Ideas form a good basis for growth and development, but in the end only the execution of these ideas will bring about growth, acting Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said at the opening of the 18th Africa Utility Week in Cape Town on Tuesday.
"Energy is a lifeline and a human right. It is not optional, it is essential," he said.
"Our future is in our own hands. It is only by creating growth in Africa that people will stop risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean. I want to emphasise that the execution of ideas is key."
In his view, the impact of gatherings like Africa Utility Week can be substantial for the continent.
"Africa has a common purpose which we all have to pursue. The question it brings is how to create infrastructure to accommodate growth predicted for Africa?" he said.
"Such engagements like Africa Utility Week will charter the way forward for the region. We need to work in partnerships. That is what the African Union stands [for]."
He said for the past ten years there has already been talks of an Africa energy grid, but progress in this regard "has not been exciting".
"As we go towards this dream, utility reform should yield extraordinary results for Africa. There is already talk of south, east and west power pools in Africa and this should be the basis for our discussions," said Hadebe.
"We need to adapt to a changing world. Issues like smart grid technology and nuclear energy are all being discussed in the energy sector."
He said the past couple of months have also seen the beginning of a concentration on especially energy storage and related technology.
"SA wants to play a bigger role in African energy. Energy storage technology can allow SA to play such an even bigger role to manage our own energy and align with global trends," he concluded.