“A shift in resources allocation towards the health sector to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic is going to starve other sectors like the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector of much needed financing,” says Paul Yillia, award-winning water sector expert.

Paul Yillia, Guest Research Scholar (Water Programme) at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, is the moderator of the live discussion on “WASH as the first line of defense against Covid-19: Unpacking the African water sector response,“ next week during the Virtual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa.

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Yillia adds; “Often WASH is treated independently from the health sector, and given the importance of WASH in preventing the spread of COVID-19, I think this is an opportunity and actually a need for authorities to consider WASH as an essential enabler to the public health measures that are being considered and put in place and this applied to resources allocation as well.”

The session is one of 10 unique, live discussions focusing on the power, energy and power sectors on the continent that are free to attend online from 11-15 May 2020. During the weeklong webinar series, attendees will be able to engage with speakers and fellow attendees through an exclusive virtual matchmaking digital tool.

Discussion topics will include private sector investment opportunities in the power and water sectors, utility maintenance, as well as challenges that cities and municipalities face regarding revenue management. View the full programme here.

World-class speakers

“The Virtual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa is a completely free initiative,” event director Evan Schiff explains, “open and available to any interested parts of the sector. It is our way to offer both our long time partners and friends as well as new acquaintances the opportunity to learn, connect and engage. As always, the event will feature world-class speakers, an insightful programme and business matchmaking opportunities, albeit online.”

The programme will include:

Monday, 11 May 2020
13h00: Exploring private sector participation in the African power and water sector
15h00: Adopting new behaviours to influence emissions across Africa

Tuesday, 12 May 2020
13h00: Maintenance: key to keeping the lights on
15h00: The energy transition for Africa in a post COVID-19 world

Wednesday, 13 May 2020
13h00: How to attract investment opportunities for South African SMMEs working in the green economy
15h00: Energy access matters

Thursday, 14 May 2020
12h30: CEO Forum – Financial health in the aftermath of Covid-19: lessons learnt and best practices for African power utilities
15h00: WASH as the first line of defense against Covid-19: unpacking the African water sector response

Friday, 15 May 2020
13h00: Municipal Leaders Forum: Solutions for city and municipal revenue management
15h00: Key considerations in smart grid and metering communication

For more information about confirmed speakers and to register go to: https://www.african-utility-week.com/virtual/virtual-programme

Click here for the full interview with Paul Yillia.

The virtual event, taking place from 11-15 May 2020, is a free, online initiative after the 20th annual African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The live event will now take place from 24-26 November at the CTICC in Cape Town.

It is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals. The event brings together over 10 000 decision makers from over 90 countries, including 35 African countries, to source the latest solutions and meet over 350 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions, the event also boasts a CPD-accredited strategic conference and technical presentations with over 300 expert speakers.

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