“Winners still be celebrated in style, albeit in a virtual setting”
Power Africa’s Andrew Herscowitz, GreenCape’s Jack Radmore, Nigerian power pioneer Ify Malo and Sosai Renewable Energies Company are just some of the remarkable and inspiring energy projects and power pioneers vying for the coveted 2020 African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards.
Register to access the auspicious occasion’s recording.
The winners were announced on Tuesday, 25 August, during a live, online broadcast, honouring the continent’s leading power and energy projects and leaders for their ground-breaking contributions to the industry.
All the shortlisted individuals and projects already have been featured in the African Power & Energy Elites 2020 publication.
The awards gala dinner was to take place during the upcoming African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference and exhibition in Cape Town in November. However, as the live, in-person event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the organisers of the seventh edition of the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards have made sure that the deserving nominees and winners will still be celebrated in style, albeit in a virtual setting.
And the selection…
The final selection of African Power & Energy Elites projects and leaders was made by an external advisory board composed of experienced industry figures from around the world. This list of outstanding energy ventures and experts automatically became eligible for the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards.
While an independent panel once again performed the difficult task of determining the winner of the three different leadership awards, the industry was asked to participate and vote for their favourite project in the small-scale and T&D categories. And the response was enthusiastic and emphatic! The organisers are excited to share all the results very soon!
THE 2020 AWARDS CATEGORIES AND NOMINEES WERE:
1) Power Industry Leader of the Year
This award celebrates the accomplishments of an individual in a senior position from a utility, public or private company who has displayed passion and commitment to the power industry, while also demonstrating leadership, vision and success. The impact of their work has improved and furthered the power and energy value chain on a regional or country level.
The nominees were:
- Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator, Power Africa
“We don’t set goals we know we can achieve. If you set goals a little higher and out of reach, the team is almost always able to achieve those goals or come very close to them.” – Read full interview here
- Ifeoma Malo, Co-founder, Clean Tech Hub Nigeria
“Knowledge and knowledge sharing should be democratised; there is something to learn from everyone.” – Read full interview here
- Kristina Skierka, Chief Executive Officer, Power For All
“Individual ownership for results together with mutual accountability towards our shared mission. In addition, there is a deep love and respect that we regularly express when we are one-on-one and when we are in a group setting.” – Read full interview here
- Dr Lawrence E. Jones, Vice President International Programs, Edison Electric Institute
“I believe that to successfully foster a culture of innovation, members on a team must know that it is OK to ask the leader questions and respectfully disagree with the leader. This is not always easy to do, but it is something that leaders must constantly nurture.” – Read full interview here
- Seydou Kane, Managing Director, Eaton Africa
“The most important lesson I’ve learnt is the power of networks. Ultimately, business is about people, despite how frequently we talk about technology and products. Building relationships with people, engaging in a meaningful way is so critical when doing business.” – Read the full interview
- Naniki Nzuza, Senior Engineer, Eskom
“Everyone that you behold with eyes of admiration didn’t start off where they are today. They also were not as wise and knowledgeable as they are today. I have learned to adopt an attitude of lifelong learning; of continuous self-development.” – Read the full interview
- Mpeli Rampokanyo, Principal Engineer, CSIR
“Leaders are in a position to create an enabling environment for every team member to express themselves freely. If you can master this, then this will open up doors for innovative ideas within your team.” – Read the full interview
- Hiten Parmar, Director, Uyilo Emobility Programme
“As a leader you need to be energized, goal-oriented and organizes, inspiring others to follow suit. Team goals help bring everyone together and improver everything from work quality to the organisation culture.” – Read the full interview
2. Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual for prolonged and consistent achievements who has made a significant contribution to the development and future of the energy/water industries during his or her career. All the nominees in the Power Industry Leader of the Yearcategory were considered for the Lifetime Achievement accolade.
3. Young Leader of the Year Award
This award recognises a person under the age of 35 from a public or private company who has made an outstanding contribution. This young professional has had commendable career achievements to date and is already playing a leading role in their sector.
The nominees were:
- Haruperi Mumbengegwi, Legal Counsel, Power Sector, African Legal Support Facility, AfDB
“Failure is part of the journey to success. I used to have an acute fear of failure, especially professional failure. I have changed my experience of ‘failure’ and view it more as a learning opportunity that will lead to success.” – Read the full interview here
- Jack Radmore, Energy Programme Manager, The GreenCape Sector Development Agency, South Africa
“For me, innovation is not something that only happens in a brainstorming session. It’s about understanding that making mistakes is okay if you have the parameters in place to learn from them. Building structured thinking time into everything that you do really unlocks the space for innovation.” – Read the full interview here
- Sanusi Ohiare, Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund | Rural Electrification Agency (Nigeria)
“Day by day, I occupy myself with ideas on how to keep improving on what we have. Rather than complain or wail, I strive to equip myself with necessary resources to keep impacting my community, country and the world positively.” – Read the full interview here
- Urenna Onyewuchi, Member, IEEE Power Africa Steering Committee
“I have learned over the years to embrace challenges and the unfamiliar. I am grateful that I have had champions that have nominated me to take on difficult projects others passed me up on. I built relationships with subject matter experts that helped me navigate the toughest projects. The lesson I share with those I mentor is to not be quick to say no.” – Read the full interview here
4. Small Scale Power Project of the Year
This category identifies electrification projects that have made a positive impact to communities by increasing energy access and electrification rates. These projects can be initiatives driven by government, private developers, or public institutions and the impact can increase power distribution to previously unelectrified communities for use in homes, schools, healthcare facilities, agriculture and small businesses.
- Sustainable Power Generation
A Community Trust run by the Peachtree Church Atlanta in Georgia, USA, saw a need to support a larger school expansion project in Malawi. Due to the remoteness of the region and the school, some children were walking many miles every day to attend school. This can be dangerous, and a contributor to inconsistent attendance. The project added a girls’ dormitory to the school as a solution aimed at increasing access to education by making class attendance safer and easier for young women. SustainSolar was awarded the contract to install and commission the clean power system. – Read the full article
- Phanes Group
Niger’s government has recognised the importance of renewables as it seeks to strengthen its energy infrastructure and provide a sustainable power supply to its citizens. As the country works to define the role clean energy will play in its development, Phanes Group – an international solar developer, investment and asset manager, headquartered in Dubai, UAE – aims to continue supporting the process with examples of viable solutions such as the Boki Niger project. – Read the full article
- Sosai Renewable Energies Company
A project initiated by Sosai Renewable Energies Company is proving that access to sustainable, reliable electricity opens the door to an array of new economic opportunities. In 2017, the social enterprise, based in Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria, designed and implemented a community development project after receiving a grant from the United States African Development Fund (USADF).
The project involved the installation of two solar mini-grids, two solar kiosks and two solar dryers for agricultural processing, all within different rural communities in Kaduna. – Read the full article
- Empower New Energy
With the deployment of alternative power solutions often hindered by strict funding models, equity financiers Empower New Energy (EmNEW) have developed a pilot project in the above mentioned districts.
They wanted to demonstrate the benefits of a innovative business model, which aims to deliver more development-focused renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa at a lower cost. – Read the full article
- New Southern Energy
The strategic decision to install a microgrid system was largely due to the rising costs of farming, and the impact of the drought – resulting in input costs and direct production costs escalating more than the farm’s sales (revenue) per year.
Once the installation was complete, it would reduce their carbon footprint by half. The system has been designed and installed by the renewable energy provider, New Southern Energy, a full service renewable energy provider for distributed energy projects throughout Africa. At commissioning, the system was the first commercially operated floating solar system on the continent. – Read the full article
- Riccofortezza Nigeria Limited
The capital city of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, is severely lacking in road lighting infrastructure. This has created a volatile socio-economic outlook for the residents due to the high level of insecurity and lack of light at night. A tender was issued in the public domain which gave birth to the first on-road solar photovoltaic (PV) tunnel, ‘Solar Farm Tunnel (SFT)’, otherwise known as The Light Up Kwara solar project. – Read the full article
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5. Transmission and Distribution Project of the Year
This category received entries from projects that provided transmission and distribution roll-outs locally, nationally and regionally. These projects included LV, MV and HV new build programmes, maintenance projects, service delivery initiatives, revenue protection measures, technical and non-technical loss reduction, grid integration and initiatives to increase network stability. Projects all demonstrated that they faced complex challenges.
- Safi Analytics
A Nairobi-based software company, Safi Analytics, has developed a software system that is designed for the challenges factories face in emerging markets – unreliable and costly electricity, voltage fluctuations, varying machines of different ages imported from different countries, as well as teams with varying levels of training. – Read more about this project
- AKILEE SA
In response to the Senegalese government requesting improved monitoring of grid efficiency, Senegal’s national electricity company, SENELEC, implemented a grid supervision platform ‘SmartSEN’ in 2018, which involves the development and operation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). The innovative platform was designed, developed, rolled out and operated by AKILEE SA, an innovative energy services technology company. – Read more about this project
In Nigeria, transmission and distribution losses remain a significant challenge for distribution companies and are often attributed to energy theft. The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) was experiencing ATC&C losses of 62% and urgently needed to implement a programme to improve its customer satisfaction and get losses under control. – Read more about this project
Awards & Elites joined forces
Earlier this year, the two leading programmes celebrating excellence and innovation in the African power and energy sector, joined forces to honour the continent’s leading energy projects and pioneers. The African Power & Energy Elites publication and the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards aligned their 2020 editions with a single nomination and selection process across a set of complementary categories.
The African Power & Energy Elites is an annual journal produced by ESI Africa in collaboration with the Clarion Power & Energy Series recognising industry achievements across the power and energy value chain.
African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa is the flagship energy event organised by Clarion Events Africa, a multi-award-winning Cape Town-based exhibition and conference producer across the continent in the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors. Other well-known events by Clarion Events Africa include Future Energy East Africa, Future Energy Nigeria, the Utility CEO Forums, Africa Mining Forum, Nigeria Mining Week and DRC Mining Week. Clarion Events Africa is part of the UK-based Clarion Events Group and African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa form part of Clarion Energy, which runs over 40 events that cover the oil, gas, power and energy sectors, making it one of Clarion Events’ largest portfolios.
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