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Int'l energy conference kicks off in Kenya

06 April 2016, 15:55

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Senior energy experts from across the world have on Wednesday kicked off an international conference in Nairobi to address investors' concerns when setting up energy projects.

The conference, organized by pan-African insurer, African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), has attracted elite club of insurers who cover 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars worth of exports and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).

ATI CEO George Otieno said participants are discussing energy-related topics including available global financing; regulation, policy and governance issues; and risks perceptions related to utilities, off-takers, equity investors and banks.

Otieno said lack of access to reliable energy remains one of the main stumbling blocks to Africa's development.

This, he said, accounts for as much as 4 percent cut from annual per capita GDP growth rates, adding that increased investment in the sector could help unlock some of the projects currently on hold.

ATI was selected to host the specialist meeting, the first in sub-Saharan Africa by the Berne Union, a global association of export credit and investment insurers.

It is also the first time the association is holding a sector-specific specialist meeting focusing on the energy sector.

Kai Preugschat, Secretary General of the association, said for many Berne Union Members and stakeholders, holding this meeting in Africa reflects the many solutions available to address shortcomings in the energy sector, and also the growing importance of sustainable solutions for this asset class.

The Berne Union has some 50 member companies representing private and official export credit and investment insurance companies in the world. In 1993, the Union helped to establish its affiliated Prague Club to support new and maturing export credit agencies and insurers.

- Xinhua

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