Cape Town – The presence of delegations from 13 of the world’s leading clean technology clusters at Africa Utility Week, which is running at the Cape Town International Conference Centre from May 17-19, was held up on Tuesday as confirmation of the Mother City’s position as a leading green economic hub.
GreenCape said in a statement on Tuesday that it was hosting its International Cleantech Network (ICN) counterparts at the event, along with international business delegations from the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Belgium and Canada. The statement from the government-funded, industry-led initiative that supports the development of renewable energy in the province said this would reinforce the Western Cape’s position as the green economic hub of Africa.
With members in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, the ICN is a platform for cross-regional green economic development that works with business, academia and government to create opportunities for investment in clean technologies.
“Africa Utility Week offers these ICN members and investors a unique opportunity to network with African power and water utility professionals and local service providers,” the GreenCape statement added.
It added that the visitors would meet Cape Town officials who were attending a workshop on ICN and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of the world’s megacities who are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, of which Cape Town is an observer city.
Greencape quoted the Western Cape’s MEC for economic opportunities, Alan Winde, as saying: “The Western Cape government has set itself the goal of becoming the greenest region in Africa.”
To achieve this, he said, the municipality was working to create a conducive environment for private sector investment into this space, adding that GreenCape and its network had been exceptional partners in this regard.
Winde said that investments of more than R17 billion had been made in renewable energy projects in the Western Cape over the past five years, creating in excess of 2 000 jobs.
“Here in the Western Cape, we are producing and selling the energy of the future, and we are proud to share our successes with you through this event [Africa Utility Week]. Building a green energy economy is not only the right thing to do. In the Western Cape, it now also makes business sense.”
In addition to the investments in renewable energy, GreenCape said, R680m of direct investments had been made in the proposed Atlantis GreenTech Special Economic Zone over the past five years.