To cater for a growing interest in power generation and water, this year’s African Utility Week (AUW) will occupy the entire Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) as well as the new building, CTICC 2.
The new 31 148 m2 building consists of 10 000 m2 conference and exhibition space and 3 000 m2 of formal and informal meeting space. AUW 2016 drew about 6 000 decision-makers, while more than 7 000 decision-makers from 40 countries attended last year’s conference. This year’s attendee numbers are expected to grow to 7 500, with attendees representing more than 80 countries this year.
“The event is fast becoming a yearly platform that attracts experts, investors, governments and suppliers across Africa’s energy, power, water and related industries,” says AUW event director Evan Schiff. The event will feature “provocative speakers that will prompt attendees to look at the water and power industry with fresh eyes, subsequently directing their focus on solutions and commercial opportunities”, he adds.
There will be three keynote sessions and themes will include The Future of Work and Africa as a Knowledge Hub, as well as Smart Africa, Business Ethics and Energy Entrepreneurs. Over 300 speakers will participate in the conference and Schiff highlights that strategic insights firm Tomorrow Today Global director Graeme Codrington will address the opening day plenary on the topic of the future of work and the disruptive forces that are shaping it. Another notable speaker is biomimicry expert Claire Janisch from the South African regional network of The Biomimicry Institute BiomimicrySA.
Other events and platforms will run concurrently to AUW, including the CEO Forum, the Africa Utilities Technology Council Forum, Nuclear Power Africa, the Africa Power Investment Forum, the Gas-to-Power World Congress, Africa Water Week and the new African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit.
Schiff notes that the nuclear conference will be free to attend and that AUW is also set to focus on renewable and nuclear energy, climate change and the role of biomimicry in the energy sector.
Energy Revolution Africa – a platform for community-scale clean-energy projects, which was launched last year and generated a great deal of excitement – will return as a separate, dedicated conference this year. “It provides a unique platform for solution providers to meet with developers and end-customers in the transitioning energy landscape in Africa” states Schiff.
AUW will run from May 15 to 17 and aims to have ten international pavilions this year, including German, Indian and Chinese pavilions.