CESA SAIEE Young Professionals Energy & Innovation Summit


The CESA SAIEE Young Professionals Energy + Innovation Summit was hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre on Friday, 29 November. Themed ‘An African Future: Youth driving energy and technological innovation on the continent’, the summit was one of the breakaway sessions at the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) National Conference. It brought together seasoned industry experts, young professionals and students who engaged in the interactive session proudly sponsored by Old Mutual.

The welcome address was delivered by SAIEE Gauteng Centre Chairman, Teboho Machabe who welcomed attendees and thanked them for collaborating with the institute. CESA YPF National Chairperson, Yankho Banda also welcomed attendees and set out the programme for the day, she introduced speakers as the event’s programme director.

Managing Director of NetEquity Networks Inc, Sibu Mvana was the first presenter on the day and she discussed the topic ‘the case for universal internet access - leapfrogging into 4IR’. Next up was energy expert and independent consultant, Ele Ndlovu discussing blockchain and access to electricity in Africa. Young innovator and electrical engineer, Keith Katyora also spoke about the fourth industrial revolution in his address on ‘artificial intelligence in the African energy sector’, before the break.

Resuming after the break, there was a panel discussion on ‘questions and considerations for decision-makers as we bridge the gap between tertiary and industry to foster a new generation of innovators and change-makers’. The panel discussion was moderated by Ele Ndlovu and participants included Silas Zimu, CEO of Africa Energy Corporation; Innocentia Mahlangu, Project Manager at Hatch; Simangele Mphahlele, co-founder at eJoobi and Ngwana Matloa, co-founder of ABOT Technology.

Session 5 of the event was all about ‘big data and blockchain driving change in the African energy sector’. Panelists included Sean Laval, executive for solutions and innovation at SqwuidNET; Vere Shabe, CEO of Greendesign Africa; Tshibvumo Sikhwivhilu, CEO of Lamor Solar and Eskom’s Sharon Mushabe. The moderator of this session was Mlungisi Mahlangu, a corporate and M&A lawyer with extensive energy sector and international experience. The panelists also discussed ‘what are young Africans doing to address Africa’s power challenges’.

Chief of staff and TMT industry strategist at Deloitte, Garikai Matambo was the moderator for session 7 as panelists discussed ‘the other side of entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial overwhelm and the unspoken battles’. Participants in this session included founder and MD of Karani Leadership, Nizenande Machi; founder and MD of Varsity TV and PrintCrete, Refilwe Lediga and strategy and business development manager at First National Bank, Akhona Bashe.

The 8th and final session of the day saw Machabe come back to facilitate the discussion on ‘where and how to get funding as a young innovator’. The panelists in this session were Andile Skhosana, businessman and client director at Aurecon; Abu Addae, CEO at LifeCheq and Floe Mosoane, Community Manager at Uprise Africa.

The day’s proceedings were brought to an end by Keith Katyora, the outgoing CESA YPF Gauteng North Branch chair.






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