Uganda and Ethiopia Big Winners at East African Power Industry Awards in Nairobi This Week

Nairobi, Kenya, September 24, 2016 --( Uganda scored a double victory at the East African Power Industry Awards with the country not only winning the Special Recognition Award for outstanding leadership in the sector, but also scooping up the Award for Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution for the second year in a row. Taking place during the East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) in Nairobi this week, the East African Power Industry Awards gathered some 180 power professionals from the region at a glamorous gala dinner on Wednesday and recognised individuals, companies and projects based on the excellent work they have been doing in the power sector during 2015/2016.

Uganda’s Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development of Uganda was honoured for his work in the utility sector with the Special Recognition Award. Umeme Limited, Uganda’s main electricity distribution company, won the Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution Award. Uganda also had a strong presence at EAPIC in Nairobi this week with the Hon Eng Simon D’Ujanga, the Minister of State for Energy, heading up the delegation.

Ethiopia also won two categories at the awards.

The winners of the East African Power Industry Awards 2016 are:

Special Recognition Award

Winner: Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, Permanent Secretary, Uganda Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development, Uganda

Dr Kabagambe-Kallisa was unable to accept his award in person, but sent his son, Henry Kaliisa, to deliver his acceptance speech on his behalf. He paid special tribute to his colleagues in the Ugandan energy sector, private sector players as well as international development partners: “With my colleagues in Uganda’s energy sector, with whom I have worked with for the last 20 years as the Permanent Secretary, to design and implement policies and laws which have created a conducive environment for private sector participation and investment in Uganda’s power industry.”

Award for Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution

Winner: Umeme, Uganda

“It is a privilege for Umeme to win this award for the second time in a row. It is also a privilege to be recognised for the efforts put in and efficiencies we have achieved in the Ugandan distribution sector. It is wonderful that EAPIC is coming to Uganda next year and we look forward to sharing more of the progress we have made in Uganda with our peers from the region,” Mr Sam Zimbe, Deputy Managing Director of Umeme, said on Wednesday evening after receiving the award on behalf of the utility.

Umeme Limited is Uganda’s main electricity distribution company. In 2015, Umeme’s income grew by 19% to Ushs 1.16 trillion compared to 2014, underpinned by 8% growth in sales units. The commencement of construction works for Isimba (183MW) and Karuma (600MW) hydropower projects affirms the government’s commitment to the energy sector and increasing access to electricity across Uganda.

Award for Outstanding Clean Power Project (under 5MW)

Winner: Mobisol – East Africa

“We are very happy, proud and feel very overwhelmed; this was a surprise as we did not expect to win. Mobisol is growing very fast and so far we have electrified over 60,000 households in East Africa,” said Klaus Maier, Mobisol Corporate Development Manager and Helen Tiemann, Mobisol, Partnerships and Expansion Manager, after receiving the award.

Community Development Programme of the Year Award

Winner: Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP)

“For most of development programs, the impact in terms of improvement of the living standards of women and the rural households is only perceived many years after the programme has been closed. With the ABPP, this impact is immediate, the moment the woman lights her biogas stove, she cooks in a clean and safe environment! Few months later, thanks to the use of bioslurry, the household significantly increase its agricultural production as well,” said Jean Marc Sika, ABPP’s Renewable Energy Programme Development Manager in East Africa who along with Bert van Nieuwenhuizen, ABPP’s Chief Technical Advisor, accepted the award.

Award for Excellence in Power Generation

Winner: Ethiopian Electric Power, Ethiopia

Outstanding Woman in Power – Regional Award, East Africa

Winner: Azeb Asnake, CEO, Ethiopian Electric Power, Ethiopia

Future Energy Leader Award

Winner: Faith Chege, Chief Financial Officer, Barefoot Power Africa Ltd, Kenya

After accepting the award Faith said: “This award is validating both as a young professional and a young woman in the energy sector. It's proof that the hard work and continuous strive to be a part of the solution in eradicating energy poverty has not gone unnoticed. I'm currently working on a pay-it-forward project for my upcoming 30th birthday where I will be installing 30 solar home systems for 30 households in rural Kenya. This will give 150 people access to clean energy and encourage my fellow young folk to be part of the solution.”
East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC)
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558