The African Energy Leadership Centre (AELC) at Wits Business School has signed a three-year agreement with the African Energy Chamber (AEC) with the goal of advancing the growth and development of Africa’s energy sector, as well as championing access to power for all Africans, in order to eliminate energy poverty by 2030.
The agreement will, among other things, see the launch of an internship/fellowship program for Wits Business School students who want to advance their careers in the energy sector. The two parties will also work together on energy research projects, conferencing, and speaking engagements.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with the AEC.” “This is a true meeting of minds because we share a vision of building industry knowledge, capacity, and skills in African energy in order for the industry to reach its full potential,” said AELC Director Professor Lwazi Ngubevana.
The AELC was established in 2017 and is Africa’s first center of its kind to offer postgraduate programs in Energy Leadership. It has also established itself as a hub for new research and a forum for solution-oriented discussion among the sector’s various stakeholders.
The AEC is a non-profit organization that advocates for the abolition of energy poverty in Africa by 2030 through increased energy investment across the entire continent and the energy value chain. To that end, the AEC collaborates with organizations, local businesses, governments, and global players to promote the growth of the African energy sector, which will thrive in free markets and provide job opportunities for communities. Its primary goals are to increase investment, industry knowledge, training and capacity building, and networking.
Senior Vice President of the AEC, Mr. Verner Ayukegba, said: “As the voice of energy in Africa, the Chamber collaborates with key industry stakeholders across the continent in order to drive the industry forward. Critical to our mandate is to build capacity across Africa’s energy sector through training, research, and knowledge-sharing. Our partnership agreement with Wits, one of Africa’s most prestigious universities, will go a long way to ensuring the optimal growth of the industry through much-needed research and skills development.”
He further noted that over 600 million Africans have no access to power and 900 million have no access to clean cooking fuels, most of whom are women and children. “It is imperative that we focus on increasing access to power in Africa to ensure that many more citizens of this continent are able to benefit from improved health care delivery, improved employment opportunities, adequate nutrition, and much more, all of which are dependent on power being available in reliable and affordable quantities.”
For Professor Maurice Radebe, Head and Director of WBS and former energy executive, the partnership between the AELC and AEC couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The future of our continent rests, to a large extent, on how we manage the energy sector. We are on a strong growth trajectory in Africa, but this growth has to be carefully managed. Joining forces with the African Energy Chamber in developing leadership skills and collaborating on research is a significant step towards solving our energy crisis and ultimately eliminating the scourge of energy poverty in Africa.”