IDIS Holds Webinar on Energy Integration for Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development in Africa

IDIS was privileged to host its second Webinar themed ‘Energy Integration for Post Covid-19

Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development in Africa’. This event brought together field

practitioners and academic experts such as IDIS Director Amb. Prof. Maria Nzomo, UoN Vice-

Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama who served as the host of the event, UNEP Head of Energy Unit

Dr Meseret Zemedkun who moderated over the event, Prof. Robinson Musembi and PhD

Candidate Zerubbabel Tefera as the keynote speakers and expert panellists such as Senior

Environment Officer Mr Linus Mofor, Southern Africa Power Pool Director Mr Alison Chikava,

Dr Kenneth Mbali, Dr Yohannes Hailu and Dr Maluki among others.

The main question of the day was the possibility of Africa integrating within the framework of

energy in post COVID-19 era. The delegation spent the different sessions deliberating on not only

the importance of regional integration in terms of energy, drawing success stories from Southern

Africa Power Pool (SAPP), but also minimizing nationalism which was attributed to causing a

great hindrance towards achieving the 7th SDG [access to clean and green energy].

The keynote speakers provided great presentations and background information on matters

energy that laid the foundation for the panellists to share their professional opinions on some of

the challenges and mitigation measures that need to be taken to achieve the greater SDGs and the

African Union Agenda 2063.

Some of the challenges brought up include, but not limited to: lack of infrastructure, governance

barrier, underinvestment and inconsistent national energy policies. Mitigation measures such as

harmonization of theory and political practise through the inclusion of necessary ministries such

as the Ministry of Energy, inclusion of electricity as a tradable service/commodity in the Africa

Continental Free Trade Area and integration of financial supply, power pools and regulatory

frameworks were suggested as practices that would bear fruits in this topic and ensure the

‘lighting’ up of Africa and sustaining the economy post-COVID.

The event was an interactive and timely discussion that brought together different disciplines and

heads from various countries. Without energy, as noted by Prof. Stephen Kiama, many SDG

goals such as health will not be achieved by 2030 hence stressing the importance of collective

effort from both academia and political arena. Additionally, Prof. Kiama called for all the

persons present to actively educate, guide, train, research and apply the outcomes of the

deliberations to formulate better policies and enhance regional cooperation in post COVID

Africa.