This year’s African Energy Events – Part IV
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Event: Ethiopia International Mining Conference (23rd-24th September)
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Ethiopia International Mining Conference is an opportunity to learn from the past experiences from the country’s mining sector, and to network with key figures from the industry. There will also be key exhibitions from SSAB Swedish Steel and ALS Minerals.
Event: ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum and Exhibition (6th-8th October)
Location: Accra, Ghana
The main topic of the 1st ECOWAS Exhibition will be ‘Valorising West Africa’s Mineral & Petroleum Resources through Regional Cooperation’ and is supplemented by considerations for social and environmental impact. Key players from ECOWAS governments and private sector companies will be in attendance, making the exhibition absolutely key for those looking to network with those people that truly matter in the industry.
Event: Africa Investment Exchange (8th-9th October)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
The key focus of the Africa Investment Exchange will be on identifying potential investment and project opportunities for wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, oil and gas. ACTIS, a private equity group focused on the developing world, will be the main sponsor of the event.
Event: Africa Oil Week (26th-30th October)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
The 22nd African Upstream Oil Conference will house an estimated 1,600 delegates who will have the opportunity to view up to 100 presentations on the future of the continent’s oil industry. Sponsors of the event include Exxon Mobil, Veolia, and Tullow; up to 150 government and private sector companies will also be exhibiting.
Event: West African Power Industry Convention (25-26th November)
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Sponsored by Huawei, KPMG, and Accenture, WAPIC will address power generation, transmission, and distribution issues. In attendance will be a host of public and private sector influencers. The convention will also present attendees with the opportunity to get to grips with key issues at free workshops, and will also enable extensive networking.
Event: Power Nigeria – Exhibition and Conference (3rd-5th November)
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
As Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria faces the unique challenge of rolling out energy availability to tens of millions of people, it almost goes without saying that investment opportunities will be huge, with last year’s exhibition attracting an international selection of exhibitors.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”