South Africa needs coal as a major employer as well as an indispensable source of baseload, while Kenya’s leadership seems committed to installing 1.05GW at Lamu, and other projects are being developed from Morocco to Madagascar. Coal remains a key element in many countries’ energy mix, while generating levels of controversy only exceeded by nuclear as the world transitions to an eventual post-carbon economy. Thus probably the feistiest session at this year’s Africa Energy Forum debated the future of coal.