Africa’s Growth Lies on Shoulders of Renewable Energy Sector

Technology is redundant if there is no power to drive it. While Africa’s economic potential is undeniable, the critical barriers to overcome remain political and infrastructural, rather than technical. This year’s Africa Tech Festival from 13 to 16 November in Cape Town will unpack these challenges and discuss the pivotal role of sustainability & renewable energy in advancing technological development.

Sabrine Chennaoui

Johannesburg, 17 October 2023 – Africa Tech Festival has spent 26 years presenting and unpacking the latest developments in technology and telecommunications to a global audience vested in seeing Africa grow into its full potential.  All agree that connectivity is the backbone of the continent’s future, but without the energy to power it, any progress is severely hampered.

Taking place in Cape Town, South Africa 13 – 16 November, Africa Tech Festival is expected to attract 15 000 local and international professionals from across the technology, telecommunications, and digital media space.  High on the agenda for those living and working on the African continent, is energy, sustainability and how digital assets can play a role in safeguarding all our futures.

Abel Sakhau

“Businesses across Africa have benefitted enormously from leap-frogging traditional technology to access the digital world and wireless connectivity, and this is spurring phenomenal growth across the continent,” says James Williams, Director, Events | Connecting Africa | Informa Tech, organiser of the Africa Tech Festival.

“The incredible advantages of digitalisation are, however, dependent on a plentiful and reliable source of power, and it’s essential that the public sector has strong strategies in place to drive this growth. This has become an important point of discussion and will be addressed across several sessions at this year’s event with the launch of a dedicated stage around Sustainability & Climate Resilience,” said Williams.

Duan Du Toit

According to the International Energy Agency, Africa could produce 80 per cent of the new power generation it needs from solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal and other renewable energies. In fact, interest and investment in Africa’s clean energy tech is growing, with the continent’s climate tech start-ups securing over $860 million in equity funding over the past 12-months or so. Unpacking this will be a Fireside chat: Triple Growth Surge: The Remarkable Rise of Climate Tech Investment in Africa.

A wealth of information on the subject is available to visitors and delegates at this year’s festival.  Among others are the likes of: Panel: Capitalising on Africa’s Rich Resources to Accelerate the Shift Towards Green Energy;  Fireside Chat: Can Digital Assets Hold the Keys to Net-Zero Ambitions for Africa? looking at how blockchain, digital currencies, and other digital assets can drive green initiatives, renewable energy adoption, and sustainable practices on the continent.

Miriam Altman

Also on the cards, is a Fireside chat: Universal Power Access: Plotting a Route Through Africa’s Electricity Challenge, that will be led by H.E. Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Electricity, The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa, and Miriam Altman, Director: Altman Advisory & Professor of 4IR Practice, University of Johannesburg.

On the main stage at AfricaIgnite, there will be several sessions aimed at how start-ups on the continent are launching innovative solutions to help drive sustainable development  in an all-important Fireside Chat: Profit, Purpose & Planet: Navigating the Circular Economy and Climate Tech, along with another vital Fireside Chat: Agritech’s Triple Bottom Line: Addressing Climate Change, Food Security, and Economic Growth in Africa.

Wassim El-Metwally

Africa Tech Festival’s home in Cape Town, the CTICC, is fortunate to have an alternative power source to prevent blackouts. However, not everyone enjoys this privilege. Events like the Africa Tech Festival play a vital role in bringing industry leaders together to discuss sustainable power solutions, addressing the power supply disparities.

Voluntary offloads are another big talking point as businesses strive towards 1%, and the panel, “Tackling Rising Emissions: Innovative Ways Businesses Are Reducing their Carbon Footprint” (Nov 14, 2023, 2:40 PM to 3:25 PM, 1.61 – Level 1, CTICC 1) will unpack how companies are going about working towards hitting their targets.

This year the festival welcomes top speakers across the industry for a deep dive into the important topics of sustainability and climate including:

  • Duan Du Toit, Group Executive Head: Energy Performance at Vodacom Group Technology
  • Wassim El-Metwally, Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, Al Baraka Bank Egypt
  • Miriam Altman Director: Altman Advisory & Professor of 4IR Practice University of Johannesburg
  • Abel Sakhau, Chief Sustainability Officer, Sanlam Group and
  • Sabrine Chennaoui, Co-Founder & CEO, Monsapo.

As it did in leapfrogging legacy technology, so too is Africa taking the necessary leaps and bounds to create innovative solutions. This is not only for the continent’s power energy needs but for developing a new sustainability model, that the rest of the world should take note of.

Everyone who is serious about tomorrow, should be at Africa Tech Festival 2023.

For more information, please see website here: Africa Tech Festival 2023 – The Home of AfricaCom & AfricaTech

View all ticket options for Africa Tech Festival, including start-up passes, here.

To register for media accreditation please use this link: Press Pass or see the Africa Tech Festival website and follow the links to our press zone.

(Please note that all requests are adjudicated and there may be some delay before you hear back from us).

For media enquiries, interviews and/or images please contact:  Kaz Henderson kaz@networxpr.co.za or call on +27 (0) 82 339 1199.

Africa Tech Festival, including anchor events AfricaCom, AfricaTech and AfricaIgnite is part of the Informa Tech Connecting Africa event series.  A vibrant celebration of Africa’s diverse community of tech champions, Africa Tech Festival is the largest tech and digital connectivity conference and exhibition in Africa, attracting hundreds of exhibitors, more than 400 speakers and more than 12000 delegates.

Key themes for 2023 continue to explore the creation and sustainability of a connected Africa and the impact this can have for the people of the continent but also the commercial prospects for local and global businesses and governments.  Topics will include Telcos of Tomorrow, Connecting the Next Billion, Digital Infrastructure Investment, Sustainability & Climate Resilience, ICT Policy and Regulation, Fintech & MFS, Broadcast Media & Entertainment, Pioneer Tech, the Future of Work and Talent and Skills Development. Africa Tech Festival also incorporates and the Africa Tech Festival Awards, an exclusive ceremony celebrating Africa’s tech pioneers and held at the luxury 5-star The Bay Hotel, as well as the LeadersIn Africa Summit, an exclusive, VIP-only feature offering high-level presentations and roundtable discussions to Africa’s tech elite.

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