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Winning company Konexa named during the final panel of the Africa Energy Forum 2020, receiving the prize fund of $5,000.

The competition inspired team-building and innovative ideas to transform current utilities into advanced, futuristic, SMART, sustainable and agile African power utilities.

The overarching principle was to create a platform for current and aspiring asset-owners to come up with innovative, realistic, practical and implementable ideas for “leap-frogging” existing utilities in the future.

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$5,000 prize for African Utility of the Future competition winner

In the face of steep competition, Konexa’s anonymous submission was chosen by the panel of judges based on its transformative value across 5 pillars of sustainable utility operation as defined by the African Development Bank.

Konexa aspires to own and operate grid-connected and off-grid power assets across Africa. They are pioneering an integrated utility model that accelerates access to reliable power by leveraging cost-efficient and disruptive technologies.

Distribution franchise model clinches prize for Konexa

Batchi Baldeh, director for the power systems development division at AfDB, commented; ”The Bank in partnership with EnergyNet is happy to announce the winner of the African Utility of the Future Design Competition for 2020 as Konexa, with their innovative integrated Distribution Franchise model.”

The proposed model challenges financing institutions such as the African Development Bank to begin “leapfrogging” into the future and to develop financing mechanisms to match the needs of these futuristic utilities, by providing opportunities and mechanisms for access to low-cost infrastructure finance, and mechanisms to address local and hard currency challenges.”

CEO of Konexa Pradeep Pursnani added: “We’re honoured to be awarded this prize. Konexa’s Integrated Utility model aims to help governments and utilities deliver their vision of 24/7 power for everyone in the country on a far more rapid timeframe.”

According to Konexa, the company is the first integrated utility deploying long-term capital to:
1) make grid investments,
2) deploy off-grid technologies,
3) install embedded generation & storage capacity, and
4) integrate cutting-edge information and operational technology in its technology platform.

“We’ve been working with the Nigerian Government and Kaduna Electric to bring this vision to life and have made progress on attracting commercial investment from Climate Fund Managers as our anchor partners on this early journey.”

The winning team was announced during the final ceremony of the Africa Energy Forum as part of the Digital Energy Festival for Africa on 13 November 2020.