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Tuesday, November 15, 2016 

Mini-grid summit scheduled for Tanzania end of month

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA - The 3rd Africa Mini Grids Summit 2016 will convene this month on November 28-29 in Dar es Salaam, writes TIMOTHY KITUNDU.

Jose Carpio, of Magenta Global Pte Ltd the organizers of the summit said that Mini grids have been identified as a key platform to address critical electrification shortages in Africa hence creating successful mini grid ecosystems beyond pilot projects are now the focus of 

He added that African governments facing severe shortages especially for their off-grid populations foundations, donors and organizations are stepping up their financial support for mini grids, as in Tanzania alone the World Bank is setting the pace with a $209 million (Tsh.459.8 billion) financing for a six-year Rural Electrification Expansion Programme. 

“Africa can lead the way with plentiful renewable resources, an increasingly tech savvy populations encouraged by the mobile phones technology leap, presence of world class telcos and less incumbent infrastructure to obstruct new models,” Carpio said.

Adding that regional energy authorities leading the discussions at this 2016 Summit include the Rural Electrification Authorities/Agencies (REAs) of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia along with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Energy, and Ethiopia.

Among the distinguished experts providing new knowledge and insights are: Prof Abubakr S Bahaj, Professor of Sustainable Energy and Head of Energy & Climate Change Division, University of Southampton, UK, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Southampton City, UK; and Helvi Ileka, Project Officer at the Namibia Energy Institute, Namibia University of Science & Technology.

Private sector stakeholders who will share their expertise and practical applications at the 2016 Conference include: Matthias Hermes, Director of European Sales, Aquion Energy, USA; Daniel Becker, CEO, Rafiki Power, Germany / E.ON Off Grid Solutions, Tanzania; Sam Slaughter, Managing Director, PowerGen Renewable Energy, Kenya; and Dr Michael H Gera, Managing Partner, Energy Access Ventures, France.

Showcasing their latest technologies at the event are exhibitors: Aquion Energy, USA, Rafiki Power, Germany /E.ON Off Grid Solutions, Tanzania, and Fluidic Energy, USA.

The CEO of the conference-organizing company, Magenta Global Pte Ltd, Singapore, Maggie Tan, added: “Improving electrification in rural Africa is a paramount priority for most of the Governments in Africa. With less than 15% of rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) having access to electricity, strategies for creating commercially-viable small power producers.

By Timothy Kitundu, Tuesday, November 15th, 2016