President/CEO General Electric, Nigeria, Lazarus Angbazo,
Winners are set to emerge in Kenya and Nigeria in the GE-USADF Off-Grid Energy Challenge which was recently announced in both countries. Entries have closed and the judging process has started, which will culminate in the announcement of this year’s winners from both countries.
Over the next 3 years, not less than 20 individuals and indigenous African companies who come up with innovative solutions that address the Energy challenges of African communities and businesses stand a chance of winning up to USD 100,000 in grants to support their initiatives.
The judges will be looking out for off-grid energy solutions that have created innovative approaches to metering, payment, collections, or transmission. They will also look out for entries that deliver sustainable energy to underserved marginal populations without degrading the environment.
The Off-Grid Energy challenge is the initiative of global infrastructure giants, General Electric (GE) and the United States Africa Development Agency (USADF). The initiative rides on the back of the Power Africa initiative announced by President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Africa. The Power Africa initiative seeks to drive growth in Africa by increasing access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power and by helping to ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources on the continent.
The President and CEO, GE Africa, Jay Ireland says he is excited that the Off-Grid Energy challenge is generating increased awareness about the plight of communities that are either underserved by the national grid or are not connected at all. He said, “we have no doubt that great solutions will emerge from this initiative, which will ultimately provide some insight to how to tackle some of the off-grid energy challenges in Africa”.
On her part the President and CEO of USADF Shari Berenbach said the initiative will help leverage more marginalized and underserved communities into positions where they can engage in and benefit from inclusive economic growth. She said over the last 30 years, the USADF has championed initiatives that have contributed in catalyzing Africans out of poverty.
“We are proud to be in partnership with GE on this initiative, which clearly resonates with everything that USADF stands for,” said Shari Berenbach.
Winning entries are scheduled to be announced on November 21 at a grand event in Lagos, Nigeria.