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Sierra Leone’s Kandeh Yumkella, City Power and Akon Lighting Winners in African Utility Week Industry Awards in Cape Town

Cape Town, South Africa, May 21, 2016 --( Sierra Leone’s Kandeh Yumkella of the Sustainable Energy For All Initiative, Johannesburg’s City Power, George Airport and Akon Lighting are just some of the exciting and pioneering power and water professionals, utilities and projects that were winners in this year’s African Utility Week Industry Awards. Uganda’s NWSC won the coveted water utility of the year award for the second year in a row.

Mr Kandeh Yumkella, UN Under-Secretary-General and Former Special Representative of the Secretary-General and CEO, Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), won the Lifetime Achievement Award. On receiving his award Mr Yumkella said: “I know the energy revolution is powering up and ready to take off. We saw again this week that we have the technology and the innovation. Sometimes we are too suspicious of each other, we should embrace energy trade with each other.”

City Power = Utility of the Year
City Power won the award for Power Utility of the Year, particularly in recognition of the utility’s flagship Solar Water Heating Programme in which approximately 70 000 low income households around Johannesburg were fitted with solar water geysers over a period of three years. Says Sicelo Xulu, City Power Managing Director: “We are pleased that once again the diligent work that has been done by the City Power team has been recognized and acknowledged. This award is an affirmation of the hard work that has been done by the City Power team, and this accolade galvanizes us to work harder to provide our customers with the superior service they deserve.”

The winners of the African Utility Week Industry Awards are:

Category: Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General.

As Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Chief Executive Officer of the initiative, he mobilized global action towards a sustainable energy future and was responsible for the planning and implementation of the initiative as well as engaging with the leadership of relevant stakeholders in government, businesses, academia and civil society at the highest level to advocate for and promote sustainable energy for all.

With over 25 years of international experience, Dr. Yumkella previously served as Director-General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for two four-year terms (2005-2013).

Category: Power Utility of the Year
Winner: City Power, South Africa

Category: Power Utility Executive of the Year
Winner: Mr Albert Mugo, MD & CEO KenGen, Kenya

Category: Water Utility of the Year
Winner: The National Water & Sewerage Corporation, Uganda

Category: Water Utility Executive of the Year
Winner: Engr. Philip Gichuki, the Managing Director of Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company Ltd.

Category: Clean Energy Project of the Year
Winner: The Akon Lighting Africa Initiative

Category: Pioneer in Project Finance
Winner: The Development Bank of Southern Africa

“More than anything it is a testament to the hard work of the energy team and visionary leadership of the DBSA in addressing South Africa’s energy challenge” said Lungile Mashele, Energy Specialist at DBSA, who received the award on behalf of the bank. She added: “the DBSA is responding to the call of Government to support the renewable projects and would also like to get involved in projects beyond South Africa’s borders.”

Category: Community Development Project of the Year
Winner: The Noble Water Solutions

“We have a huge problem in Africa and we have to recognise that,” said Kevin Paxton, CEO of Noble Water Solutions, “a third of the continent, that is 300 million people, do not have access to safe drinking water. We cannot develop as a continent unless we solve this problem. Our invention goes some way to addressing this problem, but where there is no political will, it will not happen.” This is Noble Water Solutions’ tenth award for its work in the water sector.

Category: Future Leader Award
Winner: Michael Njoroge, CEO, Multi-link Group Ltd, Kenya

Category: Power/Water Woman of the Year
Winner: Phyllis Engefu Ombonyo, Director: Business Development, National Environment Trust Fund, Kenya

Category: Energy/Water Efficiency Project of the Year
Winner: George Airport Solar Plant

Innovation Hub Awards:
Fifteen SMEs, start-ups and young innovators were selected for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the African Utility Week’s Innovation Hub and take their businesses to the next level.

The winner: PowerOptimal, a power demand management technology that is commercially proven in diverse installations such as hotels, office buildings, shopping malls and golf courses.

Industry support
Once again the utility sector has responded well to what is now becoming a sought-after event on the African industry calendar and the lead sponsor for the gala dinner was Poweroad Africa. Other award sponsors were Accenture, Genesis Energy, Kampstrup, Lucy Electric, Steinmüller and Standard Bank. Mazars were the independent verification partners.
Contact Information
African Utility Week
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558

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