The West African Clean Energy and Environment (WACEE) has finalised plans to hold its maiden conference and exhibition in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The conference will take place between 1st and 2nd of September 2020 at the Landmark Events Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Since its inception in 2012, the event has been organised in Accra in Ghana, by the delegation from the German Industry and Commerce and in collaboration with the local and international institutional partners.
This year’s event will bring stakeholders from the clean energy, circular economy and water sectors together to deliberate on the theme: “The business of Sustainability”. The festival will feature a 2-day conference and exhibition, competitions, workshop, training, and open sessions.
Through this event, WACEE ’20 will help participants determine whether the subregion’s desire for sustainable development can be met in an economically feasible manner using practical solutions.
Addressing journalist on Monday, Katharina Felgenhauer, a member of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHL Nigeria), stated that “the private sector approached the topic sustainability through ad-hoc and short-lived initiatives in order to comply with regulations or appear to have “green” credentials”.
This view is, however, changing, with more companies adopting a more holistic approach and treating sustainability as a core business issue that is critical for their long-term survival and growth. German companies in Nigeria are also taking up the issue of sustainability, she added.
In his contribution, Gbenga Adebija, the Director-General of the Nigerian German Chamber of Commerce (NGCC) stated that the ninety German firms in Nigeria have recorded a turnover of $1 billion and employ over 10,000 direct staff. He also stated Nigeria is Germany largest trading partner in the West African sub-region with a trading volume of 3.5 billion euros.
He further highlighted that a platform like WACEE will help to strengthen the trade relationship between both countries.
“With the topic of sustainability gaining prominence in the way companies do business, WACEE’20 will highlight the opportunities for individuals, companies, and governments in West Africa to create value by placing sustainability at the heart of their activities. Adopting sustainable solutions will require a rethinking of the nature of value chains, business processes and consumption to reduce waste and converse resources”, said Godwin Aigbokhan, head, Energy and Environment Competence Centre, AHK Nigeria.
Andrew Aryee, project manager, the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) opined that WACEE has served as the market gateway for service providers, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors, investors, industry experts in the clean energy and environment sectors.
‘’The past editions of the event have provided exhibitors and sponsors with a platform to enter the West African clean energy, water and environmental technology sectors and also discover opportunities for the bilateral trade, partnerships and business development”, Aryee said.
He also added that “last year’s edition saw over 2,000 people in attendance and the event included a trade fair, conference, side events and interactive “WACEE Challenge” to foster innovation and partnerships.
Not only that, WACEE’20 will provide opportunities for individuals, companies and governments to create value through energy efficiency, water management, revamping supply chains, digitalization, e-mobility, waste management, plastics recycling and other economically viable initiatives”, he added.
With the United Nations action plan for “The Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 15” focusing on land and water ecosystem conservation and protection, the need for West Africa to adopt practical solutions in order to meet these goals are very clear.
In addition, WACEE’20 will celebrate innovation and promote sustainable development in the sub-region. The event is expected to bring together over 2,500 participants, over 40 top-level speakers and over 45 exhibitors with a keen interest in exploring opportunities in the West African energy and environment ecosystem.