energy transition
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African innovators excelled at this year’s Zayed Sustainability Prize annual awards ceremony winning in three out of five categories including energy, food and global high schools.

The 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize, which is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability, honoured leaders whose work and spirit of enterprise has resulted in working solutions across communities around the world.

With over 2,000 submissions from 130 countries, the highest number of applications came from Africa, which is a testament to the growing role African innovators are playing in global innovation.

Their technologies addressed real-life social, environmental, health and economic challenges, as well as reflected the aspirations of a new generation of innovators within a continent that has one of the world’s biggest youth populations.

In congratulating the winners, Dr Lamya Fawwaz, director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “In a world of changing climate, and a rapidly growing population, developing sustainable solutions to meet rising food demand and provide energy access to people in remote areas is a global priority. These worthy winners among many strong candidates, are perfect examples of how to meet the Prize’s criteria of being innovative, inspirational and offering tangible impact within communities.”

The winners

The winner in the Energy category was BBOXX, which has developed a plug-and-play solar device offering users an on-grid experience in an off-grid setting - a truly transformative solution that is changing hundreds of thousands of lives in Africa.

The company has so far installed over 150,000 solar systems across 35 countries many of which are in Africa and has connected over 675,000 people globally with clean, affordable energy solutions.

Mansoor Hamayun, CEO and co-founder of BBOXX, commented on winning the prize: “We are passionate about harnessing pioneering data and technology to power economic growth and transform the lives of underserved communities living off-grid. Winning this award is an important milestone along our journey.”

In the other categories, ECOSOFTT was awarded in the Water category for its decentralised community water management standard, which outlines a set of solutions for source management, water use, water recycling and discharge.

Winners of each category receive $600,000 in prize funds to enhance and develop their existing solution.