Quantum Global Group holds a spotlight to Africa’s electricity sector

Left to right: Graham Smith, Mutiu Sunmonu, Mthuli Ncube, Agatha Nnaji, Thomas Ladner

PRESS OFFICE: Djembe Communications

African focused investment firm Quantum Global Group hosted their fourth Advisory Board Symposium which addressed the transformative potential and investment opportunities across Africa’s energy sector.

The Symposium was opened by newly appointed Advisory Board Deputy Chair and leading Swiss lawyer, Dr Thomas Ladner, who introduced Dr Cheick Diarra, Chairman of the African Legal Network and former acting Prime Minister of Mali, who also recently joined the Quantum Global Group Advisory Board.

The panel featured some of Africa’s leading commercial energy practitioners including Agatha Nnaji, Managing Director, Geometric Power, Nigeria, Graham Smith, Vice-President for Businesses Development, Off – Grid Electric, Tanzania and Mutiu Sunmonu, Chairman of Julius Berger and former country Chair of Shell companies, Nigeria.

The session was moderated by Professor Mthuli Ncube, the Group’s Head of Research, expert public speaker and whose past experience as Chief Economist and Vice President for the African Development Bank (AfDB) allowed him to examine the key drivers and solutions for growth in Africa’s energy sector.

At the outset, the speakers set the tone for the audience about Africa’s power sector before tackling the key topics under discussion which were the Costs, Trends and Growth Prospects of Energy Infrastructure, Government and Institutional Support as well as the Opportunities and Challenges for investors.

Mr Smith held a spotlight to the East African energy market. His company, Off – Grid Electric focuses on proving clean, mainly solar energy to households that suffer from expensive, unreliable or no access to grids. He mentioned that the regulation system in this region has many positive aspects and that well-regulated countries, such as Tanzania and Rwanda, with imperfect markets and opportunities that facilitate foreign investors, are focusing on off-grid supply. Mr Sunmonu concurring with Mr Smith said that “investors should recognise the significant opportunity for off-grid power solutions in Africa and more research should be encouraged in that area.”

The panel went on to discuss about government and institutional implementation of legal, regulatory and policy regimes for African energy project development. According to Mr Sunmonu – who spoke from his extensive experience in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector – said that investments in the energy sector require significant collaboration between government and investors as no side has sufficient capital to implement wholesale solutions on their own. He went on to say that “when an investor comes from a market-driven economy to a government driven economy, sufficient time should be spent to understand the national sensitives of the markets they are operating within”.

Prof. Ncube transitioned the discussion into Africa’s investor climate where Mrs Nnaji contributed a key recommendation from her experience as an investor into Nigeria’s power sector through the power development company, Geometric Power – which has invested in gas technology infrastructure, power generation, and distribution projects, including the generation and supply of electricity to the ring-fenced industrial city of Aba in Abia State, Nigeria (and its environs) through their Aba Integrated Power Project.

She said that following Nigeria’s privatisation of assets “experienced foreign investors are key to unlocking Nigeria’s energy challenges and require a strengthening of national policy to create an enabling environment for investors”.

The session was concluded with closing remarks from Prof. Ncube who acknowledged the need for governments to provide sound regulation for foreign investors to meet Africa’s growing demand for energy. Prof. Ncube’s comments were matched with closing remarks from Dr Ladner who said that “It is important to foreign investors, that African governments create an enabling environment. Africa has a vast potential as the world’s final frontier market to transform its energy sector through sufficient long – term investments. This will, in turn, promote economic development”.

About Quantum Global

Quantum Global is an international group of companies active in the areas of private equity investments, investment management, private wealth management as well as macroeconomic research and econometric modelling. Our team combines a solid track record and proven expertise to identify and execute unique investment opportunities with focus on Africa. Quantum Global works in close partnership with key stakeholders to maximise investment value and returns through active management and value creation. For more information, visit www.quantumglobalgroup.com.

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