With a focus on making energy poverty history by 2030, Damilola Ogunbiyi will come to Africa’s premier energy event in November to drive the discussion on energy transition, sustainable development, and increasing access to energy.
With the upcoming African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 conference in Cape Town this November, international leaders and experts in the energy industry have sealed and confirmed their attendance at Africa’s premier energy event. Correspondingly, the Chief Executive Officer of international energy company, Sustainable Energy for All, Damilola Ogunbiyi has also confirmed her attendance and participation at AEW 2021 – taking place from the 9th to the 12th of November 2021. The Sustainable Energy for All advocate will be joining other international leaders in sharing expertise and facilitating discussions that will help unlock the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDG) in Africa.
The Nigerian born advocate for sustainable energy is also a special representative of the Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Co-Chair at UN Energy. She has been hard at work regarding the deployment of smart data, forming new partnerships while scaling up her involvement in helping build key coalitions for SEforALL. As a representative, Ogunyibi has a strong passion for ending energy poverty. In addition to her work with SEforAll, her prior experience in running Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency has given her a first-hand expert position in addressing Africa’s inadequate access to clean energy, particularly in major oil producing regions like Nigeria.
As a representative for the UN Secretary-General for SEforALL, Ogunbiyi has been instrumental regarding poverty alleviation initiatives across Africa. With the UN’s SDG’s calling for the universal provision of access to clean, affordable energy having been met with several obstacles, the need for an accelerated approach to poverty alleviation has been emphasized. Notably, the pandemic has moved 150 million people back to extreme poverty, as well as only 25% of primary health-care facilities having access to electricity in Africa. Accordingly, the upcoming AEW 2021 will see Damilola engage with innovators and exchange ideas in an attempt to fast-track poverty alleviation and drive socio-economic growth in the wake of the pandemic.
The continued efforts on closing energy access gaps while transitioning to clean energy has become a necessity in Africa and will, therefore, form part of the frontline discussions at AEW 2021 as part of the continued call for sustainable development. Ogunbiyi’s confirmation as a speaker at the conference positions the event as one of the top platforms for a collaborative approach to making energy poverty history by 2030.
“We know clean energy is the best for gross domestic product (GDP). We have also noted it unlocks more job opportunities than traditional fossil fuels, so developing countries with the right tools can become exemplary to what you can do with a clear climate change objective linked to energy transition,” said Damilola Ogunbiyi on United Nations Web TV.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding South Africa, the sub-Saharan region is responsible for only about 0.55% of global emissions. Additionally, one billion people in Africa currently share a power production capacity of 81 gigawatts, equivalent to Germany’s daily production output. Therefore, despite the importance of the energy transition, Africa’s economic development should not be discarded, but rather, clear energy transition plans must be implemented in line with the needs of the poor and vulnerable in Africa. The UN General-Secretariat suggests that countries should come together in addressing the challenges of energy transition in the African continent. It has also heeded a call from developing countries to invest about $40 billion per annum from now up to 2030. Still, Africa barely gets $4 billion. At AEW 2021, this issue will be addressed, with Ogunbiyi using her international expertise, alongside other global speakers and Ministers, to make a strong case for an adapted energy transition plan that considers the needs of Africa.
“The primary objective of AEW 2021 is to make energy poverty history by 2030. Yes, the continent needs to transition to a clean energy future, but not at the risk of delayed socio-economic growth. With over 600 million without access to electricity, innovative solutions are needed to end energy poverty for good. As an advocate for sustainable energy, Ogunbiyi has placed a focus on addressing energy poverty across Africa. At AEW 2021 in Cape Town, she will be a valuable speaker, introducing ideas, sharing expertise, and enhancing the discussion on energy transition, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development in Africa,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
AEW 2021, in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy DMRE, is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2021 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments.
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