The second edition of the iPAD Rwanda Power & Infrastructure Investment Forum that took place in November in Kigali has shown a 60% increase in attendance and according to the state power utility REG has contributed to an increased interest in the local energy market.
“The conference certainly opens Rwanda to the international energy players. Since the iPAD Rwanda 2014 edition, we have seen an increase of new energy players in the market”, says Wilson Karegyeya, Director Commercial Services, Energy Utility Corporate Ltd (REG), in Rwanda. He adds: “the exchange of ideas, strategies and the direct networking with delegates enrich Rwanda Energy Group’s knowledge for sustainable operations. We welcome the third edition ofiPAD Rwanda in 2016”.
iPAD Rwanda offers a platform for private investors, project developers, consultants, technology and solution providers and financiers looking for opportunities in Rwanda’s energy, infrastructure and mining sectors. The second edition of the event again enjoyed important support from the Kigali government and parastatals and the Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure, the Honourable Mr James Musoni, delivered the keynote address on “Boosting private investment for national infrastructure and industrial developments.”
“The active support for this event by the local power utility, REG Ltd, and the responsible ministry is absolutely vital” says iPAD Rwanda power portfolio director Stewart Bundock, adding “it demonstrated in no uncertain terms again that the energy sector is a priority in Rwanda’s development agenda of Vision 2020 to achieve 70% electrification connectivity by 2018 and 563MW generation capacity. Through iPAD Rwanda, the government was also able to showcase the incentives that are in place for developers.”
60% increase in attendance
This year, iPAD Rwanda drew 380 attendees compared to the 230 at the inaugural event, an increase of 60%. Thirty countries were represented in Kigali this year, compared to 23 in 2014 while 19 sponsors, compared to last year’s 14, were able to showcase their services and technologies and meet with high-level government decision makers and industry stakeholders.
Symbion Power, a well-known international power developer of electrical infrastructure projects, returned as the diamond sponsor for iPAD Rwanda.
Zelda Weitz is Symbion Power’s COO: “the iPAD Rwanda Forum provided Symbion Power with ample opportunities to showcase our strong interest for investment opportunities in Rwanda. Various discussions and networking events also allowed Symbion officials to discuss our work to develop a 50 Megawatt (MW) methane gas-to-power plant on Lake Kivu from both technical and financial perspectives. For example, Symbion’s general manager for Rwanda, Alexis Kabuto, was able to brief forum attendees on his pioneering work commissioning the first ever successful gas-to-power operation on Lake Kivu and how that experience will help Symbion further develop its 50 MW project.”
STEG International Services were platinum sponsors while KCB Bank and Spedag Interfreight joined as gold sponsors.
More speaker highlights on the programme included:
– Abel Didier Tella, Director General, Association of Power Utilities of Africa, Côte d’Ivoire.
– Jean Bosco Mugiraneza, CEO, REG Ltd
– Ambassador Erica Barks Ruggles, US Embassy, Rwanda
– Issa Dione, Director of Large Generation Projects, Senelec, Senegal
– Ishmael Tetteh Oku, Acting Manager, Technical Investigations, Electricity Company of Ghana
– Dr Ivan Twagirashema, Chairman, Energy Private Developers (EPD) Association
– Christian Rwakunda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda
Impressed by the quality
iPAD Rwanda also offered a unique business matchmaking session and a technical site visit to the Gigawatt solar power plant.
“I was impressed by the quality of the presentations given by the speakers, the efficiency of the organisers and the amount of interviews I was granted with people that I otherwise would have found difficult to connect with. I will sure attend future similar events” says Jaap du Preez, CEO of NCE Consulting in Rwanda.
A special mining roundtable briefing, which was hosted by the Hon. Dr Evode Imena, Minister of State in charge of mining in the Ministry of Natural Resources of Rwanda, provided a unique opportunity for prospective investors to engage directly with the minister. “The Mining Roundtable presented an opportunity to have one-to-one dialogue with the top government authorities including the mining minister himself which was very positive and encouraging”, says Indaka Jayasuriya, Executive Director, International Consortium, Sri Lanka.
The iPAD Rwanda Power & Mining Investment Forum will return to Kigali from 1-2 November 2016. The event is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.