POWER-GEN Africa's big plans for 2014 conferences
POWER-GEN Africa and the inaugural DistribuTECH Africa have announced a formidable line-up of top international and local speakers for their 2014 conferences, which are now officially sanctioned as Continual Professional Development (CPD) events by the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE).
The 2014 conferences will run concurrently, alongside the power sector’s premier expo, from March 17-19 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. They will attract African dignitaries and international energy experts from sub-Saharan Africa, the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia and further afield, who will deliver their insights in a programme designed by an Advisory Board of African and international power industry experts.
Global event organisers PennWell report that more than 2,100 attendees from 63 countries and six continents attended the inaugural POWER-GEN Africa 2012, and they expect the 2014 event to attract even larger numbers of high-level decision-makers and address key technology and development issues for the sub-Saharan Africa energy marketplace through a comprehensive educational programme and three-day exhibition.
Nigel Blackaby, Event Director and Director of Conferences at the PennWell International Power Group, UK, said: “PennWell, as the biggest global event organiser in the power sector, is proud to be part of any new frontier or development, promising both business opportunity and the potential to transform lives. The current huge demand for the delivery of vital, secure energy services to the rapidly-expanding economies across the African continent offers one such opportunity.”
The events will include two technical tours – to Eskom’s new Centre for Substation Automation and Energy Management Systems (CSAEMS), Cape Town Peninsula University of Technology; and to Eskom’s Ankerlig Power Station (previously known as the Atlantis OCGT power station), one of five gas turbine power plants in South Africa.
A series of Technical Training Workshops will also give delegates the unique opportunity to receive training in various categories of the generation, transmission and distribution fields.
Blackaby added: “POWER-GEN Africa and DistribuTECH Africa bring together power engineering planning and technology expertise from fuel supply, through power generation, right across the grid and down to the level of the customer’s meter. All the elements that African utility companies are responsible for will be on show here, with the event being designed to be a meeting place to exchange views, discuss experiences and learn new ways to expand and strengthen the power industry across the many countries of Africa.”
In addition to the conference programme, POWER-GEN Africa and DistribuTECH Africa offer a substantial and world-class exhibition floor, playing host to a number of world-class suppliers and service providers, from home and abroad. Those attending POWER-GEN Africa and DistribuTECH Africa will also be able to take part in free training workshops provided by leading suppliers and thereby enhance skill levels, plus the new addition of a WADE Africa Decentralized Energy Workshop. There are also two fascinating technical tours available to those who book in advance.
For the full Preliminary Conference Programme and to download the Pre Show Guide, detailing the conference, exhibitor list, floor plan, hotel and registration information, as well as Technical Tour and Workshop details please visit www.powergenafrica.com or www.distributechafrica.com.
5 Minutes With PwC's Amanda Line on Digital Leadership
1. Define digital leadership, and what it means to be a digital leader?
Leadership has always required a specialised set of skills, such as curiosity, empathy, and decisive action. In today’s world, there is an urgent need for a new type of leader – one who has a digital mindset and has the skills to drive transformation. With the ever-expanding spectrum of new technologies, we need a new wave of digital leaders who not only understand the application of intelligent technologies in the workplace, but also know how to enable and empower their teams - and that comes from frequent upskilling. Digital leaders are represented across numerous sectors and industries, with a common goal to drive a culture of innovation and transformation.
2. What do you believe are the essential traits of a digital leader?
Knowledge of digital and data literacy is a given essential to have a strong command of the future economy. In my opinion, what’s even more important are human-centric skills. It is the soft skills such as communication, resilience, emotional intelligence, and entrepreneurial thinking that are pivotal in this new-age digital world.
Despite the demand for future skillsets, we’re currently facing the biggest skills shortage of our lifetime. PwC’s Middle East CEO survey highlighted that 80% of CEOs believe that a shortage of skills in the workforce is one of the key threats to their organisation’s growth prospects.
Part of our drive at PwC’s Academy Middle East in leading the upskilling revolution in the region is to facilitate lasting change. We deliver innovative and practical training, that includes both digital and soft skills components, for individuals and organisations across industries to create a truly future-ready workforce in the Middle East.
3. How have these traits changed since the outbreak of COVID-19, or have they remained the same but their significance has grown?
Prior to the pandemic, the World Economic Forum set an ambitious target to upskill one billion people by 2030. This was initiated to tackle the 75 million jobs expected to be displaced by automation and AI by 2022. Since Covid-19, the window of opportunity to reskill has become shorter in the newly constrained labour market.
The way we live, work and learn has changed drastically, placing digital technologies at the forefront. The pace of change has accelerated the need for upskilling and reskilling. In many organisations and economies, this crisis has highlighted the discrepancy between the skills people have and those needed for jobs in the digital world.
4. What was the role of a digital leader when the initial outbreak happened?
The need for digital leadership was brought to the forefront by the pandemic. With the huge transition to work from home (WFH), strong leadership has helped guide and steady employees, and ensure continued productivity. Leaders who understand the application of technologies in the workplace have been able to create new drivers for success, including streamlining operational systems, mindful connection of their employees and improved agility in the workplace.
5. How has that role evolved and what are the next steps for digital leaders going forward in 2021 and beyond?
Eighty-four percent of employers are set to rapidly digitalise working processes, including a significant expansion of remote work—with the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely. This is a very significant change towards a digital future. Technology is moving at a rapid pace, and having digital skills is no longer a ‘good to have’, it is critical to business success. Leaders and employees alike must adapt to a cycle of constant learning and upskilling to remain competitive.
6. How do these roles mentioned compare to pre-COVID?
Digital leaders were in demand before the pandemic, but now there is an additional urgency for a pipeline of talent with the skills to implement new technologies in the workplace. In order to create sustainable success, digital technologies must be adopted as a core business strategy – and upskilling is key. In 2020, PwC’s Academy introduced a number of qualifications in the region to support training for the digital economy, including the region’s first qualification for AI, the Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner (CAIP).
7. Whilst the initial strategy for digital leaders was to survive the outbreak, what is the strategy for digital leaders as they look to thrive going forward?
We will see more sophisticated technologies being integrated into the workplace, driven by digital leaders. To support these transformations, we will need to close the existing skills gap, and ensure that younger generations are prepared for the future workplace.
Young professionals will need huge investment in education and skills development. This requires a collaborative effort from governments, private organisations and education providers. In the Middle East for example, PwC’s Academy is working with the regional governments to upskill the national talent for future leadership roles. We also work with the private and public sector for upskilling solutions in finance, tax, HR, marketing, leadership and management, graduate development, digital transformation to name a few. It is this multi
faceted approach to upskilling that will help our region to thrive.