities in the sector.

Opening the event, UK’s Deputy Trade Commissioner for Africa, Alastair Long, laid out the agenda which included a country prospect overview from Ministers across Africa, three panel discussions and two presentations.

In his opening remarks, Graham Stuart welcomed all the participants and highlighted the UK’s collaboration with Africa in the renewable energy industry.

‘I am delighted and proud of our government for hosting this symposium, which highlights the UK is working hand in hand with African leaders in the renewable energy space. Our discussions were fruitful and enlightening, and helped us illustrate how African nations can harness UK finance, investment, technology and grant opportunities to further their goals. This is in line with the UK’s hosting of COP26 next year, for which we are committed to increase our climate ambitions and to galvanise and inspire climate action across the world,’ he said.

The panel discussion kicked off with Stuart who moderated the Ministerial panel, which addressed opportunities, and challenges for renewables in Africa. African officials on the panel included: Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Egypt, Abdessalam Mohamed Salih, Minister of Energy, Mauritania, Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mining and Environment, Morocco, Ernesto Elias Max Tonela, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mozambique, Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Ethiopia, Simon D’Ujanga, Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda and Tshifhiwa Bernard Magoro, Head of Independent Power Producers, South Africa

The symposium included two other panels. The first discussed UK capabilities chaired by Alastair Long and included Globeleq, Aggreko, Winch Energy, Rolls Royce,Mott McDonald, Ryse Energy, Energy Storage Africa, Malaby Biogas and Konexa. The second panel was on financing renewable energy opportunities and projects, and featured panellists from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), UK Export Finance (UKEF), Standard Bank, and CDC Group.

As a very critical part of what the UK government wants to achieve by increasing investment and aid more collaboration between UK companies, UK leaders and also African leaders, the symposium is expected to be bigger and more eventful in 2021 with a physical event.

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