Africa’s Green Economy Summit was a three-day conference held in Cape Town, South Africa from 22 to 24 February 2023 where the TUMI E-bus mission was present. It was great to note that mobility, and specifically electric mobility featured quite strongly at this summit. Other key thematic issues included Green Hydrogen, gender dimensions and just transition.
“Just transition is not just about economic opportunities, but also about taking communities along” conference speaker at the summit.
The theme of the conference was “Driving the Green Economy Investment Strategy”.
The sessions featured input from notable speakers from the government of South Africa, Uganda, Morocco, Namibia and as well other key institutions from Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya and many others. The overall key message, in relation to electric mobility, was the necessity of the continent to take advantage of opportunities in the value chain. South Africa is for instance planning to build a giga factory. It was also quite delightful to get input from Mahua Acharya, with whom the TUMI E-bus mission had previously interacted with during an African delegation study tour to India. The former MD and CEO of Convergence Energy Services Ltd. of the Government of India, highlighted the successful efforts around demand aggregation and mobility as a service. This approach led to lowering costs to authorities in their ongoing procurement efforts of getting 50,000 public transport electric buses on the road.
One very important take away was the call for African authorities, particularly public transport operators to take advantage of available scale and assess opportunities in demand aggregation as they move to acquire electric buses. This could build from collaborative efforts from institutions like TUMI, particularly its presence in more than 15 African countries, as well as its fruitful partnership with key authorities and operators in the continent. Such an effort would address another key message from the conference which was that at the moment the main challenge is not the unavailability of resources/funds to run projects, but rather the issue is with closing deals.
The event was happening on the sidelines of the first formula-E event in Africa and whose key thematic approach was accelerating sustainable human progress through the power of E-racing (where innovation thrives). Also, worth noting is the fact that South Africa anticipates having 2.3 million electric vehicles on its roads in the next 10 years.