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The Africa Energy Forum has teamed with KOHLER, principal partner of Manchester United, and Clarke Energy, a KOHLER company, to raise £50,000 for victims of Cyclone Idai, one of the worst storms on record to ever hit the African continent.

The ‘Africa Challenge Cup’ football tournament will be a major networking event for all participants of the Africa Energy Forum (aef) taking place on 10th June at the Os Belenenses, Estádio do Restelo in Lisbon, Portugal, to raise funds for victims.

The event organizer, EnergyNet, has already donated £20,000 to disaster relief efforts in Zimbabwe through the provision of 1,350 WakaWaka Solar Lanterns and Power+ Solar Charging Power Packs to support those completely shut off from energy, who live in darkness once the sun goes down as a result of the cyclone.

The storm was the deadliest and costliest in the South-West Indian Ocean in more than 100 years with over 1,000 people killed and over one billion dollars’ of damage to hospitals, farming, schools, housing and infrastructure. One month on and the impact of the cyclone is raising fears that a massive cholera epidemic could break out, with more than 4,000 registered cases and 7 fatalities already.

Working with WakaWaka and the Miracle Mission Trust, an organization which facilitates sustainable transformation for Zimbabwean communities, EnergyNet’s current donation alone will benefit over 5,000 individuals in frontline communities within two weeks of the investment being made.

Camille van Gestel, Founder of WakaWaka, commented: "When recovering from a disaster nothing is more frightening than to have to spend your evenings in utter darkness. Having light is a basic necessity, enabling people to pick up their lives also after sunset, to cook, work and do homework. WakaWaka can literally enlighten, perhaps even brighten the lives of people."

Please help us to raise an additional £30,000 to reach (and surpass) £50,000 to invest in a further 2,500 units, which after eight hours of sunshine provides a sustainable light source for up to 40 hours. With a battery capacity of 3000 mAh, the Power + can run a flashlight for up to 200 hours or charge a smartphone up to 1,5 times.

EnergyNet is fully funding the hire of the stadium and KOHLERand Clarke Energy are funding all other cost-related elements of the tournament – so 100% of any money raised goes to disaster relief for the victims of Cyclone Idai.

Attending the tournament is free of charge, however additional funds can be raised through corporate sponsorship of any of the six individual teams which will go head to head in a bid to win the tournament. Manchester United’s Quinton Fortune and Wes Brown will actively manage the teams on the day and participate in a medal ceremony for the winners. Goals will be aggregated and in the event of a draw after 90 minutes, a penalty shoot-out will take place.

Delegates attending the conference are invited to watch the matches and participate in photo opportunities with the two Manchester United legends. Some 1,000 delegates are expected to attend this important event alongside all government delegations from across the continent.

EnergyNet’s Managing Director Simon Gosling commented, “In addition to funds already to committed, we hope to raise £50,000 annually through the tournament for important causes such as Cyclone Idai and we’ll work with our partners in any way necessary to make this possible. Conference companies must play a responsible role in the markets they serve, and we’re proud to lead the way. I hope the sector will support this initiative and make the ‘Africa Challenge Cup’ an equivalent to Soccer Aid for the continent.”

“As Principal Partner of Manchester United, KOHLER is pleased to arrange for these football legends – Quinton Fortune and Wes Brown – to coach the participating teams and interact with event attendees,” said Hervé Prigent, Vice President of marketing for Kohler Power Systems. “This will be an enjoyable and beneficial way to begin the Africa Energy Forum as industry stakeholders from around the world all gather to celebrate our many shared passions. Power, energy, infrastructure, and of course – football.”

Clarke Energy is a partner of the 2019 initiative. “Clarke Energy has worked with AEF for a number of years, being the key event targeting the power sector in Africa. A partnership between AEF, Kohler, Clarke Energy, Kohler - SDMO has been formed to not only provide a football tournament but to raise awareness and funds for a worthy African cause,” said Alex Marshall, Group Marketing and Compliance Director.

About WakaWaka

WakaWaka's are the world's most efficient solar powered phone chargers and flash lights. The company who makes them, also sells to western consumers. For each product they sell, they commit to "Light Up A Life", so to provide at least one person with a safe, sustainable source of light. Over the past few years, the company has impacted the lives of well over 1.5 million people already and has done a lot of disaster relief work with organizations such as the International Red Cross, Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity, IOM, The International Rescue Committee, Amref Flying Doctors and many others.

To find out how you can support the victims of Cyclone Idai and help provide energy solutions to support the communities and medical services in the area, email Jennifer@energynet.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 7384 7707. More information about the Forum can be found at www.africa-energy-forum.com