The US-Africa Energy Summit 2017 to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, on September 18-19, 2017, is a solution-driven summit that would offer firms and investors in the energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa the means and opportunities to seriously address the perennial shortage of electricity supply in their respective countries through collaborations and partnerships with US-based firms, funding from growth fund managers, and financial institutions that specialize in energy projects. In addition to these private sources of funding, federal and state governments in Africa, the World Bank, the IMF, and the Power Africa project led by the US government, have dedicated material resources and funding to encourage private investments in the sub-continent’s energy sector.
The US-Africa energy summit, co-convened by the International Business Resources Center at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and Council on African Security and Development (CASADE), is designed to be an annual event with alternating venues in Africa and the United States, thus providing maximum exposure of what the summits have to offer to an ever-increasing pool of participants. To achieve its objectives each summit would serve as an enabling forum for collaborative initiatives and partnerships with established power companies in the US. But more importantly, they afford both US and African energy companies opportunities for growth through innovative research and product development, technology transfer, and financial stability. Furthermore, the summits would help shape a model for future energy generation, transmission, and distribution that recognizes the need to improve older technologies (coal-fired plants, oil and gas), while enhancing the capacity for renewable energy such as wind, biomass, natural gas, and solar-based power generation. The inaugural summit of 2017 articulates the first steps in this promising enterprise.