HomeRegional NewsAfricaEEP Africa Knowledge Week 2021 – programme & speakers

EEP Africa Knowledge Week 2021 – programme & speakers

EEP Africa Knowledge Week is a series of online events that look at evolving themes and innovative projects in the clean energy sector in Africa. The event this year includes sessions on financing, leadership, and the agriculture-energy nexus.

We are pleased to have an exciting group of speakers drawn from our portfolio companies and sector partners. We also look forward to announcing EEP Africa 2021 Project of the Year and our 2021 Rising Energy Leaders during the week.


22 November 14:00 – 15:00 (GMT+2)

REGISTER – Ag-Energy Nexus: Cooling as a Service 

Increasing access to refrigeration and cold storage is critical to strengthening agricultural value chains and enhancing climate adaptation. By reducing post-harvest loss and improving food security, cooling services can improve rural livelihoods and increase farmer income. However, cold chain technology is unavailable to many smallholder farmers in Africa due to high upfront costs and a lack of reliable electricity. Our panel of speakers will discuss how solar-powered cooling, PAYG services and a community-based approach are bringing this solution to new customers and markets.


Chiedza Mazaiwana, EEP Africa (moderator); Ruth Kimani, Associate for Clean Energy Access, CLASPDenis Karema, CEO, SokoFreshJulian Mitchell, CEO, InspiraFarmsFlorian Martini, Project Manager, PhaesunTracy Kimathi, Founder, Tree_Sea.mals


23 November 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT+2)

REGISTERLeadership: Building an Inclusive Energy Transition

The clean energy transition is playing an important role in society and furthering sustainable economic growth. A just transition will require deliberate efforts to ensure inclusivity, equity and a human-centred approach to innovation. Women, youth and local entrepreneurs can enact real change in their communities and should be supported as leaders in the energy transition.  

EEP Africa has partnered with the World Energy Council on their new series Humanising Energy, produced by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, to tell the story of Jaza Energy in Tanzania. In this session, we will discuss the humanizing energy series and how Jaza is impacting the livelihoods of last-mile communities while empowering young women. Our speakers will then be joined by the EEP Africa Rising Energy Leaders 2021 for a roundtable discussion on clean energy career paths and opportunities in Africa. 


Faith Chege, EEP Africa (moderator); Mark Gavhure, Creative Lead, BBC StoryworksCindy Bavo, Director of People and Culture, Jaza Energy; EEP Africa Rising Energy Leaders for 2021 (to be announced soon!)


24 November 14:00 – 15:00 (GMT+2)

REGISTER – Ag-Energy Nexus: Powering Agro-Processing 

Clean energy is playing a catalytic role in efforts to improve agricultural productivity in communities across Africa. Productive use equipment and appliances are moving rural households beyond subsistence farming and increasing the output of agribusinesses and farmer cooperatives. This increase in demand for electricity is also providing mini-grid developers with new customers and anchor loads, opening potential avenues to financial sustainability. Our panel of speakers will discuss the mutually beneficial growth of energy services and productive use in the agriculture sector.  


Lotta Wilkman, EEP Africa (moderator); Tanya Kothari, CASEEE Research and Advocacy Manager, Shell FoundationRiccardo Ridolfi, CEO, Equatorial PowerPeter Nyeko, Co-founder & Managing Director, Mandulis EnergyMatt Carr, CEO & Co-founder, Agsol


25 November 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT+2)

REGISTER – Financing: Growing Beyond Grant Funding  

Flexible early-stage financing is vital for clean energy companies in emerging markets. Grant funding plays a critical role in supporting start-ups and local companies, enabling them to test new technologies and business models in challenging operating environments. In order to achieve scale and become sustainable, however, a company must secure follow-on financing from commercial investors. 

This session will present results from a forthcoming EEP Africa study on how to make grant-funded projects a success from the perspective of different stakeholders. Our panel of speakers will then discuss the challenges faced by early-stage companies when developing their business beyond grants, and how they can become investment-ready. During the event, the winner of EEP Africa Project of the Year 2021 will be announced (see the award finalists).  


Lauri Tuomaala, EEP Africa (moderator); Chris Browne, M&E Advisor, EEP Africa; Alex Kanyonga, Director, Lion’s Head Global PartnersBethany Larsen, Co-founder & Chief Investment Officer, Charm ImpactProsper Magali, Co-founder & Director, Ensol; Sharon Yeti, CEO, Powerlive; plus the winner of the EEP Africa Project of the Year for 2021

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.