The newly appointed power quality and management multinational Eaton Africa Managing Director Seydou Kane is passionate about assisting Africa overcome the problem of energy deficit and unlock its growth capacity by leveraging the company’s international experience and collaboration.
The French-speaking, Niger-born Kane has a lot of experience in the international market, having worked in Europe, China, Brazil and West Africa for chemicals multinational DuPontfor the past ten years.
Citing the vision of Eaton CEO Craig Arnold that the firm will improve the quality of life and well being of the people in the regions in which it operates, Kane says access to energy will enable Africa to overcome many of the key issues affecting its ability to develop its economies.
Eaton Africa has always been focused mainly on the Southern Africa region and the mining industry, but is now well positioned to grow into new market segments and new geographic regions in Africa. This, says Kane, is because of the company’s power quality business, uninterruptible power supply solutions and more recent data centre and information and communication technology power supply experience.
Eaton has significant experience in not only utility energy systems but also renewable power systems, energy storage systems and off-grid and microgrid solutions.
“This places us in the position of acting as an expert adviser and helping our clients to design solutions that address the issues at hand, and be ready for more diverse energy sources and complex energy grids.”
Specifically, Eaton Africa will focus on supporting solar and storage systems of between 500 kW and 5 MW, as projects of this size are not well supported and represent a key target market for the company.
Meanwhile, utility-scale power will remain fundamental in the provision of access to power, especially in the rapidly growing urban environments. Urbanisation is a key trend shaping the development of and demand for electricity, and Eaton aims to continue fulfilling the role of trusted adviser. It would provide assistance for city authorities to design their grids to allow for access to renewables while ensuring grid stability and quality control.
Kane highlights that collaboration and partnerships are of strategic importance to Eaton, from community-scale corporate social investment projects to large, catalytic corridor or regional development projects.
“Funding for sustainable power and electricity projects in Africa is often available through a diverse mixture of nonprofit or development agency financing, government support or grants and commercial funding.