AFRICA – Vital Utility Access to Power a Digital Continent

January 7, 2021

We know the pressure digital industries put on energy resources, which in turn have a considerable impact on the environment. In addition to the need to limit energy consumption, digital operators in Africa must also overcome the barrier of often shaky power grids, immature connectivity and water scarcity. As a vast continent, the picture isn’t uniform, but solutions must in general provide reliable, sustainable access to these vital resources. In this talk we cover requirements, the current situation, challenges, existing and potential solutions, and real life initiatives to support Digital Africa.

Sessions from this talk

Africa is sometimes referred to as the dark continent. Traditionally, because so much about the continent was unknown, there was so much to discover. Today, though, it could be because of the shaky power grid and frequent blackouts. Living with this is a day-to-day annoyance for many Africans, but when it comes to digital infrastructure and data centres, a power outage is simply not an option. Africa is also struggling with rapid desertification and water management challenges, even in the most prosperous parts of the continent. In this session we’ll be talking about how these challenges impact the data centre and digital infrastructure industries and how leaders are addressing them to secure the future. This introduction will provide the backdrop to our expert panel discussion.
Nomsa Kana holds multiple accolades and is dedicated to building solid foundations for a sustainable digital Africa in more ways than one. In this fireside chat, we talk with about some of the areas Nomso is active in, notably nuclear energy and fibre connectivity, contributing to Southern Africa’s digital evolution. Telling us about her passions and what fuels these, Nomso shares her vision with us and explains how it can be achieved, what the gaps and priorities are to reach an strong and vibrant digital-enabled economy in Africa.
This case study presents how East Africa’s largest and safest data center is investing in green renewable energy in the bid to curtail climate change while guaranteeing continued power to the facility. We discuss the strategic project, its implementation and impacts with Group CEO of DPA Africa providing the solution, and Dan Kwach, General Manager of East Africa Data Center. This pioneering initiative is inspirational, and the hopes are that it will inspire more digital infrastructure operators on the continent to embrace and invest in renewable energy solutions.
In this fireside chat, we talk with Seydou Kane, MD Africa for Eaton’s Electrical Sector taking a quick look at the state of power as a utility across the continent. We examine the barriers to digital infrastructure operations and growth, and to the digitalisation of industries linked with power access/availability. Seydou tells us of solutions that are currently available and what sort of innovation is emerging to respond to increasing power demands including an example of good/best practice power supply and usage in digital infrastructure.

Speakers in this Session


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