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Alex Hitzemann Media & Advertising


Spintelligent, the multi-AAXO-award-winning Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, had a strong first half of 2017 with all of four of its flagship events: African Utility Week, Agritech Expo Zambia, DRC Mining Week and Eduweek, pulling off record results and an exciting new Property Buyer Show drawing large crowds.

Spintelligent MD David Ashdown says “exhibition and conference revenues are up year-on-year and attendee numbers are growing exponentially. The demand for face-to-face events as a platform to share knowledge and facilitate trade is increasing and proven to provide African buyers and sellers an improved ROI over traditional marketing medium.”

“Winning four major AAXO event industry awards at the beginning of 2017 was immensely rewarding but it has also inspired us to work even harder and not rest on our laurels and the results to date speak for themselves,” says Spintelligent MD David Ashdown. He adds: “I am very proud of my team for their effort and commitment and am confident that the rest of the year will be as fulfilling and successful.”

•    Education:
Most recently, the 11th edition of Eduweek took place at the Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg from 12-13 July and gathered 3,738 attendees over two days, 90 expert speakers and 161 exhibitors.

•    Mining:
DRC Mining Week
in Lubumbashi, DRC in June showed an astounding 67% growth with 2,691 attendees from 32 countries over three days with 131 exhibitors.

•    Power & Energy:
In May, Cape Town’s CTICC once again hosted African Utility Week and this year also did not disappoint. The 17th edition of the event welcomed 7,477 attendees from 91 countries who attended the three-day event – this was up from 6,445 attendees last year. The expo featured more than 300 exhibitors from 11 different countries and 284 expert speakers and 66 utilities from 20 African countries were represented.

•    Agriculture:
Agritech Expo Zambia
in Chisamba in April featured a record number of more than 18,000 visitors, seven international pavilions and a VIP attendance that included five cabinet ministers and the Zambian President Edgar Lungu who visited the event for the third year in a row.

•    Real Estate:
Spintelligent also launched its first Property Buyer Show in Cape Town in April, a unique exhibition aimed at first-time residential buyers or property investors, which drew some 3,100 visitors.

Spintelligent’s publishing division has also been very busy so far this year. Says David Ashdown: “besides never missing a day to deliver daily headline news, we have published 14 editions of our long-running, leading trade publications ESI-Africa, Mining Review Africa, Metering & Smart Energy International and look forward to another 12 content-rich editions until the New Year.”

He continues: “our prestige publications are boasting a new layout, the African Power Elites 2018 has achieved new heights by doubling incoming nominations in comparison to 2017, whilst for the first time, our African Mining Elites 2018 opens the door to new and exciting awards, highlighting excellence in the mining industry. Our Global Smart Energy Elites 2018, featuring the latest insights into the global leaders of the international smart energy network, is due to be released in October.”

Africa, a continental approach
“Spintelligent has a busy five months ahead,” says MD David Ashdown, “particularly rolling out our new Future Energy franchise of energy conferences and exhibitions across Africa” and in the process renaming some of Africa’s most iconic regional power events in East, West and Central Africa, including EAPIC and WAPIC, reflecting the optimism and potential of the energy and power sectors on the continent.”

He adds: “Africa continues to show economic development and growth, and we look forward to continuing to realise our potential and, while growing our key sector portfolios organically, our strategic path also includes being open to partnership and acquisition opportunities.”

–    Editor’s notes –

ROAR Awards 2017
Earlier this year Spintelligent won four major awards at AAXO’s ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Awards in Johannesburg:
– Best Trade Exhibition 6001-12000 sqm category: African Utility Week, joint winner with World Travel Market
– Best Trade & Consumer Exhibition +12000 sqm Award: Agritech Expo Zambia
– Distinction in Social Responsibility Award: Agritech Expo Zambia
– Best Confex Award: African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit
– Social Responsibility Award (finalist): DRC Mining Week

Upcoming Spintelligent events in 2017:
•    13-14 September:  Future Energy Uganda, Kampala.
•    2-3 October: Future Energy Central Africa, Yaoundé
•    4-5 October: Eduweek Western Cape, Cape Town
•    16-19 October: Nigeria Mining Week, Abuja
•    25-29 October: African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit and Property Buyer Show, Johannesburg
•    7-8 November: Future Energy Nigeria, Lagos
•    13-14 November: Kenya Mining Forum, Nairobi
•    29-30 November: Future Energy East Africa, Nairobi
•    29-30 November: AgriBusiness Congress East Africa, Kampala

Spintelligent is well known for organising exhibitions and conferences across the continent in the infrastructure, real estate, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors.  Its publishing division reaches the key sectoral decision makers for metering, power and mining. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.

Website: http://www.spintelligent.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/spintelligent

Media contact:
Senior communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone:  +27 21 700 3500
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com

    By Alex Hitzemann

    Last week Trump took his first foreign tour which gave us some small glimpses into how the Trump administration will interact with Africa in the coming years. With an American first agenda and a proposed new budget that will slash American aid spending in Africa in 2018, it’s easy to see why Africans feel neglected by America’s new domestically focused president. But will Africa continue to remain low on the agenda?

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta meets Trump

    As an investor, businessman, and now politician Trump is not ignorant of the enormous potential Africa presents for those willing to forge partnerships in the continent. He must also realize a lack of Western leadership in Africa opens the door for other countries, especially China, to further penetrate Africa with its unique style of politics and business.

    In his first few weeks, Trump called President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Jacob Zuma of South Africa. Last week during the G7 summit Trump rubbed shoulders with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.

    For Secretary of State Rex Tillerson the US’s main priority in Africa is security. Insuring that Africa does not become the next breeding ground for terrorism is currently the Trump administration’s primary objective in Africa.

    However, while speaking with U.S. Department of State Employees, Tillerson recently revealed he’s optimistic and sees huge potential.

    Tillerson explained, “Africa is a continent of enormous opportunity, and needs and will get and will continue to receive our attention to support stabilizing governments as they are emerging and continuing to develop their own institutional capacity, but also looking at Africa for potential economic and trading opportunities. It’s a huge, I think, potential sitting out there, waiting for us to capture it, and then, obviously, a big focus of our health initiatives, because Africa still struggles with huge health challenges. And those are important to us and they’re going to continue to get our attention.”

    “I think there’s huge potential sitting out there, waiting for us to capture it, and then, obviously, a big focus will be our health initiatives” -Tillerson

    Slashing donations and aid to Africa might also backfire on the President’s anti-terror initiative. “Where you cannot create economic opportunities, in these rural areas all across Africa where agriculture ought to be working will simply become a recruiting field for terrorists. I’m sure that’s not in the interests of the United States nor any other country,” Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, told Newsweek Magazine this week.

    “Cash from Washington plays a vital role in creating jobs in rural parts of Africa, where young people may otherwise turn to extremism when faced with unemployment and poverty due to environmental issues or conflict,” Adesina continues.

    An article published by African Utility Week interviewed the head of natural resources at Exotix Partners in the UK, Andrew Moorfield, he said there is so much emotion in talks about Trump that he would rather focus on the “knowns” which are the markets. In Moorfield’s analysis there is some possible good news for African economies.

    Moorfield referred to the low rate environment in the US. He said the last 12 months shows a post-Trump bump, but it is now falling again. According to him US rates is expected to remain low in the medium term with some consequences for Africa. This situation, he says, “creates a favourable and stable climate for African investment”.

    “The US dollar has been weakening since January, consistent with Trump’s stated preferences threatening foreign investor returns through continuing depreciation,” he explained.

    It is common cause that one of Trump’s key plans is to invest in US infrastructure and this, Moorfield projects, will buoy commodity demand generally which will benefit African economies as demand for oil, gas minerals and metals will grow.

    According to him Africa has lots of natural resources but is low on capital. “So if Trump executes his plan and invests in infrastructure the effect should be that it would buoy commodities and will benefit African economies.”

    Africa Agribusiness Magazine Media by Alex Hitzemann
    Telephone: +1 773 672 8030
    Email: alex@africaag.org

    African Utility Week:
    Andrew Moorfield interview by Alicestine October
    Senior communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
    Telephone:  +27 21 700 3558
    Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
    Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com
    Website:  http://www.african-utility-week.com

      By Busani Bafana

      Retaining maize residues for mulching or feeding to cattle is a difficult decision smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe have to make each harvest season.

      One farmer, Simon Madhovi from Madhovi village, ward 28 of Murewa District has found a win-win solution by mulching his field with residues from sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), a nitrogen fixing leguminous crop he intercrops with maize. Sunn hemp is a fast growing cover crop which has been found to improve soil fertility, enhance crop yields and make nutritive feed for livestock.

      Agriculture researchers are promoting hardy purpose crops such as sunn hemp to help livestock and crop farmers cope with droughts which have affected crop and livestock production. In Zimbabwe, smallholder farmers suffer low yields as a result of poor soils and the productivity of their livestock is affected by poor feeding as a result of persistent drought conditions.

      Sunn hemp has been introduced as a mulch and fodder crop to smallholder farmers in Goromonzi, Murewa, Mutoko and Uzumba districts of Mashonaland East Province under the Zimbabwe Crop-Livestock Integration for Food Security (ZimCLIFS) project led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in partnership with Community Technology Development Organization (CTDO), Cluster Agricultural Development Services (CADS) and the government departments. The project funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research aims to improve livelihoods, through increasing food production and food security, enhanced through the adoption of sustainable crop and livestock management practices such as conservation agriculture (CA).

      Under mixed crop-livestock systems, maize residues are often needed for feeding livestock during the dry winter months and for mulching the soil when practicing CA techniques which involve providing at least 30% permanent soil cover using live or dead mulches, crop rotation and reduced soil disturbance.  Due to the low maize yields often generated by farmers in semi-arid areas and the need to feed animals which communally grazed arable fields during winter, farmers often find themselves failing to protect and increase the fertility of their soils leading to poor yields.

      Mulching using sun hemp helped Madhowi reduce labour in having to cut grass and collect leaves which has used for soil cover before he was introduced to the legume crop.

      “Sunn hemp has helped improve our poor soils and allowed me to feed my maize residues to cattle while I mulch my field using sunn hemp residues,” said Madhovi, who also grows forage legumes such as mucuna, lablab, cowpea and groundnuts in rotation with maize to replenish soil fertility and pen feed his livestock. He observed double crop yields under CA compared to conventionally tilled fields.

      After pen fattening, Madhovi’s livestock improved and have been able to draw a ripper marking planting furrows in preparing his fields for the next cropping season. He sold one cow for $900 and bought three more cows and used part of the income for school fees, groceries and agricultural inputs for the next season.

      CIMMYT agronomists provided new legume seeds to farmers at the start of the project and have been involved in farmer training on conservation agriculture and use of equipment use, input use and best farming practices. ILRI researchers have trained the farmers on harvesting legumes for hay, making livestock feed formulation and storing hay.

      The training made a difference because the farmers have adopted CA practices and fodder production principles, says Eleanor Magwaza, a Research Associate and Agronomist at CIMMYT.

      “The farmers’ ability to continue after the ZIMCLIFS project withdrew from the area showed they appreciated the new interventions. The improvement in soil fertility, crop yields and availability of dry season winter feed resulting in higher household income and improved livelihood shows impact.’

      Magwaza said changing farmers’ mindset on the availability of markets for their crops and livestock were a challenge in getting the farmers to adopt sunn hemp. The project assisted in identifying markets for   grains and livestock through innovation platforms, formal platform bring together farmers, extension workers, researchers, traders and buyers to share knowledge in agriculture development.  In anticipation of technical challenges, extension workers and implementing partners were trained on use of equipment and herbicides to assist farmers.

      “Growing fodder crops and mulch is the way to go for farmers doing mixed crop-livestock production,” said Magwaza, adding that, “Competition for resources is reduced yet both crop and livestock production is increased. It is also a way of climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

      Other livestock non -palatable legumes such as tephrosia and grahamiana can also be planted in place of sunn hemp as these persist throughout the dry season and are chopped down to form mulch at the beginning of the next season, Magwaza said.

      There is need for increased targeted investment in enhancing the competitiveness of smallholder farmers to realize multiple benefits from livestock production by understanding the importance of feed and health for their animals, says livestock scientist and ILRI Southern Africa region representative, Sikhalazo Dube.

      “Farmers need to strike the right balance in livestock and crop production by understanding that livestock just like soils need to be healthy to be productive,” said Dube. “In this regard the integrated crop and livestock technologies such as the growing and use of legume fodder crops is critical given the rising demand for livestock products and the significant contribution of livestock to the economy.”

      Women are making an invaluable contribution to the power and water industries as reflected by the many ladies amongst the winners of the 2017 African Utility Week Industry Awards that were announced at the CTICC in Cape Town last week. Three of the awards, namely Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Contribution to Power as well as Young Energy Leader Award, were won by women.

      More than 750 top level power and water professionals attended the fourth edition of the African Utility Week Industry Awards gala dinner which honour pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industry on the continent.

      Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, delivered an inspiring guest keynote address with charming anecdotes of working with and for the legendary anti-apartheid activist and politician.

      The complete list of winners of the African Utility Week Industry Awards:

      Lifetime achievement award:
      Helen Tarnoy, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Aldwych International Ltd, United Kingdom, an engineering company that has been involved in some of the most successful independent power projects on the African continent.

      “I first went to Africa in 1998 and I have never left; so I have almost 20 years of working in the independent power sector in Africa,” Helen said in a pre-recorded video acceptance speech. “I won’t say that it wasn’t a struggle in the beginning, it was. There was a lot of education to be done about how private companies could contribute to the economies of the countries in which they were working by providing sustainable power at an affordable price. That is still what we aim to do today. The difference today is that we are seeing more and more people coming into the market.”

      Helen has been a passionate devotee to the African power market since her first contact with it in the mid-1990s. Her first major success was to lead the recovery and eventual success of the Songas Gas to Power Project in Tanzania. Following on the success of the Songas Project, Helen actively participated in all phases of several other AES successes in Africa including the acquisition and successful construction of the Ebute Power Project in Lagos, the privatisation and early operation of the Kelvin Power Plant in Johannesburg and the acquisition of a majority position in the Sonel vertically integrated utility in Cameroon.

      Outstanding contribution award: Water
      Philip Gichuki, Managing Director, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, Kenya

      “It is a great honour to win this award,” said an overjoyed Eng. Gichuki on Wednesday evening. He continued: “this is meant for my staff. It is this dedicated team that has made this happen. I look forward to continue to work with them every day in order to make a difference in people’s lives.”

      As the Managing Director of Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, Eng. Gichuki is responsible for running all facets of the business. He has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience in managing growth in the water and sanitation sector. Most notable in his management of the company is the innovative inclusion of low income (informal) settlement communities as partners (customers). In 2016, the company participated in the planting of over 150,000 trees in catchment areas to help deal with climate change. Eng. Gichuki has been instrumental in guiding the sector to develop county specific implementation plans.

      Outstanding Woman of the Year in Power/Water
      Rose Kaggwa, Director: Business and Scientific Services, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Uganda

      “Women must aim to be the best they can be, because at the end of the day, the best multi-tasker is a woman,” Rose Kaggwa said after receiving her award, adding “in order for us to create change, when we say ‘water for all’ and we say ‘sanitation is a right’ it cannot be done without women. So women must rise up and begin to speak.”

      Rose has spearheaded the development and implementation of vocational training and skills development of plumbers and Electromechanical technicians within the NWSC which has benefited over 500 staff and contributed to the operational efficiency of the organisation. Rose is the first African to sit on the UNESCO – International Hydrological Progamme Advisory Board for human settlement, water and sanitation and holds the position of Vice President. In 2017 she was awarded the Golden Jubilee Award for excellence in leadership in service delivery by His Excellency the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Rose is very active in the International Water Association and was at the helm of the International Water Chief Executive Organization forum held in June 2016 that brought together 14 CEOs from various water utilities in Africa and 56 key stakeholders to deliberate on the strategic priorities of the water sector in Africa and efforts to strengthen collaboration.

      Power Utility of the Year
      Ethiopian Electric Power, Ethiopia

      Mr Abeb Kahsay, Executive Officer of EEP received this very prestigious award for the company: “It is an honour to be here and hold this award. It is a sign of the success of what we have achieved so far. It will strengthen us for the future to work even harder to serve our people so that we can address the problems of the community.” 

      Ethiopia strives to be the hub of renewably sourced energy in the region and beyond. Ethiopian Electric Power is instrumental to this ambitious plan. EEP is a sole provider of bulk electricity to users, mainly to the Ethiopian Electric Utility; direct industrial customers; and exports to neighbouring countries. Djibouti and the Sudan are connected to Ethiopia by a high-voltage power line.

      EEP operates and maintains more than 12 hydropower and three wind power plants distributed in different parts of the country with installed capacity of more than 4290MW, including the Gibe III plant (1870MW). There are two major hydropower projects under construction, namely the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (6000MW) and GenaleDawa 3 (254MW).

      Water Utility of the Year
      Lilongwe Water Board, Malawi

      “We have made a lot of improvements and innovations in the last couple of years and this has made a difference in how we deliver our service in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi,” said a very pleased Alfonso Chikuni , CEO of Lilongwe Water Board, on Wednesday evening. “This award is for all the employees of Lilongwe Water Board who really took to the new institutional direction and approach that we had to take before we could produce results.”

      The Lilongwe Water Board is a statutory organisation that supplies water to the residents of Lilongwe, the capital City of Malawi and its surrounding areas. Currently, Lilongwe City has a population of about 1,000,000 and the company serves around 70% of the population. There are about 65,000 metered customers and more than 700 water Kiosks (communal water selling points) within the City. The total pipe network for LWB is estimated at 1,600 Km.

      Successes in 2016/17 include the significant strides it has made in the reduction of Non-Revenue Water from around 41% in January 2016 to 26% by December 2016 thereby offering a cheaper water source in a way and by increasing capacity to deliver services by initiation and completion of infrastructure projects.

      Large Scale Renewable Energy Project (10MW+)
      Bokpoort CSP Power Plant, ACWA Power, ACWA POWER, South Africa

      Nandu D Bhula is the CEO of the power plant: “this is the second time we have won an award here, the first time we won for Community Project of the Year, now we are recognised for being the best Large Scale Renewable Energy Project. With CSP being a renewable project with some storage makes it a reliable load following operator, so it gives the best of both worlds which is fantastic. For Bokpoort it is just amazing to be the pioneer of, what I think, a revolution in the solar industry.”

      ACCIONA, SENER and TSK built Concentrated Solar Power plant in South Africa set a new African record for the continuous, round the clock supply of electricity. Within the first month of commercial operation, the newly-inaugurated 50 MW Bokpoort CSP plant, produced electricity for a continuous period of 161 hours, equivalent to almost six days.

      Bokpoort CSP’s 50MW is equal to powering 21 000 households and has over 8 600 collectors at the plant with more than 136 000 mirrors. At its construction peak, over 1 300 jobs were created at the plant, filled largely by the local community previously dependent on farm work.

      Small-Scale Sustainable Energy Project (under 5MW)
      Stortemelk Hydro, Renewable Energy Holdings, South Africa

      “It is a great honour for us to be recognised amongst all our peers across the continent. There are not many small scale projects such as ours around in South Africa so we sometimes feel a little bit on our own. We do our best to try and keep the standard high so for me and my team this is great encouragement that we are going in the right direction” – this is according to Anton-Louis Olivier, MD of Stortemelk Hydro.

      Stortemelk Hydro RF is located in Clarens in the Free State, South Africa and has a capacity of 4.5MW. The Stortemelk Hydro will result in a reduction of 540 000 tons of CO2 emissions over its 20 year life span and was constructed on an existing dam.

      The Hydro is the first to use a vertical Kaplan turbine and air cooled indoor transformers in hydro power in South Africa. The highly integrated and compact design reduces operational risk and maintenance costs. The project was constructed on time and on budget with 98% availability in the first 6 months.

      Technology of the Year
      Solar Turtle, South Africa

      “What is really unique about Solar Turtle are the safety features for women working in high crime rate areas such as informal settlements, rural communities or war-torn countries of the world. That is what we are really hoping to achieve. Not just making examples for the next generation of women to follow, but doing it safely.”  So said James van der Walt, CEO of Solar Turtle, who accepted the award at the gala dinner on Wednesday night.

      The SolarTurtle is an ultra-secure solar powered MU in a box. Shipping containers are converted into small, mobile solar power stations. These SolarTurtles are designed for off-grid schools where conventional solar PV solutions will not work. In crime-ridden areas across Africa traditional solar PV solutions have failed. The solar panels are typically stolen within a few months of deployment. The problem is so severe that the Gauteng provincial government was prepared to dismiss solar power as a possible electricity solution for schools and community centres.

      The SolarTurtle is a solar kiosk designed for unparalleled security and maximum portability. These container-based solar kiosks are assembled off site then deployed by simply offloading the container and unfolding the panels towards the sun. In the morning when it is safe the panels are unfolded from their secure location to feed from the rays of the sun. In the evening when it is unsafe the panels are folded away into the hard shell of the container. The power from the SolarTurtle feeds the school and a small woman-owned solar kiosk business inside the container.

      Deal of the Year
      100MW Kathu Solar Park Project, Engie, South Africa

      “This is really a great achievement by a large, multi-disciplinary team and we are very proud of this award,” said a delighted Maarten van der Horst, Director and Chief Business Development for power and gas investments at ENGIE Africa, after receiving the award. He continued: ”we are also very grateful and proud of the engagement we received from the local community and from the national government. At the moment the construction is very much underway, the financial close took place in May 2016 and the construction is on track within the timelines and COD is anticipated at the end of 2018. We are making every effort to deliver and stick to that timeline.”

      In July 2016 a consortium led by French multinational electric utility company Engie achieved financial close on the 100MW Kathu Solar Park project in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Developed by the consortium, the park is sponsored by the SIOC Community Development Trust, Lereko Metier, Public Investment Corporation, Investec Bank, and the Kathu Local Community Trust. Lenders on the project are Rand Merchant Bank, Nedbank Capital, ABSA Capital, Investec, and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

      Once in operation, Kathu Solar Park will have the capacity to supply 80,000 households across South Africa and will help reduce carbon emissions by 300,000t every year. The solar project is expected to be connected to the grid by the end of 2018, supplying clean and dispatchable electricity to the South African power utility Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

      Outstanding Contribution Award: Power
      Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, Founding Partner, GreenWish Partners, France, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire & Nigeria

      Charlotte thanked the award audience via video message: “We all have a duty to respond to Africa’s pressing energy deficit. Renewable energy together with innovative business models are at the core of the solution. By giving me this award you are proving that I was right in the path that I chose eight years ago. I am grateful for your trust, especially as a woman entrepreneur.”

      Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian is founder and CEO of GreenWish Partners, the independent power producer dedicated to renewable energies in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past 12 months, GreenWish led the development, structuring and financing of the Senergy 2 solar PV plant, the first solar Independent Power Producer in West Africa. Charlotte’s commitment to the sustainable development of Africa is also demonstrated by her involvement and board positions in the R20 NGO dedicated to climate change actions, the Women in Africa Initiative, as well as sponsor and Jury Member of the Energy Generation Academy out of Lomé, Togo. She also acts as business angel and mentor with a focus on social and environmental entrepreneurs as well as young artists. She has initiated an ambitious Photo Project “Solar Magic” with Initiative for Global Development to illustrate the potential of solar on Africa society, economy and environment.

      Young Energy Leader
      Fatima Oyiza Ademoh, Founder & CEO, Ajima Youth Empowerment Foundation, Nigeria

      Fatima also spoke in a video message after she was announced the winner: “I want to thank all those who have believed in my quest to extend electricity access to off-grid communities, especially in the Waste-2-Watt (W2W) Project. And for all the young people out there, let’s keep being the agents for change in our communities.”

      Fatima Ademoh is an energy and finance specialist and currently serves as the Project Developer in the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) funded off-grid Renewable Energy project being implemented by Ajima Farms in Nigeria. In this capacity, she led the preparation of funding proposal that secured US$150,000 grant in the USADF Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge.

      Industry support
      More than 170 entries were received for the African Utility Week Industry Awards. Huawei, the well-known global information and telecommunication giant, was the lead sponsor this year while other supporting partners were Aberdare, Eaton, Enel, ESI Africa, KPMG, Lucy Electric, SBS Tanks, Standard Bank, Steinmüller Africa.

      Leading water and energy platform
      African Utility Week is organised by Spintelligent, a multi-award-winning exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the infrastructure, real estate, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors. Other well-known events by Spintelligent include Agritech Expo Tanzania, CBM-TEC, Kenya Mining Forum, Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy Central Africa (formerly iPAD Cameroon), iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum, DRC Mining Week and EduWeek. Spintelligent is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group.

      Websites: http://www.african-utility-week.com
      Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfricaUtilities
      Linkedin: African Power Forum

      Senior communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
      Telephone:  +27 21 700 3558
      Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
      Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com

      “The solar off-grid grid space is fascinating. Like telecom it is an example where development and private interests are fully compatible.”

      Exclusive interview with Harald Hirschhofer, Senior Advisor, The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), The Netherlands. Harald is organising a TCX Risk Mitigation workshop during the F&I Forum at African Utility Week, taking place in Cape Town from 16-18 May, and will address attendees on “Understanding of risks and their pricing – how can the supply of long-term local currency financing and hedging be improved?

      1)      Let’s start with some background about your respective organisations and your role there?
      TCX is a unique global provider of innovative currency hedging solutions. We have a very strong development focus and over the past 10 years we have protected millions of borrowers in frontier and emerging markets from the horrible financial consequences on their firm and household budgets from sudden exchange rate depreciations. I am working very closely with our CEO to develop new strategic initiatives to promote local currency financing, both within the domestic financial system as well as cross border from DFIs or private investors.

      2)      What is the most exciting project you have worked on in Africa so far?
      The solar off-grid grid space is fascinating. Like telecom it is an example where development and private interests are fully compatible. Mobile banking applications have created new credit channels and even the poorest can now build a credit history and gradually accumulate assets. However, the gap between the local currency receivables and the hard-currency funding of the sector are still an Achilles heel. TCX is working with the leading firms, such as M-KOPA, and industry associations like GOGLA to reduce such systemic risks. These firms should be financed in local currencies, or if that is not possible, reduce the fx mismatch.

      3)      What did you learn from the investments that did not do so well?
      Well, TCX does not provide funding. We are providing risk management tools like swaps and forwards to all kind of investment projects around the world. Like with any other type of insurance provider, having losses is part of our business. Our losses protect our clients. For example, we lost more than US$40m in one day when the Central Bank of Azerbaijan could not defend its peg anymore, but that probably saved thousands of local firms and borrowers from heavy financial difficulties.

      4)      What in your view is the biggest misconception that people have about investing in Africa? And about renewable energy?
      I think there is too much fear about the uncertainty of some renewable business models which drive up credit spreads. For example, solar technology is well tested now, project implementation risks are low in many countries, and pay as you go schemes work with low default rates. Bankers do not yet fully appreciate this. More needs to be done to share performance information of existing firms and train bankers and investment officers. An industry association like GOGLA is well placed to make progress in this and we at TCX would certainly like to contribute.

      5)      Which countries on the continent are doing the right things? Where are the opportunities?
      Many countries have understood that a stable and modern regulatory, legal, and judiciary environment combined with stable macro-economic policies are critical for development, especially for capital intensive sectors. We must do more in standardization of contracts and processes across Africa, learning from more advanced countries.  Africa is in the unique position to leapfrog, or as some of my African friends say, to jump like an antelope across older technologies. Let us mobilize the solar and fintec entrepreneurs and empower then to find new solutions for the benefits of all. I hope that vested interests and stranded assets will not be allowed to stand in the way of new and better technologies.

      6)      You are organising the TCX Risk Mitigation workshop in the F&I Forum at African Utility Week this year. What will be your message to attendees and what can they expect of this workshop?
      Do not speculate! Entrepreneurs should strive to only accept those risks in their business model which they are able to somehow control and manage. For example, project implementation risks, supply risks. Risks which they cannot influence should be insured and the insurance costs made part of the cost envelop. FX risk, which manly consists of market fluctuation and in-convertibility risks, is one of those risks, which should be eliminated from the business model. Otherwise, an otherwise healthy firm and its customers and funders can suffer huge losses, because of events which lie completely out of their control. Think of the copper price in Zambia, or the Tuna bonds in Mozambique. We still need to make a lot of efforts in awareness building and deepen the understanding how modern financial instruments like those offered by TCX can help. The Risk Mitigation workshop at African Utility Week is an opportunity to make progress.

      Link to interview online: http://www.african-utility-week.com/TCX-HaraldHirschhofer-interview

      More interviews like this: http://www.african-utility-week.com/expertinterviews

      More about African Utility Week: http://www.african-utility-week.com/pressreleases

      Media contact:
      Senior communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
      Office: +27 21 700 3558
      Email: annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com

      Media and Website by Alex Hitzemann alex@africaag.org 

      More than 40 trainees took part in the first scientific workshop organized jointly by the Al Watania Poultry Institute of Technology (WIT) and Cobb-Vantress for the Saudi poultry industry.

      During the three-day event Cobb specialists from Europe and Brazil shared their experience with the trainees on poultry breeding, management of broiler breeders and broilers, health and vaccination, ventilation in hot climates and nutrition.

      “The participants greatly appreciated the efforts of Cobb,” said Dr Shakeel Ahmad, head of the institute.  “They found the training sessions very useful in complementing their poultry knowledge and skills. They would like such training programs and workshops to be conducted regularly to benefit the poultry industry of Saudi Arabia.”

      Hosam Amro, Cobb senior technical service manager in the region, stated: “The business partnership between Cobb and the Al Watania Poultry Company, not only in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but in the region, is one of the most solid relationships in the Middle East.

      “Since 1998 Cobb has been working closely with Al Watania to provide the best genetics to meet the growing market demand for fresh whole bird birds and cut-up products. Participating in the WIT training programme is another area of business development where Cobb and Al Watania are working closely together to benefit the future of the local industry.”

      Matthew Wilson, Cobb technical services director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, added:  “WIT is a unique facility not only in the Middle East region but globally, combining both scientific poultry training with practical experience in its training facility.

      “It’s an honor for the Cobb technical team to support WIT in training the next generation of poultry specialists. There is no greater contribution you can make to your fellow citizens than providing healthy, affordable and sustainable protein. Cobb is the global leader in poultry genetics while Al Watania is the leading producer of sustainable poultry production in the Middle East, and together our partnership goes from strength to strength.”

      Participants at the workshop included trainees from the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture & Water, and the Gassim Veterinary School.

      –  The Al Watania Poultry Institute of Technology was established in 2014 to promote education and skills in the poultry industry in Saudi Arabia, with the first intake of students in 2015.  At present more than 120 are receiving training at the institute, which is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, hatchery and farms to provide hands-on tuition.  Cobb joined hands with WIT in 2016 to provide practical training at its European and US production facilities, and in July the first eight WIT trainees gained first-hand experience there.


      Cobb-Vantress, Inc. is a poultry research and development company engaged in the production improvement and sale of broiler breeding stock.  Cobb is the world’s oldest pedigree broiler breeding company. Founded in 1916, Cobb has grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of broiler breeding stock with distribution into over 120 countries. Cobb has contributed to the dynamic efficiency and growth of an industry that has transformed chicken into an economically affordable healthy protein source for many of the over seven billion people in the world.




      This year, Welcome2Africa International is partnering with African Development Bank, AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commissionto put forward its Agrique Africa Investment Mission 2017 in Nigeria, with the core goal of catalyzing finance and investments into Nigeria’s Agribusiness sector.

      Click on image to see the full promotional poster

      On our panel this year, we have put together amazing panelists to expose to us the key considerations necessary to structure investments into the Food and Agribusiness enterprise in Nigeria.

      A sneak peek into their discussion will follow the line of thought of the Food and Agricultural Organization indicating the link between food and agriculture, its evolution and continuum.

      A peep into the future is a revelation that, the food industry will increase the quality and diversity of the products it produces. Food manufacturers will have particular expectations of agriculture as a supplier of their raw materials.

      It will be safe to note that quality of production will be a key consideration to structuring investments into Agribusiness and thus agribusiness will see to it that it meets increasing emphasis on quality. In all, Quality has proven beyond doubt to be a key consideration in accessing investments.

      In terms of food processing, investors are most likely to consider the ease of processing in the food industry. Like all industries, reductions in the costs of capital equipment, wages and inventories are important objectives. For example, farmers who can deliver on the ‘just-in-time’ principle will contribute towards reducing a manufacturer’s working capital and space requirements.

      You can expect to get a full dose of the identified considerations that you can consider as investors to structure investments into Food and Agribusiness at AAIM 2017 as these amazing panelists give their explicit contributions at their session at the Investment Forum.

      Dr. Irede Ajala ; Senior Investment Adviser to the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria

      Adenike Fajemirokun, PhD, SIRM; Group Chief Risk Officer, Dangote Industries Limited Martin Eigbike; Associate Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors Richard Ferguson; African agribusiness advisor, PwC Moderator: Christof Walter – Christof Walter Consulting Ltd, UK

      AAIM 2017 is closer than ever and it is made up of an Investment forum component open to just 150 delegates, and takes place on 13th+14th of June, at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria. There is also an exclusive Site Visit for 8 Investors to visit 4 pre-vetted Agribusinesses.

      Key features of AAIM2017 include
      • Examination of the latest investment/finance strategies for Nigeria’s Agribusiness Sector
      • Blended Finance for Agribusiness development in Nigeria
      • Innovative and Sustainable financing approaches for Agribusiness in Nigeria
      • Government policies to promote investment and agribusiness development in Nigeria
      • Agribusiness investment trends in Nigeria
      • Pitches from pre-vetted Agribusinesses seeking expansion finance
      • Case studies from Agribusiness Investors in Nigeria
      You cannot afford to miss this!

      Follow this link, https://www.agriqueafrica.com/copy-of-registeration-form-nigerian to register now!

      By Munyaradzi Makoni

      International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) has promoted protein-based bait, fruit fly mania in Embu, Kilifi, Meru and Tharaka-Nithi Counties of Kenya, where fruit growers there have used it with positive benefits.

      The protein food bait technology is one of the key components in the integrated pest management (IPM) packages specifically targeting female flies.

      “Growers in Embu and Meru have reported that when they use the icipe fruit fly IPM package, fruit fly infestation of mango fruits is reduced by over 90 percent, insecticide use is reduced by 46 percent, amount of mango produce rejected by buyers is reduced by 55% and the income of growers is increased by 40 per cent,” Liz Nganga, icipe spokesperson said.

      Fruit flies, are estimated to cost the African continent USD2 billion every year.

      Previously, Mazoferm, a product of Corn Products Kenya, had been on the market and more than 15,000 growers were using the technology.

      When the business strategy of Corn Products Kenya changed, Mazoferm was pulled out of the market in 2012.

      “This created a gap and growers have been asking icipe for assistance for an alternative product to use,” said Nganga.

      A new Fruitfly Protein Bait Facility in Makuyu, Muranga County, about 80 kilometres from Nairobi, Kenya was officially launched on 29 March.

      Operated by Kenya Biologics, the facility will commercially produce Fruitfly Mania, a bait to enable growers to control fruit flies, the main pests of mangoes in Kenya.

      “Our investment with Kenya Biologics was meant to fill this gap and is therefore strategically poised to benefit the growers who can now access a protein food bait product locally (Fruitfly Mania), at a cost 70 percent cheaper than imported products,” Nganga said.

      Sunday Ekesi, Interim Director of Research and Partnerships and head, African Fruit Fly Programme at icipe said although there is high demand for protein food baits in Kenya, currently, there were no local producers of the products.

      “This means that protein baits have to be imported and retailed at exorbitant prices, which makes them unaffordable to smallholder growers,” said Ekesi.

      Fruitfly mania is based on icipe research, which has shown that an extract from brewer’s yeast, an industrial by-product from a local brewery, is capable of controlling fruit flies to levels comparable to commercial protein baits on the Kenyan market.

      icipe is currently promoting the technology at Machakos, Makueni and Kitui.

      The new facility has a production capacity of 2,000 litres per day, enough to meet the local demand of over 229,000 households whose livelihoods depend on mango production in Kenya.

      About 400,000 mango growers would benefit from fruitfly mania, once the product is registered across East Africa to include Uganda and Tanzania.

      Nganga said icipe recommends that growers use two or more fruit fly Integrated Pest Management packages to get greater benefit.

      icipe’s fruit fly integrated pest management research over the past 20 years has been supported by donors from Germany, Switzerland, the European Union, UK, Sweden and Kenya.

        It has been a remarkably year, 2016, with its attendant successes and failures for peoples, industries and nations. More remarkably, it has been a year of great technological strides and achievements with technologies that provided avenues to solving big problems and opening up opportunities, ranging from self-driving cars to Advanced Robotics, Improved Data Science, Genomics, Improved Solar energy technologies etc.

        Agricultural stakeholders and technology enthusiasts in Africa also witnessed the introduction of the Zenvus Technology, a unique innovation from a team of highly talented individuals led by Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe driven to exploit the ever burgeoning power of technology and science to revolutionize farming output efficiency and productivity in Africa.

        4ecd56cc-c17f-46dc-aafb-a127af6f5006_111_20161212_foto1kl_Ghana maize afflicted by numerous stresses PhotoMarloes_van_Loon_WUR“Zenvus is an intelligent solution for farms that uses proprietary electronics sensors to collect soil data like moisture, nutrients, pH etc and send them to a cloud server via GSM, satellite or Wifi. Algorithms in the server analyze the data and advice farmers on farming. As the crops grow, the system deploys special cameras to build vegetative health to help detection of drought stress, pests and diseases. The data generated is aggregated, anonymized and made available via subscription for agro-lending, agro-insurance, commodity trading to banks, insurers and investors”, Prof Ndubuisi Ekekwe.

        The Zenvus technology among other things would allow farmers and stakeholders make informed decisions by providing real time data for the farmers and stakeholders thus eliminating guesses on timing, procedure and crops for farming. Indeed, as the American Data Scientist W. Edward Feming quipped , “Without data, you are just another person with an opinion” we have long continued to rely on opinions and poor forecast to make decisions on Agricultural investments and this has taken a toll on agricultural yield. The technology also provides data analytics that relate information on possible outbreak of pests and diseases in farms which usually reduces yield, allowing farmers to initiate preventive measures.

        This is a timely innovation for an industry that has been tipped to boost many economies in Africa with many African leaders pledging commitment towards Agriculture in the present and future. It is a peerless stride in an industry seldom associated with innovation in Africa. However, as continuous push is being made for a deeper penetration of mechanized farming in Africa, it is necessary to remind ourselves that Agriculture has remained an industry driven by innovation and technology in the developed societies. Agricultural yields have been maximized through innovation, technology and science as demonstrated by countries like Israel. In the economic account of Israel in their phenomenal book, Start-up Nation, the authors recounted that President Shimon Peres had asserted that Agriculture is ninety-five percent science and five percent work. This drove his underlying commitment for innovation in Agriculture which saw Israel increase its agricultural yield seventeen times within twenty-five years.

        The promise of this innovation is apparent and its impact is scalable and measurable. Little wonder that within months of its introduction, the technology was a finalist of the 2016 Singularity University Food Grand Challenge and have been featured in many leading technology reviews. The technology has also recorded noteworthy milestones within the last 6 months of launch, such as a grant support from Facebook to develop the artificial intelligence which will power farming decision making via Zenvus Bot which is on beta at the moment.

        The technology has also been quickly adopted by leading Agricultural stakeholders and policy proponent in Africa. For instance, Zenvus will begin piloting its technology for African Development Bank which wants to deploy it across all farms it is providing funding. The Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria is also adopting Zenvus as the technology platform to drive agricultural innovation in Nigeria. More recently, Zenvus have signed a contract with an African farm union to support 12.2 million farmers from 2017.

        Nonetheless, more commitment would be required by the government and its attendant social institutions across Africa towards delivering needed incentives that can encourage and support more farmers in integrating this technology to increase crop yield.

        As Professor Joel Mokyr noted in his book, The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress.

        …to encourage technological creativity and innovation in a society, …three conditions have to be satisfied,… there has to be a core group of ingenious and resourceful innovators who are both willing and able to challenge their physical environment for their improvement,… Secondly, economic and social institutions have to encourage these potential innovators by providing the right incentive structure and thirdly such society most encourage diversity and tolerance.

        The team at Zenvus technology has done an exceptional job in developing this technology; it would be great if such technological creativity comes under the aegis of the governments and agricultural stakeholders in Africa who can devote resources towards scaling this technology for farmers because of the positive impact on farm productivity accruable to this technology. This could hold the key to more productive farming in Africa from 2017 going forward.


        Kingsley Egbo, a Commonwealth Scholar writes from the UK

        Digital Media for Africa Agribusiness Magazine by Alex Hitzemann 



        Amidst what is labelled as the worst drought in Cape Town in 100 years, a city official told delegates at the African Utility Week conference there was no way they could reasonably have anticipated the severity of this drought.

        Cape Town residents are now bracing themselves for level 4 restrictions.

        Gisela Kaiser, a city official who addressed delegates on Wednesday said despite water restrictions they are now essentially “waiting on a miracle”.
        By Friday the dam levels were already at 21, 6% down from 70% in 2015 at the start of water restrictions. Kaiser said on the brink of winter when heavier rains are expected, meteorologists now warn this winter will be as dry as the previous two.

        “Nothing can be taken for granted anymore,” she said and invited delegates to use water sparingly during their stay in the city.

        Kaiser said with the help of consumers and water restrictions they managed to cut down consumption and have so far saved up the equivalent of the Wemmershoek dam of about 59 million cubic metres which translates into about “23 600 swimming pools or approximately “295 million baths”, she boasted.

        Water losses, said Kaiser, has been reduced from about 25% in 2009 to below 15% as of today. This she attributed to various interventions among which are the rate of pipe bursts that the city managed to reduce. “It is less than half from 64 bursts p/ 100 km back in 2010 to 31 bursts per 100/km – saving millions of litres of water.”

        She told delegates the city is doing everything it can to serve almost 4 million people, “bearing in mind that Cape Town is a water scarce region and SA is the 31st driest country in the world”.

        “We know that modelling the past to predict the future is not full proof, but there is no way we could reasonably have anticipated the severity of the drought at the time. Whenever water strategy is created it is informed by historical water patterns,” she said.

        According to Kaiser additional water supply schemes for the region were deferred before the drought took hold. “The decision to defer plans for supply schemes was followed by exceptionally low rainfall.

        “At the time,” she said, “it was not practical to set aside billions of Rands for a rainy day that might not come whilst there are more pressing humanitarian needs.”

        She also referred to desalination plants as being hailed as a possible alternative, but said there was no way it could be built to scale quickly enough to compensate for such a drought.

        Meanwhile Justin Friedman, founder of FLOW (For Love of Water), an organisation committed to saving water again called on industry leaders and stakeholders present to sign a pledge to commit themselves to water conservation. Friedman told delegates this commitment can be in the form of money, time, actions or resources – all of which can make a difference in water consumption.
        Delegates will on Friday have an opportunity to visit the Langrug community water project in Franschoek to see how behaviour around water consumption can be changed for the better.

        Over 7000 decision makers from over 80 countries are attending the three day conference and expo where the latest developments, challenges and opportunities in the power and water sectors will be under the spotlight.

        Over 300 experts will over three days discuss innovative solutions to the continent’s energy and water challenges and the exciting opportunities for utilities and industry players.The conference ends Thursday.

        Written by: Alicestine October

        Issued by African Utility Week:
        Senior communications manager: Annemarie Roodbol
        Telephone: +27 21 700 3558
        Mobile: +27 82 562 7844
        Email: annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com
        Website: http://www.african-utility-week.com