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Africa’s Energy Deficit: GE Advocates Stronger Collaboration, Partnership



By Eric Ojo, Abuja

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – GE Power, a world energy leader providing equipment, solutions and services across the energy value chain from generation to consumption, has reiterated the need for stronger collaboration and partnership amongst key players in the energy sector in Africa.

GE currently operates in more than 180 countries with its technology producing a third of the world’s electricity, equips 90 percent of power transmission utilities worldwide. In addition, GE’s software manages more than forty percent of the world’s energy.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GE’s Gas Power business in Sub-Sahara Africa, Elisee Sezan, made the observation at the opening ceremony of the 19th edition of the Africa Utility Week and PowerGEN in Cape Town South Africa.

Africa Utility Week brings together utilities, financiers and energy leaders from across the region to discuss and develop technical knowledge in the field of electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

Sezan further explained that to solve Africa’s energy deficit and improve energy access, there is a clear need for solutions that foster collaboration through partnerships with governments, technology providers and the private sector.

“GE has been at the forefront of driving this collaboration which has resulted in significant milestone projects and solid partnerships that have successfully added more megawatts to the grid. We are delighted to lead this changing narrative on powering Africa forward and are committed to supporting energy initiatives to accelerate its progress”, he said.

Interestingly, GE’s unveiling of a Whitepaper on Re-imagining the future of power in Sub-Saharan Africa, also took the centre stage at this year’s edition of Africa Utility Week.

The Whitepaper, according to a statement made available to African Examiner, highlights the future gamechangers in the energy landscape in Sub- Saharan Afric, discusses the factors contributing to energy transformation and the enabling environment, outlines the market’s response through region-specific case studies and the path forward.

The statement noted that global and regional energy industry trends are continuously shifting and stakeholders need to stay constantly informed to better understand the key drivers of change.

“This paper, developed by the Strategic Marketing unit of GE in Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on the changing trends and future direction of the energy industry as it explores the relevance and impact of key drivers both regionally and globally”, the statement added.

In addition, key themes discussed in the paper include decarbonization, decentralization and digitization as well as how they affect the current and future energy transformations in the region.

The paper also sheds light on the rise of renewables including solar, wind and hydro and the place of geothermal in Sub Saharan Africa’s energy mix. It also discusses energy sector management, financing and regulatory frameworks that create an enabling environment for the sector.

The statement further observed that Sub-Saharan Africa needs power and there is seemingly an over-dependence on governments to resolve this energy dilemma.

It also pointed out that governments are faced with investment, policy and regulatory framework challenges that oftentimes hinder their ability to fulfill the responsibility of providing affordable and reliable power.

“With increasingly diverse funding from public and private sources, including innovative partnerships with private investors and independent power producers (IPPs), the current narrative that two out of three people in the region needs access to electricity is expected to change”, the statement stressed.

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