African Energy Week (AEW) 2023 featured a conversation among moderator NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, Clarence Seedorf, Chairman of the Black Impact Foundation (BIF) and a host of distinguished panelists.
The discussion aligned with the theme of the upcoming Global Black Impact Summit –organized by the BIF and taking place in Dubai from November 30-December 1 – which unites influential figures and leaders within the Black community who are dedicated to fostering positive change.
Seedorf kicked off the discussion, stating: “My passion, mission and purpose in life have been very clear, and then it was stamped in my heart when I met [Nelson Mandela] in the 1990s, and he shook my hand and asked me to carry on, among many others, his legacy, which is part of what drives me every day.”
In the context of #AEW2023, Seedorf stated that the conference’s resolute commitment to eradicating energy poverty by 2030 resonates deeply with both his personal convictions and the values of the BIF.
“The way to achieve that is to have an interconnection with other sectors and to understand how, for example, the energy sector can support other sectors, through BIF directly or indirectly,” he continued.
The call for multisectoral collaboration was echoed by Ejike Egbuagu, CEO of Moneda Group, who highlighted the diverse talent and untapped potential within the African community.
“Africans are clearly talented, in sports, in art, in music…You find it in young people; it is no longer an escape but a viable career path.”
Olakunle Williams, CEO of Tetracore Energy, also underscored theneed for unity and collaboration, with a view to encouraging Black entrepreneurship and local value addition.
“We run an indigenous energy company and have been quite successful due to our understanding of our indigenous environment,” he noted. “We need to encourage the new generation of entrepreneurs to step up and understand what value proposition really means.”
“It’s nice to see African businesses and African entrepreneurs doing what we have traditionally expected somebody else to do for us,” added Ayuk.
Alycia M. Powell, Founder and Chief Impact Officer of Champions for Impact, highlighted the importance of organizations like the BIF in fostering collaboration and celebrating the rich stories and myriad achievements of the African diaspora.
“We have all the resources we need within our communities. There just needs to be that bridge, which is the beauty of the BIF,” Powell noted.
Kola Karim, Group Managing Director and CEO of Shoreline Natural Resources and Founding Member of Project Halo, touched on the role of corporate social responsibility in uplifting youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Project Halo started with the idea to put a percentage of our profits into a not-for-profit organization to support a lot of these kids whose household incomes are under £30,000,” he said.
Atong Amos Agook, Founder & CEO of Triple A Group Ltd., touched on the importance of education and mentorship in unlocking youth potential: “We need to educate the young girls and young boys. Without education, we will not have any steps forward. The key is education and mentoring.”
Mthokozisi Madonda, Social Responsibility and Player Programs Lead for NBA Africa, emphasized the need to lead the global Black community with optimism, stating: “We are aware of the challenges that our continent faces, but we don’t lead with those challenges. We lead with our narratives around the opportunities that we have on our continent.”
Organized by the African Energy Chamber, #AEW2023 takes place this week in Cape Town under a mandate to make energy poverty history by 2030. Keep following www.aecweek.com for more exciting information and updates about Africa’s premier energy event.