Africa’s Energy: What’s the New Deal? -‘Light up & power Africa’ (AfDB ‘High 5s’, #1)

Wednesday 25 May 2016 - 16:30 – 18:30

H.E. Kofi Annan, President African progress Panel

Moderator : Ms. Bronwyn Nielsen, CNBC

Keynote Speakers


  • H.E. Obasanjo Olusegun, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • H.E. Horst Koehler, Former President, Federal Republic of Germany
  • Mr. Jay Ireland, CEO, General Electric Africa
  • Hon. Nick Hurd, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Development
  • Hon. Dora Siliya, Minister of Energy, Republic of Zambia

Ted Talkers


Approximately 645 million people do not have access to electricity in Africa while around 730 million do not have access to modern cooking solution. These numbers may appear daunting at first glance. But the advances in technology, business models and financing approach mean that this is an immense market opportunity that can be addressed within a decade. The key is raising aspirations and multi-faceted partnerships across public sector, infrastructure/service providers, financiers, civil society and academia.

The objective of this High Level Event is to provide thought-provoking and wide-ranging perspectives on how to realise the opportunity related to the immense market, consisting of growing industrial base and well over three-quarters of a billion people that requires modern energy services. The overall concern tidily relates to the theme of the Annual Meetings and, considering the central importance of energy in feeding, industrializing, integrating Africa, and improving the Quality of Life of Africans, the event will contribute to the Bank’s High Fives priority areas. The New Deal is designed to unlock productivity potentials along value chains in all economic sectors in rural and urban areas with a focus on reaching the unserved populations across the continent.

Venue : Lusaka, Mosi-oa-Tunya, MICC

Issues for Discussion

This High Level Event will specifically focus on aspects related to harnessing the increasing political momentum for action, with key questions including the following:

  • How can we boost the development and application of new technologies and alternative forms of power supply?
  • How can Silicon Valley – and similar clusters elsewhere and especially in the South – shake up the energy market in Africa?
  • What are the innovations in financing modern energy services that we can draw on?
  • In relation to African local communities’ power demand and supply, how can we encourage people to hold their leaders to account on their energy access promises?
  • Power related-jobs in Africa: How best to enable significant growth in energy entrepreneurs? How can we scale-up?  What policies and reforms need to be implemented?


  • Ms. Onike Nicol-Houra, Business Development Officer, AfDB
  • Mr. Kevin Chika Urama, Senior Advisor to the President, AfDB

Photo gallery

Africa is simply tired of being in the dark. It is time to take decisive action and turn around this narrative: to light up and power Africa and accelerate the pace of economic transformation, unlock the potential of businesses, and drive much needed industrialization to create jobs.

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President

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