African clean energy pioneers lead the way at Kigali energy conference
An impressive new wave of African climate innovators are on display at the Humanitarian Energy Conference (HEC) 2022 today, ahead of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum opening this week in Kigali, Rwanda.
Eight African low-carbon companies are among eleven organizations around the world showing how clean energy can boost entrepreneurship and inclusive development, while tackling the climate crisis and creating opportunity even in the most remote communities. more marginalized.
The shortlisted organizations for the prestigious 2022 Ashden International Awards, now in their 21st year, hail from Kenya, Togo, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda.
Initiatives range from solar-powered centers where refugees can start businesses in Uganda, to pay-as-you-go cold stores for smallholder farmers in Kenya, to training programs helping women start energy businesses own and quarries in Togo.
Each is a thriving example of the innovation needed to drive rapid decarbonization, meet national climate goals and create sustainable local job opportunities. All identified organizations train a new green workforce.
The organisations, chosen to access the final stages of the Awards by international panels of low-carbon experts, have demonstrated their performance either in boosting agriculture, or in access to energy in a humanitarian environment, or in energy access skills.
Ashden’s analysis of 148 international award nominees reveals effective public-private collaboration; community ownership and involvement; and enabling access to markets and finance, hallmarks of pioneering work.
Harriet Lamb, CEO of Ashden, said: “Boosting economies and increasing people’s incomes are just two of the many reasons to invest in energy access. But with 940 million people globally and an estimated 570 million people in Africa living without electricity, there is clearly insufficient support for frontline innovators. A shortage of skills and training is one of the biggest barriers to progress, alongside a lack of funding for frontline innovators.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people without access to electricity increased in 2020 for the first time since 2013 (both statistics OUCH). A dearth of practical and effective training in the clean energy sector is a key factor in this, says Lamb.
“A new global push for low-carbon energy access is urgently needed and African innovators have shown exemplary leadership in this global challenge. Ashden, along with partners in Africa, is calling for the COP27 climate talks in November in Egypt to focus on improving access to energy. Many of these organizations show exactly how this can be done – and how, with the right support, they could go much further.
“Universal access to clean and affordable energy is fundamental to climate justice. Donors and policymakers must act now to ensure funds are channeled to energy access projects.
Shortlisted organizations for the international categories of the Ashden Awards also came from India and Turkey. Ashden also organizes three awards focused on climate innovation in the UK. The international winners of the 2022 Ashden Prize will be announced in Nairobi in October.
Winners receive grants and business support, while all shortlisted organizations receive publicity and connection to investment and partnership opportunities.
Pioneering organizations shortlisted for 2022 Ashden Awards
Ashden Prize for Empowering Refugee Livelihoods (Kenya, Uganda, Turkey)
Kakuma Ventures, Kenya
Creating clean energy, internet connections and new jobs for residents of refugee camps
Power Trust Uganda
Solar-powered business centers energize refugee entrepreneurs
IMECE Initiative (Imece Insiyatifi Center), Turkey
Training refugee women in Turkey for a future as solar engineers
Ashden Award for Energizing Agriculture (Uganda, Kenya, 2 India)
Mandulis Energy, Uganda
Turning agricultural waste into electricity and clean cooking fuels and organic biofertilizers – the circular economy in action
Sustainable cold storage for smallholders, with support to get produce to market.
Collectives Initiative for Integrated Livelihoods India
Community-run production centers in the tribal areas of India.
Oorja Development Solutions, India
Provide farmers with paid irrigation, milling and cooling.
Ashden Award for Energy Access Skills (Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Togo)
Training in microfinance and micro-enterprises for productive uses of energy helps communities earn more money and helps rural energy businesses be more financially viable through increased sales.
Community Energy Malawi
A rural mini-network creates training opportunities for local people, supported by academic partners inside and outside the country.
Zonal energy, Zimbabwe
Solar sector training for rural youth, working with colleges and NGOs, alongside job connections.
Energy generation, To go
A groundbreaking entrepreneurship training center empowering entrepreneurs to create solutions for Africans by Africans – creating opportunities for women.
Since their launch in 2001, the annual Ashden Awards have boosted 245 outstanding organizations in the UK and around the world.
Check out past Ashden winners