09 - 10 October 2023
By Sidwell Mtetwa CIGRE Southern Africa NC Chair,
and Kurt Dedekind, Chair SC C6
The Southern Africa National Committee has engaged in an active program to broaden its membership base in the region whilst also fostering an interest in the wealth of knowledge and information that resides within the broader CIGRE domain. It is also an opportunity to create networking opportunities within Southern Africa, and to share the broader workings of the various CIGRE structures within the region as an extension of the Africa Working Group activities.
The Chair of the Southern African National Committee, Sidwell Mtetwa and Kurt Dedekind, travelled to Windhoek in October with the abovementioned objectives in mind.
The meeting program was held at the Mecure Hotel on the outskirts of Windhoek in Namibia. The two-day program was hosted by Nampower, the Namibian Transmission Company. The opening of the proceedings was made by the Chief Operating Officer of Nampower, Mr Fritz Jacobs who spoke about the critical role that the increased integration of Renewable Energy resources would have on the Namibian Grid. As part of the introduction, a presentation made by Sidwell Mtetwa related the opportunities that could be gained from being part of the wider CIGRE fraternity. This was followed by a breakdown of the scope of work and associated activities of each of the 16 CIGRE Study Committees. An overview of the platforms used by CIGRE, such as the KMS platform and gaining maximum benefit from the e-CIGRE site, concluded the formal presentations at the opening session.
A workshop with a topic of “Rural Electrification and the impact of increased DER integration” followed. The interactive session was hosted by Kurt Dedekind and dealt with the basic needs and building blocks required for Rural Electrification. Namibia is a large country which is very sparsely populated. Many of the lessons learnt from the recently held Symposium in Cairns Australia, were able to be shared with the Namibian colleagues. The impact of the increase in Distributed Generation in Western Australia and Queensland was discussed as part of the workshop, and due to the many similarities in terms of topography, population densities and climate, the topic resonated with many of the delegates within the audience.
The session highlighted the importance of information sharing relating to CIGRE and its activities. Several of the delegates at this session also took up the offer to attend the Southern African Regional Conference that was held towards the end of October in South Africa, thus further broadening their reach into the CIGRE community. Opportunities created by such interactions and workshops will broaden the reach of CIGRE membership in Africa and must be encouraged to continue in the future.
Thumbnail credit: James Kadamika on iStock