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Strategic Conference

The Strategic conference is the only high-level forum in Dubai exclusively for senior decision makers in the energy and utilities sector from the Middle East and African Nations. The theme ‘Powering the energy transition’ will shape the narrative of the conference, with stories from thought leaders who are developing and implementing strategies to successfully facilitate the energy transition and steering energy efficiency projects while ensuring adequate energy generation to meet future needs.

  • Day 1, 7 March: Future energy outlook in Middle East and Africa
  • Day 2, 8 March: Decarbonising energy and utilities
  • Day 3, 9 March: Future grids      

The Strategic conference is free-to-attend and CPD accredited. 





Conference Agenda

Theme: Future energy outlook in Middle East and Africa


Conference doors open | Networking

Session: Opening


Welcome by Emcee
Hala Bou Alwan, 
Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy


National anthem and conference opening


Welcome remarks by Informa
Azzan Mohamed, Exhibition Director, Energy – Middle East and Africa, Informa Markets 

Session: Energy market trends


Opening Keynote: Challenges and opportunities for the Energy Transition in the Middle East and North Africa
Given its natural resources, expertise on energy markets and investment capacity, the Middle East and North Africa has the conditions to lead on the energy transition. While some challenges are preventing this from happening, the opportunities remain enormous.
Nicolas Daher,
Lead Energy Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit - London


Panel: What electricity demand looks like in the future and what energy companies are doing to meet it and why?


  • The impact of EVs on electricity demand
  • Generation portfolio optimization
  • Management models
  • Internationalisation
  • Infrastructure developments

Moderator: Nicolas Daher, Lead Energy Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit - London


  • Abhay Bhargava, Vice President– Energy & Environment, Industrial Practice, Frost & Sullivan MEASA
  • Prof Ammar Moussi, Honorary Member, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean - PAM
  • Brian Ryan, VP of Innovation, National Grid, USA
  • Eng Mohammed Al Ta'ani, Secretary General, Arab Renewable Energy Commission


Panel: Perspectives from Nigeria on the Energy Transition
The next couple of decades presents a unique opportunity to merge economic development and climate action priorities in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, one of the world’s first true just transitions. Explore challenges and opportunities for Natural Gas in the Energy Transition

Moderator: Hala Bou Alwan, Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy

  • Engr Abubakar Ali-Dapshima, Director, Renewable & Rural Power Access Department, Federal Ministry of Power - Nigeria
  • Olakunle Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Tetracore Group
  • Sule Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Executive Board, West African Power Pool, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria
  • Sowunmi Olabode, Senior Legislative Aid to the Senate President, National Assembly of Nigeria



Fire-side chat: Perspectives from Egypt on the Energy Transition
Egypt has laid out its vision for successful and consensual negotiated outcomes at COP27. Explore projects in Egypt to accelerate the transition to clean energy, to drive energy decarbonisation and ensure efficient use of energy.

Moderator: Amena Bakr, Dubai Deputy Bureau Chief and Chief OPEC Correspondent, Energy Intelligence
Speaker: Madiha M. Abdel Azim, Head of Technical Affairs Sector, New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), Egypt

Session: Funding the Energy Transition


How can large companies accelerate their innovation activities while maximising financial and environmental impact?

How energy companies can accelerate their transition to clean energy by combining Venture capital investing and a holistic Innovation ecosystem

Brian Ryan, VP of Innovation, National Grid, USA


Panel: Bankability of renewable energy projects

Review the latest best practices in controlling project risks, securing revenues and putting in place adequate lender protections to ensure that lenders can be comfortable providing debt finance on a non-recourse or limited recourse basis.

Moderator: Moamina Faour, Head of Department/ Presenter, Business 24 TV


  • Dolapo Kukoyi, Managing Partner, Detail Commercial Solicitors, Nigeria
  • Maher Al Kaabi, Advisor to Group Chairman, Al Serkal Group of Companies, UAE
  • Dr Mohsen Abou Bakr, General Manager - SMEs Corporate Banking Division, National Bank of Egypt NBE
  • Nalin Nayyar, Chief Financial Officer, Yellow Door Energy – UAE



Backing visionary entrepreneurs from ideas to global energy markets
The European Innovation Council (EIC) is Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations, including in the energy sector. Established in 2021 under the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme, the EIC has a budget of €10.1 billion to support visionary researchers and innovators throughout the lifecycle from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.

Martin Lange, Deputy Head of Unit of the European Innovation Council and SMEs Agency, European Commission


Closing Remarks by Emcee
Hala Bou Alwan,
Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy


End of day one


Theme: Decarbonising Energy & Utilities

Session: Through the Lens of the Future


Opening remarks by Emcee
Hala Bou Alwan,
Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy Firm


Our shared future
An inspiring view on reducing our carbon footprint

Licypriya Kangujam, 11-year-old Climate Activist


Panel: Net Zero Carbon roadmap implementation
What success would look like and what policies, systems, and strategies do countries need to adopt to achieve universal electricity access through clean energy

Moderator: Baset Asaba, Editor, Utilities Middle East 

  • Dr Maged K. Mahmoud, Technical Director, Lead Renewable Energy Advisor, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Egypt
  • Sule Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Executive Board, West African Power Pool, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria
  • Eng Faiza Al Harthi, Head of Energy, Environment & Natural Resources, Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit
  • Gagan Porwal, Head of Partnerships, Carbon Solutions, GE Gas Power - International Markets

Session: Achieving Universal Electricity Access


Fire-side chat: Perspectives from Rwanda on the Energy Transition 
Ambassador Emmanuel Hategeka,
Ambassador of Rwanda to UAE


Fire-side chat: Perspectives from East Africa on the Energy Transition 
Explore how East Africa is rapidly emerging as a renewable energy superpower in Africa, building up capacities and plans and projects to reach 100% clean energy

Moderator: Farah Mourad, Senior News Presenter, Market Analyst, XTB MENA

  • Jito Kayumba, Special Assistant and Advisor on Economic, Investment and Development Affairs to the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema
  • Charles Mwaura, General Manager, Network Management, Kenya Power and Lighting Company
  • Raphael Mworia, Corporate Communications Manager, KETRACO – Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Ltd


Fire-side chat: Perspectives from Jordan on the Energy Transition
Jordan's energy transition has been rapid and ambitious. Review renewable energy and financial challenges, energy fund project, and megaprojects that enable energy transition strategies and priorities

Moderator: Oliver Klaus, Dubai Bureau Chief; Eastern Hemisphere Head of Client Engagement & News Editor, Energy Intelligence

  • Rasmi Hamzeh, Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Fund, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources - Jordan
  • Eng Yacoub Marar, Director of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources – Jordan


Networking break

Session: Decarbonising Heavy Industries


Transformers go green

Georgios Giovanakis, CEO, thyssenkrup Electrical Steel


Fire-side chat: Unlocking collective innovation potential to decarbonise industrial value chains through collaboration
The right mix of incentives and mandates can set market forces into motion, leading to industry-wide technology breakthroughs. But the transition to net-zero will require new forms of corporate collaboration with business, government, and research institutions. 

Alan Mammoser, Chief Editor, Energy & Utilities

  • Franco Atassi, CEO - Smart Infrastructure, Siemens Middle East
  • Ahmed Badr, Director, Project Facilitation & Support (PFS), IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency


Session: Hybridisation of Renewable Energy Projects

Panel: Strategies for hybridisation of renewable energy projects - wind and solar complementarity
The integration of hybrid systems into the network will increase network stability, security, reduce emissions, and lower cost of electricity. However, to enable these advantages, there is a requirement for the electricity network to transition towards a smart grid. This session will focus on hybrid systems with renewables and how a smart grid should be developed to enable the effective integration of these intermittent resources

Bart Cornelisson, Partner, Energy, Resources & Industrials Leader, Deloitte

  • Abhay Sinha, Strategic Advisor, Middle East Solar Industry Association
  • Gianni Chianetta, CEO, Global Solar Council
  • Wasim Al Malouhi, CEO, alfanar Global Development
  • David Desfosses, T&D Networks, Smart Grid Solutions Lead, Tractebel Engineering - Germany

Session: Hydrogen and the Energy Transition


Panel: Unlocking hydrogen's power potential
Green hydrogen plants are now under construction as momentum gathers for a global market. This technical discussion will offer insights on how it will work in the power sectors of diverse countries.

Moderator: Alan Mammoser, Chief Editor, Energy & Utilities 

  • François Dao, Vice-President, Middle East & Africa, EDF Renewables

  • Claude Mourey, Director, Hydrogen and New Energies – EMEA, Wood Mackenzie Consulting

  • Vatche Kourkejian, Partner & Head of Energy MENA, Roland Berger 


Diversity to boost decarbonisation across the MENA region
Noora Abdul Latif Kheily,
Engineering Outage Planning Director for EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa), GE Power

Session: Middle East Energy Exhibition welcomes Women in Renewable Energy - WiRE


Closing session

Moderator: Dr Rahaf Ajaj, Assistant Professor, Abu Dhabi University, WiRE UAE Chapter Leader

Opening remarks 

  • Joanna Osawe, Chair, President and CEO, WiRE, Federal Sustainable Development Advisory Council, Canada (via video) 
    - Biodiesel as sustainable energy (via video)

  • Dr Suzan Shahin, Assistant Professor, WiRE UAE Chapter Leader

- Dubai energy chain and carbon footprint analysis - Opportunities in the UAE 

  • Tania Zepeda Lunda, Renewable Energy Expert, WiRE UAE Chapter Leader  

- Net Zero landscape: opportunities and implications, the overview of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG):  current state and expectations 

  • Dana Darwish, ESG and Sustainability Consultant, WiRE UAE Chapter Leader 


Young Female Engineer Presentation: Design of Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbines for Airport Runaway Energy Generation
Haya Turkmani, Abu Dhabi University


Closing remarks by Emcee
Hala Bou Alwan,
Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy


End of day two

Theme: Future Grids


Opening networking session


Welcome remarks by Emcee
Hala Bou Alwan,
Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy

Session: Storing Energy in Distributed Energy Networks


Opening keynote: Perspectives on battery energy storage in the Distributed Energy Network
Fouad Dagher,
Director, NY Energy Storage Development, National Grid, USA

Session: Building Energy Efficiency on the Demand Side - Customers as Partners

Review Demand-side energy efficiency (DSEE) approaches include upgrading industrial plants, equipment, and appliances, retrofitting public infrastructure and residential buildings


Case study - Advancing Deep Retrofits in the UAE
Dr Abdullatif Albitawi, Director, Emirates Green Building Council

Session: The Future Workforce


The knowledge economy, future workforce and capacity building

Learn how to compete in a knowledge economy. The shift to a knowledge economy also has implications beyond the globalisation of innovative, high-skilled work. Greater specialisation in high-skilled jobs could magnify the role of employers in training and development of the workforce and their stake in national education and training systems and their infrastructures. A better understanding of the factors that contribute to productivity among knowledge workers could also influence management and human resource practices.

Prof Philip Hamil, Associate Provost for Research and Academic Development; Office of the Provost, Abu Dhabi University

Session: Digital transformation of grids


Panel: Digitalised grids  

  • Digitalisation and decarbonisation strategies towards net zero target
  • Smart Demand and load management
  • Blockchain applications for Utilities
  • Emerging technologies for power grids

Moderator: Saqib Saeed, Chief Research Officer, Power Technology Research


  • David Desfosses, T&D Networks, Smart Grid Solutions Lead, Tractebel Engineering - Germany
  • Ravi Seethapathy, Independent Board Member, Power Transmission and Distribution Division, Larsen & Toubro, India
  • Arturo Fraile, Board Member, alfanar - ZIV, UK
  • Dr Subrata Bhowmik, Principal Engineer- Digitalisation & Innovation, McDermott International, Ltd


Networking break 


Drone-powered and AI-enabled OHTL inspections

Nikin Mohan James, Chief Operating Officer, FEDS


Session: New Business Models for a New Power Sector

Panel: Alternative business models in the power sector
To balance the need to deliver sustainability while also meeting investor demands for growth, explore how companies are integrating their corporate and ESG -Environmental, Social and Governance strategies.

  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Shared revenues models
  • Power purchase agreement with optionality of transferring the asset to the developer or the customer at the end of contract life
  • Incentives in lieu of return on investment or equity 

    Valantis Mikrommatis, Vice President - Key Account Development, Yellow Door Energy, UAE
  • Fouad Dagher, Director, NY Energy Storage Development, National Grid, USA
  • Ravi Seethapathy, Independent Board Member, Power Transmission and Distribution Division, Larsen & Toubro, India
  • Ibrahim Yusuf, Advisor to the Minister of Energy and Minerals of the Republic of Somaliland
  • Reji Pillai, Chairman, Global Smart Energy Federation

Session: Rural Electrification


Fire-side chat: Progress in rural electrification

Explore a success story on electrification and mobility and practical applications that are meant to contribute to bridging the electrification gaps in rural areas particularly in the MEA's power sector, leading rigorously towards sustainable development.

Moderator: Dina Barqawi, TV Presenter, Dubai TV

  • David LeCoque, CEO, Alliance for Rural Electrification
  • Dr Nazar Hassan, Senior Programme Specialist, Regional Bureau for Sciences for the Arab States, UNESCO - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


Closing remarks by Emcee
Hala Bou Alwan, 
Master of Ceremonies, Founder and CEO, Hala Bou Alwan (HBA) Consultancy


End of conference

Theme: Powering the energy transition

Bringing together the highest stakeholders within the energy communities, this comprehensive conference will be delivered by distinguished industry experts and influencers, focusing on addressing real-world commercial solutions to help fasten the road to global energy transition.

Day 1, Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Future Energy outlook in Middle East and Africa – planning and policies
Day 2, Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Decarbonising energy and utilities 
Day 3, Thursday, 9 March 2023

Driving digitalisation and innovation in the power sector

Who will attend?

Delegate profile

  • CEOs
  • VPs of Strategy
  • Executive Vice Presidents
  • Presidents
  • Managing Directors
  • Project Director/ managers
  • General managers
  • Chief Technology Managers

Delegate profile

  • Chief Investment officers
  • Consultants
  • Department Heads
  • Chairmen
  • Account directors
  • Senior Analysts
  • Board Members
  • Energy Attachés
  • Senior government officials

Delegate profiles from

  • Regulators and authorities
  • Utility companies: Power generation
  • Utility companies: Power Transmission
  • Utility companies: Power Distribution
  • EPCs and engineering services
  • IPPs
  • Finance and insurance bodies
  • Technology services

Explore further at parallel conferences