African Industry Awards
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Exciting news! The results are in for the 2020 African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards. Now in its seventh year of celebrating those who display distinguishing traits, this award is a coveted symbol of achievement.

Originally published in the ESI Africa weekly newsletter on 26/08/2020

Previous editions of the ceremony recognised the perseverance by an individual in their field of expertise over years of commitment. It’s been awarded to ministers, academics, and professionals regardless of gender.

Last year saw Wondimu Tekle Sigo, the former Ethiopian minister for water, irrigation and energy, receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. While in 2018, this award went to Roland Schulze, professor emeritus of the hydrology centre for water resources research in South Africa. And the 2017 winner, Helen Tarnoy the co-founder and MD, Aldwych International in the UK, showed that being in the private sector won’t exclude you from holding this prized position.  

And now joining the ranks for the Lifetime Achievement Award is Andrew Herscowitz, the chief development officer at US International Development Finance Corporation and the former coordinator at USAID’s Power Africa.

In congratulating Herscowitz, the head of Africa at Actis Energy, Lisa Pinsley, said: “Andy, you made Power Africa cool. Before that, we did our one project a year if we were lucky and Power Africa has changed the market.”

In my view, this embodies the core of the awards; the shortlisted candidates and subsequent winners represent those who have changed the market in some way, driven by their passion for Africa and the continent’s development.

African industry awards marching on

Even as we celebrate the 2020 winners through a virtual awards ceremony – and in sync with the speed at which the power, energy and water sectors must continue to deliver – it is time to look to next year.

What I like most about this industry award is that the categories have changed from one year to the next. It follows the trends of this dynamic market, which is thankfully not stagnant in any way.

However, this might be baffling for someone wanting to show their mettle in a particular group. That’s why each of the categories gives a clear description for nominees to find the one that fits them best.

As an advisory board member to The African Power & Energy Elites publication, I already have my eye on a few who fit the bill; but they will rely on you to nominate them. If you’re uncertain of the process, send us a message and we will guide you.

Every nomination sent in is checked by the advisory board against a list of criteria and those that score highly are featured in the publication. These are then put forward for the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards, which are judged by a panel or presented to the public for voting.

The 2021 nomination deadline is Wednesday, 30 September 2020 at 22h00 GMT. It’s now in your hands.

Until next week.
Nicolette