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During the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa

Schneider Electric’s Herzberg confirms that access to energy remains ‘a challenge’ for Africa; says ‘people’ are the continent's most important wealth

  • Investing in technology is essential to achieve a balance between the utilization of natural resources and ensuring their sustainability
  • Energy provides clean water, food and jobs, and changes life on Earth
14th of December 2019, Cairo, Egypt - Mr. Caspar Herzberg, President of Schneider Electric Middle East & Africa, said that global corporations have a major role in the societies in which they operate, beyond investments and profitability, namely contributing to making the world a better place and continuing life in a sustainable manner for future generations, which is evident in the eagerness of those entities to have presence in societies with emerging economies, or those afflicted by conflicts.

These statements came during a media roundtable that was held by Mr. Herzberg with media representatives, after his participation at the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa. The forum, which was held in Aswan recently in the presence of H.E President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and a number of top Egyptian, African and International officials, was aimed to promote investment in the African continent's resources and call upon the international financial institutions to invest in the continent's development projects, thus paving the way to achieving sustainable development.

Mr. Herzberg said: “Access to reliable and affordable energy is key for emerging economies, in order to achieve sustainable development and political stability. However, having access to energy remains a major challenge in Africa; so far, there is one out of every seven people who does not have access to energy in the rural areas across Africa, due to lack of necessary infrastructure, rapid population growth, and the internal conflicts in several African countries.”

“Despite the challenges facing the African continent, there are many opportunities for development, through Schneider Electric operations in several African countries such as Egypt, Kenya and Algeria, we provide solutions to secure access to energy in cooperation with governments that are compatible with local conditions of each country and can be locally manufactured in order to be affordable, as opposed to importing it. This allows such countries to promote industry and provide employment opportunities, especially as Africa is rich in natural resources that are not optimally utilized until now, the most important of which are the ‘people’. Africa is a young continent and, by 2050, the young people aged between 15 and 30 years will represent 50% of the continent's population; so, Schneider Electric, as a global leader in energy control and automation, seeks to utilize its technological capabilities and highly efficient human cadres to become part of the processes of achieving development and making a shift in the future of African societies,” Mr. Herzberg added.

He also stressed the importance of Schneider Electric's operations in these areas, which are aimed to provide energy needed for having access to clean drinking water and for agriculture, as well as increase the area of agricultural land, supply more food, and create more jobs.

“Energy is what changes life on Earth, which is a basic human right” he noted.

He also added: “One of Schneider Electric's objectives for having presence in the African societies is to invest in people through providing many training programs to the youths in order to have human cadres capable of keeping pace with the global developments, and applying them in a manner that is in line with the nature of the capabilities available in each society to ensure optimum utilization.”

Mr. Herzberg highlighted the necessity of investing in technology that enables us to achieve a balance between benefiting from the abundant natural resources in Africa and at the same time maintaining the sustainability of these resources. He also said that, thanks to the micro-grid technology, energy is now more easily accessible in remote and poor areas in the heart of Africa, adding that, according to the International Energy Agency estimates, 20% of these unprivileged areas will have access to energy by 2025. He also stressed that African countries need to take advantage of their capabilities in the field of renewable energy through sound policies, along with the introduction of necessary regulatory reforms and follow-up on regional synergy and integration to create a favorable investment environment through public-private partnerships.

About Schneider Electric

At Schneider, we believe access to energy and digital is a basic human right. We empower all to do more with less, ensuring Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment.

We provide energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. We combine world-leading energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services into integrated solutions for Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries.

We are committed to unleash the infinite possibilities of an open, global, innovative community that is passionate about our Meaningful Purpose,Inclusive and Empowered values.

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