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Zambia: Biofuels Body Spells Out Cost-Saving Tips


Zambia could save almost US$1 billion in five years by substituting the 406 million litres of petrol used in the country, the Biofuels Association of Zambia (BAZ) has said. BAZ chairperson Thomson Sinkala said the amount saved could be ploughed back into the rural communities that would be involved in the project. "No matter the negative propaganda, it is hard to out-compete the value of the bioenergy industry to Zambia. "More than $950 million of wealth per year can go into rural people's pockets in less than five years if we substituted the 406 million litres of petrol we consume in Zambia today with bioethanol," he said.


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Rwanda: Rural Areas Expect 100 Solar PV Mini-Grids Under Climate Action Plan


An establishment of up to 100 solar PV mini-grids in rural communities has been pledged by government as part of efforts to mitigate climate change effects. The commitment is under INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) which is the climate action plan. The plan is an essential element in implementing the Paris climate agreement signed by the government of Rwanda and 160 other countries. Speaking at the signing ceremony of Paris Agreement at the United Nations in New York on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, said Rwanda is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change that need to build a climate resilient economy. "Rwanda has taken a proactive approach. We put the environment and climate change at the heart of all we do. We were the first country to ban plastic bags and commit to nationwide landscape restoration. Every year, Rwandans plant millions of trees to protect our forests, rivers and wetlands," she said.


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Africa: ECOWAS Nations To Get 2GW Green Energy Corridors

Clean energy corridors with a combined capacity of 2GW are being planned for the West African region under plans put forward by the ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency(ECREEE). Speaking at the Solar and Off-grid Renewables West Africa event in Accra, Ghana, Mahamma Kappiah, executive director of ECREE said the corridor will involve connecting many 10-15MW solar PV plants, as well many other technologies such as wind and hydro. ECREE is working on identifying which countries will have projects, where are the most suitable locations for PV parks and how they are going to distribute the projects. The concept of the corridors is expected to be cleared by the end of this year, having drawn on technical assistance funded by the EU.

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Africa: Renewable Energy Project Investment In Emerging Markets Yields Higher Returns

Investing in renewable energy projects in emerging markets has returns that are on average 28% higher than those in Europe or North America. Maybe the most interesting of the findings from the new report, however, is the fact that it appears developed nations are more interested in smaller-scale solar projects, while developing nations are looking to larger, utility-scale solar projects. Average project size in Europe is 3 MW, and in North America 11 MW. However, average project size in South America is 64 MW, in Africa is 45 MW, and 34 MW in the Middle East. This is unsurprising, given the existing electricity infrastructure in developed nations — where renewable energy is a transitional electricity source. In developing nations, however, the electricity infrastructure is not as entrenched and developed, meaning that lower cost renewable electricity projects are not only good for the environment and national climate targets, but economically more viable than traditional fossil fuel-based generation projects.


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Ethiopia: Company Undertaking Waste to Energy Project to Generate 25 MW

The 'Waste to Energy' Project is environment friendly and would utilize 1,000 ton of waste disposals per day besides contributing to addressing city waste disposal problem. The China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC) Vice President Liao Sheng Cong announced that his company has been undertaking this 'Waste to Energy' project to generate 25 MW in Addis. The project is scheduled to be completed after a year. After holding talks with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome here yesterday, Cong told journalists that the project is environment friendly and utilized 1, 000 ton of waste disposals per day and would contribute to addressing city waste disposal problem.


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Kenya: How A Kenyan Farm Turns Harvest Waste To Much-Needed Electricity

Gorge Farm, in Kenya's Naivasha Rift valley, is the first grid-connect anaerobic digester power plant in Africa. The 800ha vegetable farm--and also the largest fresh-produce exporter in East Africa--is able to convert its daily150 tonnes of fresh organic waste into bio-gas, which is then combusted, using GE's J420 Jenbacher engines, into electricity. At an installed capacity of 24 MWs, the farm is able to power its operations, sell electricity into the country's grid and reduce carbon emissions by 7,000 tons a year.


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Africa Power Vision Plans To Electrify 80% of African Households By 2040

(Ecofin Agency) - Africa’s electrification recently welcomed a new advocate, Africa Power Vision (APV). APV is a joint-venture established by the African Union Commission, the NEPAD agency, Nigeria’s ministry of finance, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. It aims to boost the number of people that has access to power across the continent. “APV aims to achieve an 80% residential electrification rate by 2040 and 90% for industry/business, with sufficient energy to deliver to those connected, while also implementing off-grid solutions and making full usage of the vast renewable energy sources in Africa,” NEPAD said in a statement.


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Africa: Long-term Development Plans For Africa Power Vision Joint Venture

The Africa Power Vision (APV), a joint venture, has designed a long-term plan for increasing access to reliable and affordable power across Africa. The development plan will make use of the continent’s diverse energy resources in a manner that is in line with the Africa 2063 Agenda. APV aims to achieve an 80% residential electrification rate by 2040 and 90% for industry/business, with sufficient energy to deliver to those connected, while also implementing off-grid solutions and making full usage of the vast renewable energy resources in Africa. By facilitating trade between the East African and Southern African Power Pools, the transmission line will have the capacity to transmit between 3,000 and 17,000MW.


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Kenya Leads Region In Clean Energy Investment

Kenya has attracted more investment in clean energy than most of her peers and some developed countries, according to a global assessment report. The report notes that demand for energy is high and renewable energy—which offers cheaper alternatives compared to imported fossil fuels—could bring down some of the highest power prices in the world. “Many countries now have reform processes to establish policies for clean energy but are dragging their feet over implementing them,” says the Climatescope 2015 report by Bloomberg, adding that clean energy opportunities are set to increase in Africa as technology prices continue to drop.


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Tanzania: Prize-Winning Sefa-Financed Jumeme Rural Electrification Project In Tanzania Begins Operations

JUMEME Rural Power Supply Ltd. (JUMEME) has just celebrated the operational launch of its project, which will bring solar hybrid mini-grids to electrify more than 100,000 people and 2,340 small businesses in Tanzania's rural centres. This project has received preparation support from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), and is one of the first of its portfolio to become operational since the Fund's inception in 2012. A joint venture between experienced partners, JUMEME was formed to develop and implement a large portfolio of solar-hybrid mini-grids in rural growth centres in Tanzania. With an extensive pipeline of projects, the initial phase, scheduled to run until 2017, includes approximately 28 mini-grids with a strong focus on supplying anchor customers such as the telecom Industry, mines and small businesses. The project is co-financed by the European Union Energy Facility. The joint venture is expected to help increase Tanzania's rural electrification rate, which was estimated to be about 21% in Tanzania at the end of 2014.


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South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Sets Example

Following global trends leaning towards a more sustainable future, governments in most African countries have established increasingly ambitious renewable energy (RE) targets for their power sector. However, with the notable exception of South Africa and the hydro power sector, not much has materialised thus far. The South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), implemented since 2011, has proven to be a large success for the country, with 6.3 GW of RE procured since its inception. This totals approximately 15 per cent of South African installed power generation capacity. At the end of 2015, more than 2.2 GW[1], of the 6.3 GW new procured power, had been commissioned and injected daily into the grid. Many best-in-class international advisors were involved in the design of the South African REIPPPP and assisted the Department of Energy’s IPP office with implementing global best practices. South Africa has succeeded in creating a highly competitive RE market; however, has taken about 15 years to reach this goal. The South African Government announced its commitment to support and promote the development of RE through a White Paper on Energy Policy published in 1998.


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Africa: New UN Report Focuses On Green, Inclusive Industrialization In Africa

The latest economic report strongly illustrates that pursuing green industrialization would greatly benefit the continent’s economy, identifying ways in which the use of new business models and green technologies can galvanize sustainable and inclusive growth, the creation of green jobs, and greater global competitiveness, all while protecting and increasing the productivity of Africa’s natural resources. Entitled Greening Africa’s Industrialization, the theme of this year’s report is said to go beyond simply showing the importance of Africa’s industrialization; it also emphasizes the importance of how Africa industrializes.


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Gambia: Stakeholders Brainstorm Renewable Energy Investment In Gambia

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) under the UNIDO/GEF Renewable Energy project gathered for a day's consultation meeting on Opportunities and Limitations (O&L) on Renewable Energy investment in Gambia. The meeting is in preparation for the development of a well-detailed investment Strategy for Renewable Energy deployment in Gambia. This will, among others things, galvanise investments in renewable energy technologies across different economic sectors in the country.


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Kenya To Tap Into Rift Valley Geothermal Resources And Strengthen Private Sector Investment In Renewable Energy

With African Development Bank (AfDB) support, Kenya has received approval from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CIF-CTF) for a US $29.65-million concessional loan to co-finance up to two geothermal projects to increase the country’s power capacity, particularly drawing on untapped geothermal resources in the Rift Valley. The Concessional Finance Program for Geothermal Generation will build on the energy advancements already underway in the successful development of the country’s showcase Menengai Geothermal Field. The CTF funds will create a concessional lending program designed to ensure the projects’ financial viability and commercial bankability by shoring up conventional financing and breaking down barriers to private investment. The program will support up to two geothermal generation projects structured as Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and will be implemented with AfDB support.


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Africa: Biomass Energy Is A Viable Solution To Africa’s Energy Shortfall

In countries such as Uganda and Mauritius, the potential of agricultural residues is best demonstrated by the sugar industry. Kakira Sugar and at least two other sugar millers between them generate more than 50MW of electricity some of which is used internally with the surplus sold to the grid. In Mauritius, a country that is not blessed with hydro-resources, the sugar industry supplies nearly sixty percent of the electricity consumed in the country. As they generate electricity however, the sugar millers have eliminated the nuisance of Bagasse piles that in formed mountains of outside the factories and took considerable resources to clear. This waste to industrial energy solution can help nations or municipal authorities solve their solid waste challenges while reducing dependence fossil fuels. A city like Kampala would need to spend close to $20 million annually if it is to successfully dispose of all the solid waste its residents generate. With close to 90 percent of its waste convertible, Kampala could easily offset 100 percent, the cost of disposing of its waste. In Egypt, we process approximately 750,000 tons of agriculture residue annually from which we are able to produce between a quarter and half a million tons of solid fuel for the cement industry. From the half a million tons of municipal solid waste that we receive every year, we are able to deliver 100,000 tons of solid fuel in addition to organic compost for the agricultural sector.


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Africa: Can Biogas Revolutionise Africa’s Energy?

A German energy firm has designed 'Biogas backpacks’ in an effort to boost local energy businesses in Ethiopia. Biogas bags can be used to store and move methane gas collected from local digesters. The digester is small, it can hook up under a household or a tent, while the bags are light and easy to carry. Designed five years ago in Germany, the digesters break down natural materials – such as dung and food waste – and turn them into methane for cooking. After several successful pilot projects in Ethiopia, Puetz launched the company (B)energy in 2014 with the aim of boosting local enterprise in the African country.


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Kenya: Chinese to Finance Kenyan Solar Plant

Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority (REA) will build the $128-million solar power plant. The 50 MW photovoltaic (PV) solar farm will be financed through concessional funding from the government of China. Construction will begin in July and will take one year to complete. Upon completion, the solar plant will be the biggest in the East and Central Africa.


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Tanzania: Govt Set for Kenya, Zambia Electricity Links

Tanzania is determined to complete two projects to connect the country's electricity grid to that of Kenya and Zambia by 2019. The projects-Iringa-Shinyanga (Backbone Transmission Investment Project) which will be interconnected with Kenya grid and the Iringa-Mbeya which will be connected to Zambia are scheduled for completion in 2018 and 2019, respectively. This would the country to trade power with neighbouring countries. This was revealed in Dar es Salaam yesterday by the deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of Energy and Minerals, Dr Juliana Pallangyo, during a one day Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) executive committee meeting.


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Tanzania: Households Benefit From Energy-Saving Stoves

Some 3,700 households have benefited from 4,000 energysaving stoves supplied by an environmental protection non-governmental organisation, Floresta. The stoves use special briquette made from saw dust and other materials. Since the organisation started supply of the stoves, use of firewood consumption at household levels has declined by 50 percent. Since 2006, Floresta has taken part in planting 8,212,861 trees in different parts of Kilimanjaro Region. The Same District Commissioner (DC), hailed the NGO for its effort and urged the public to join hands in planting many trees to mitigate climate-change effects.


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Kenya: KenGen to Add to the Grid

Kenya’s power generator, KenGen, signed an agreement with Power Africa-Kenya to add 2,500 MWs to the grid from geothermal sources by 2025. Under the agreement, the US President Barack Obama-led initiative, Power Africa, will provide KenGen with project development team and experts in geothermal and solar power to help realize the goal of boosting green energy. The project will focus on exploiting Kenya’s huge geothermal potential in the Rift Valley according to KenGen Managing Director Albert Mugo. Despite the fact that geothermal power is cheap, renewable and environment friendly, only 6.5 per cent has been utilized in Kenya. The partnership will help KenGen to leverage on its capacity to generate more clean energy and revenue. Projects set to benefit from the partnership include the 140-MW Olkaria V, 70-MW Olkaria 1 Unit 6, refurbishment of 51-MW Olkaria I and phase I of the 100-MW Meru Wind Farm set for completion in 2018. The projects require about Sh900 billion ($9 billion). Mugo said the firm is considering various financing options such as public-private partnerships so as to meet the enormous cash requirement.


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Rwanda: Why Industrialists Should Embrace Renewable Energy

Local manufacturers always complain of intermittent power supply and unscheduled load shedding, which they say damages their machinery. This raises the cost of operations in terms of machine repair or buying new equipment. The challenge emanates from insufficient power supply in the country that heavily relies on hydro-power generation by the government. Few manufacturers produce own energy to serve their power needs, a situation experts say should end, encouraging firms particularly the big manufacturing plants to turn to renewable energy and stop reliance on national power grid. The country relies on hydro-power, which accounts for 97.37MW of electricity generated, while thermal energy contributes 51.7MW, and methane gas, 3.6MW. Solar energy use in Rwanda, as an alternative source of power, is still low at about 8.5MW, according to official figures. The country presently has installed capacity of about 186MW of power, which the government targets to increase to at least 563MW by 2018 to make it possible to extend electricity to the majority of Rwandans. The government plans to increase off-grid power generation to 22MW over the same period, up from 8.75MW presently, with solar energy generation as one of the main proposed renewable energy sources. Therefore, by embracing renewable energy for industrial use, manufacturers will ensure a sustainable source of power that will enhance efficiency and reduce operational costs, according to experts.


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Africa: It Takes A Village To Power Africa: Q&A With Andrew M. Herscowitz

Three years into the U.S. Power Africa initiative, a roadmap is in place to connect 60 million to electricity by 2030 — and empower people across the continent. Africa boasts some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but its growth potential is limited by poor energy infrastructure, with only a third of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa having access to power. To help address this problem, the U.S. launched Power Africa a few years ago to bring power to 60 million businesses and homes by 2030. Working with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and countries inside and outside of Africa to attract private-sector investment, the programme recently released a roadmap on how it will achieve its goals.


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Sierra Leone Receives Grant from CIF

Sierra Leone received a $300,000 grant from the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) to prepare its national investment plan (IP) aimed at transforming its renewable energy sector. The IP will be developed under the CIF's Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) in a collaborative approach that includes multiple ministries and stakeholders throughout the country, including private sector, commercial and development banks, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The grant to prepare the IP is part of CIF’s 2014 selection of the country to run a $40-million SREP nationally based pilot program which is policy-oriented and fully aligned with the country's green development goals. The program will be supported by the AfDB as lead implementing agency and by the World Bank Group. Through the IP, the country will create a series of projects to help reduce barriers for renewable energy development and market transformation. Potential areas of SREP intervention are renewable energy technologies in on-grid and off-grid areas such as solar photovoltaic, hybrid generation systems, mini-hydro, and wind resource mappings, and dissemination of sustainable energy systems with a strong focus on increasing access to energy with private and public sector participation. As an innovative approach, the IP is likely to support local investment in renewable energy technologies by engaging local commercial banks to facilitate financing for renewables at more competitive terms for local small and medium enterprises and individual households


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Uganda: Three Ugandan Firms Win Award from USADAF


The USADAF awarded three Ugandan renewable energy enterprises funds for promoting the use of renewable energy. Officials from USADF on March gave out the $300,000 to the three firms following the third round of USADF’s Off-Grid Energy Challenge. The Off-Grid Energy Challenge is part of Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative. The three Ugandan winning enterprises are; Green Heat Limited, One Lamp Limited, and GRS Commodities. Green Heat focuses its efforts on helping farmers in the Teso region by installing biogas digesters to pasteurize and chill milk. One Lamp created a mobile phone platform to allow rural households to purchase solar products that are delivered directly to the individuals, while GRS Commodities intends to install 40 kilowatts of solar generation capacity on Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria.


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Uganda: 10MW Solar Power Plant to Boost National Grid


Energy ministry in partnership with Access Uganda Solar Limited has launched a 10MW solar power plant in Soroti District, aimed at increasing power access in the eastern district. The power produced from the $19m (about Shs64b) solar power plant is expected to be added to the national grid in July and will power 40,000 homes and businesses in an area where electricity access is still very low. Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony in Soroti, State minister for Mineral Development Peter Lokeris said the country still faces energy challenges and yet industrialisation that the government seeks to expand requires more energy and investment. "Government priorities such as Agro-processing can only get lifted off the ground with sufficient and reliable energy. I have confidence in the project because our country enjoys an all year round sunny climate which is the resource for solar power," Mr Lokeris said in a statement. The project will also avail clean water to the surrounding communities by constructing two boreholes, six houses for teachers and provide solar power panels to public primary schools. Two thousand tree seedlings of orange, mango and pine trees will also be given to the neighbouring communities as part of afforestation programme.


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Kenya: Govt Sets Up Textile Investors Near Power Plants to Cut Costs


Kenya will set up investors near geothermal plants to cut the cost of electricity and offer subsidies in order to compete with her neighbours. Mr Mohamed said that they will set up investors at the shores of Lake Naivasha near the geothermal power plant to cut transmission charges to make Kenya attractive. He was speaking when he met a trade delegation composed of investors from China, the US, Australia, the Netherlands and Bangladesh who will also be visiting Tanzania and Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the leading investor destination of choice because of low labour costs with low minimum wage (Sh6,000). Furthermore, it is easier for foreigners to obtain work permit in the country. Ethiopia also has low electricity prices and the government is building a separate grid for new industrial zones currently under development. Following the extension of the African Growth and Development Act (AGOA) trade agreement with the USA for the next ten years, Kenya has been tipped to enjoy a boom as companies in the apparel industry target the East African economies to enjoy the duty free access to America. A survey by McKinsey and Company shows that East Africa--in particular, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have the potential to trade Sh300 billion in the garments and apparel industry by 2025. In 2013, these four countries' apparel exports totalled only Sh34 billion.


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Uganda Breaks Ground on PV Project


Uganda broke ground on East Africa’s largest solar PV project on March 17. The 10-MW project is owned and operated by Access Uganda Solar Ltd, a partnership between EREN Renewable Energy and Access Power (Dubai, UAE). The PV plant is expected to be operational and connected to the national grid in July. The $19-million project was financed through a mix of debt and equity with the senior debt facility being provided by FMO, the Netherlands development bank, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF).


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Nigeria: NGO Trains Rural Women On Energy Saving Stoves


An NGO, Foundation for Economic Empowerment & Educational Development (FEED) with focus on community service, self enhancement, education and societal development has trained women in the production of Energy Saving Cooking Stoves. The two day activities saw the women produce energy saving stoves using local materials. The Executive Director of the organization emphasized that felling down of trees for fuel wood was a major source of deforestation which is a major cause of climate change in the community and beyond. He explained that the low energy stoves will require a little percentage of fire wood as compared to cooking over open fire which is very common in the community.


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Kenya: Power Transmission Project Closing in on Completion in Kenya


The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company is set to complete its Ksh 800-million power evacuation project over the next two months. The company is constructing a 12.6-km transmission line to send 105 MW of geothermal energy from the Mengai wells, developed by the Geothermal Development Corp., to the grid. The project scope includes the construction of a 132kV substation at Menengai, extension of the bay in the existing Soilo substation, and transmission line infrastructure connecting the two. The firm has so far constructed power line towers and is 80% complete with work on substations.


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Mozambique to host energy summit


Mozambique will host the Southern Africa Energy and Infrastructure Summit (SAEIS) from May 4 -6 this year to help promote regional co-operation on energy and infrastructure projects that require both private and public sector support. SAEIS will bring together countries from the SADC region to discuss live infrastructure and energy projects which require investment. The Summit will explore some of southern Africa’s success stories, and how these can be replicated. Southern Africa has witnessed local private-sector led initiatives and wider participation in projects such as South Africa’s ground breaking Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) programme — an initiative which will be explored at the SAEIS. Dedicated exclusively to the energy and infrastructure sector, the summit will act as a common platform for government and private sector leaders to jointly address the goal of promoting the development of the energy sector within the SADC region.


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