Power to the people: The GSB's Prof Walter Baets (left) and Prof Anton Eberhard kickstarted discussions at the Africa Power Colloquium, where delegates reflected on the state of the power sector in Africa.
As Professor Anton Eberhard indicated in his keynote address at the Africa Power Colloquium, hosted by UCT's Graduate School of Business (GSB) from 28 to 30 November, there's plenty wrong with the power sector in Africa. For one thing, two in three Africans do not have an electricity connection, while most countries on the continent are hobbled by insufficient, unreliable and costly electricity-generation capacity and networks, frustrating development efforts. In the plus column, however, there have been steps in the right direction - the unbundling of state-owned utilities, increased private sector participation and the establishment of regulatory authorities among them. And countries are starting to learn from each other, as they did on the three-year peer-review programme that Eberhard, as director of the GSB's management programme in infrastructure reform and regulation, ran with the CEOs of electricity regulatory agencies in Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The colloquium brought together these CEOs plus a rich selection of top-level representatives from these countries and South Africa, allowing them to share further insights into the industry. But as Eberhard put it, the overriding challenge for Africa remains "megawatts, megawatts, megawatts".
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