Coventry University London host panel discussion with Africa Alternative Energy Initiative 

Publication Year / 2017 / Categories / Student

Wednesday 31 May 2017

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Coventry University London in partnership with Africa Alternative Energy Initiatives (AAEI) hosted a panel discussion this month titled Oil and Gas vs Renewable Energy: The case for Africa in achieving sustainable development goal 7. The event aimed to ascertain the strategy to maintain an energy mix for its benefit and identify what research and support will be needed for policy makers.

AAEI is an independent advocacy movement which seeks to promote affordable, clean and sustainable energy across Africa. The movement seeks to promote the Goal7 of the UN sustainable development goals whilst promoting local content to suit the renewables industry. This is achieved by creating an inter-dialogue platform for stakeholder’s including governmental bodies, renewable companies, investors and citizens.

The event began with an introduction from the Founder and Director of AAEI and Coventry University London alumna, Naeema Ahmed. Naeema highlighted the need for a greater energy supply within Africa and said:

“What we are experiencing right now may not seem like anything significant; the lights we have on, the ability to charge your phone anytime you want. There are people in most African countries who do not have any access to electricity – this is their reality.”

The panel consisted of Dr Boma Douglas (Chartered Energy Engineer, Member of the Governing Council of the Energy Institute and the Immediate Past Chair of the EI London and Home Counties Branch), Dr Theophilus Acheampong (Petroleum Economist and Country Risk Analyst, IHS Economics & Country Risk (London) and Crystol Energy (London)), Ms Naadira Ogeer (Economic Adviser, Oceans and Natural Resources Advisiory Division, Commonwealth Secretariat), Engineer Irvine Nyamapfene (Former Provincial Manager for Rural Electrification Agency of Zimbabwe and Lead for DNO roll out of electric bus infrastructure for London), Juliet Makhapila (Founder-UK Africa Diaspora Forum) and was chaired by Councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas (Former Mayor for Hackney).

All panel members have extensive experience within the energy industry and offered valuable insight into many areas of the discussion including the role of sustainable energy in Africa’s development, ensuring Africa’s constant energy supply, sustainable development goals and the promotion of it, sustainable energy and rural development and the role of the diaspora.

Throughout the discussion the panel identified that although Africa is endowed with energy resources it is still very poor in energy supply. Making reliable and affordable energy widely available is critical to the development of a region that accounts for 13% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its energy demand. A severe shortage of essential electricity infrastructure is undermining efforts to achieve more rapid social and economic development.

The event was well attended by staff, students and members of the energy industry. In addition, the event was also attended by the Liberian Ambassador, His Excellency Dr Mohammed Sheriff. 

Coventry University London currently offers two energy related MBA courses; MBA Oil and Gas Management and MBA Global Energy and Sustainability Management. The academic staff within the Energy team helped to organise this event to remain engaged with the current issues in the energy industry.

The discussion can be viewed here.