This year’s IGD Frontier 100 Forum was rounded off with an eye-opening session on the challenges and untapped opportunities for providing energy to underserved markets in Africa. This session presented a uniquely valuable look into the paths to achieving profitable projects that, in addition to generating power, create a long-lasting positive impact on the surrounding communities.
The session, moderated by Reed Kramer, Co-Founder and CEO of AllAfrica Global Media, included a variety of leading experts: Cheick-Oumar Sylla, the CEO for Africa of ContourGlobal, Stephen Bordes, Chief Financial Officer of SkyPower, Razvan Purcaru, Director of Project and Export Finance, Africa at the Standard Chartered Bank, and Tewodros Ashenafi, Chairman and CEO of SouthWest Energy (HK) Ltd.
Nearly two-thirds of the people living in Africa are without electricity. This simple yet startling statistic was the jumping-off point for the session. From there, the panelists launched into a discussion on their respective experiences developing power projects that managed to simultaneously benefit their businesses and the African continent. The session covered the differences between the various types of financing as well, along with the challenges that come from trying to launch large, much-needed projects that will get effective results.
Access to electricity is one of the most central aspects of a country’s development, and it goes without saying that no economy can grow without it. Many small and medium enterprises in Africa are also hampered by the lack of reliable power, which in turn slows local market expansion. This final session showed Forum participants that there are an incredible number of opportunities available to become part of Africa’s quickly developing power industry, all of which hold the promise of boosting African economies and generating extremely healthy financial results.
The 2014 IGD Frontier 100 Forum was a huge success, with overwhelming contributions from the many industry-leading CEOs and senior executives that facilitated these informative discussions. Thank you to everyone who participated, as well as those who joined our dynamic conversation on social media. We at IGD look forward to our next Forum in just a few short months, and if you want to be there to take part in this fantastic opportunity, please visit our website for more information.
Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #Frontier100. We will continue to post updates on Facebook and Twitter. For photos from the Forum and to get a glimpse of who’s attending, visit our Flickr page.