ALSF at Africa Energy Forum 2017 - Unlocking capital investments key to attracting private sector participation in energy sector

08/06/2017
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The quest for energy security is central to a great part of the advisory services and litigation support provided by the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF). In keeping with this focus on energy, the ALSF is participating and supporting the 19th Africa Energy Forum (AEF) which is hosting thousands of high-level officials and experts, from 7-9 June, in Copenhagen.

Every year, the Africa Energy Forum strives to connect African government representatives in the power and industrial sectors with private and public solution-providers. As in previous years, the Facility is well-represented at this year’s Forum, to contribute to the lively discussion surrounding Africa’s energy future, and to raise awareness of the ALSF’s role in securing that future.

On the eve of the Forum, Stephen Karangizi, Director of the Facility, joined several African ministers in delivering opening remarks in advance of the event. “The ALSF is excited as sponsor and participant in this year’s Africa Energy Forum, as it provides us an opportunity to identify the energy-related challenges most commonly encountered by the private and public sectors,” Karangizi said. “By interfacing with different power partners—including the African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy, and Power Africa—we have supported, concluded, or are in the process of negotiating contracts which amount to 2.7GW of electricity.”

Noting that the Africa Energy Forum provides a unique opportunity to address existing and emerging challenges, Karangizi said that unlocking capital investments would certainly have a positive effect, as would encouraging the involvement of the private sector. “The bottom line is that private capital requires policy coherence and a clear direction. The ALSF has supported the development of this coherence and looks forward to playing an expanded role in both in the future,” he said.

The ALSF has organized several high-level meetings with ministers from across the continent on the margins of the Forum. With the aim of providing updates on ongoing ALSF projects, and discussing future opportunities for collaboration, staff members of the Facility are meeting with African government delegations, regulators, utilities, private investors and legal advisors.

On Thursday, the ALSF’s Chief Legal Counsel, Amir Shaikh, moderated a high-level ‘Regulators’ Roundtable,’ held during the Forum. In addition to private sector participants—including representatives of Globelq, DLA Piper, Tetra Tech, and Karpowership—the Roundtable benefited from the participation of various national regulatory authorities, namely: Angola, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, Mali, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In line with the African Development Bank’s ‘High 5’ priorities, and with the New Deal on Energy for Africa, the ALSF regularly assists African governments in negotiating and finalizing energy transactions. In 2016, the Facility advised African governments on more than 15 Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) negotiations, which represent a combined 1,400MW of energy potential. The ALSF is committed to developing new model agreements, power toolkits, and training opportunities which will help to unlock the potential of Africa’s renewable and nonrenewable resources.