Top Leaders in Africa’s Energy Sector

The 4th Annual Africa Energy Awards, held in South Africa on March 31, recognized leaders and innovators in the continent’s energy sector. First up was the Program for Basic Energy and Conservation (PROBec) receiving the award for Best Technology Provider based on its work with low-income population groups to meet energy demands in a sustainable method such as via biomass.

Next up to be honored for the Best Demand Side Management Project was Kuyasa Energy Efficiency Project, South Africa’s first internationally registered CDM project that aims to retrofit existing low-income houses with solar water heaters and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The Best Fast Track Power Project award went to Namibia’s utility NamPower for its construction of the Caprivi Link HVDC Interconnector. The project was completed in June 2010 and interconnects the electricity networks of Namibia and Zambia – a pivotal connection for the Southern African Power Pool.

The Seed Capital Assistance Facility (SCAF) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) won the award for the Best Financial Support in the Power Industry for its work in mobilizing early stage financing for renewable energy projects across Africa and Asia. The facility is managed jointly by the UNEP, the AfDB and the Asian Development Bank. The SCAF helps to provide entrepreneurs with the enterprise development services and early stage risk capital they need to develop clean energy businesses and projects; increase the scale and scope of renewable energy investment opportunities available to commercial financiers; and increase capital mobilisation into the clean energy seed finance sector.

The Best Renewable Project in Africa was given to its Cabeolica Project in the Cape Verde Islands by InfraCo. The company, publicly funded although privately managed, helped construct four independent wind farms on four islands of the archipelago with a combined capacity of 25.5 MW. It is the first public-private partnership in Cape Verde and the first renewable energy public-private partnership in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa’s Leading Energy Personality went to Helen Tarnoy, a founder and Managing Director of Aldwych International. Through Aldwych International Tarnoy strives to make a contribution by reducing the acute shortfall of power generation in Africa while Inti Solar won for Best Rural Electrification Project. The company recruits and trains local community members for solar water geyser and lighting installations.

Finally, Ghanaian Gifty Asmah won the award for the Most Influential Woman in Power and KenGen was honored for its Ngong wind project.



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