On June 19-20, 2014 the first Regional Student Energy Summits will take place simultaneously in Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America. The African Student Energy Summit (AfSES) will occur at the southern tip of the continent at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa. Student Energy is the mastermind behind this concept, with dynamic International Student Energy Summits previously hosted in Norway and Canada. The amalgamation of a multidisciplinary delegate base of students from around the continent aspires to create a network of driven individuals looking to make a difference in the African energy sector.
South Africa has the world’s ninth largest recoverable coal reserve and holds 95 percent of Africa’s total coal reserves. Additionally, it is the fifth largest coal exporter in the world. Significant shale gas resources are also currently being discovered in the country. Its leading city in energy, Cape Town, has been rightly selected to host the AfSES, and is the first city in Africa to have created an Integrated Metropolitan Environmental Policy (IMEP) and to have developed a Climate Change and Energy Action Plan.
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The AfSES aims to engage students in discussion about their role in a transition to a sustainable energy future, both for their region and for the world. The overarching goals to educate, inspire and unite will pervade through the programme. With keynote speeches, panel discussions and interactive sessions being the framework of the programme, ideas and solutions from the student delegates will be invoked. The following pillars will connect all of the Regional Student Energy Summits: Markets and Regulations, Global Energy Dynamics, and Technology and Innovation.
Whilst Africa is home to the largest diversity of wildlife and exciting adventure, it is also the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent where energy issues continue to pose a problem in terms of accessibility, affordability and reliability, especially for disadvantaged groups. However as a signatory of the Kyoto protocol supported by the United Nations and host of COP17, South Africa is making big leaps for Africa in the energy revolution. Through engaging young, bright minds and tackling energy realities of the continent, the African Student Energy Summit envisions discussion that will inspire a powerful paradigm shift; to incorporate sustainable and green innovations into our future, and to ensure equitable service provision.