Three pioneering students have won the 2020 Micro-Grid Academy Young Talent of the Year Award, given out by the RES4Africa Foundation in recognition of their ingenuity and their positive potential impact on their communities. Eileen Lara the head of solar at Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), Uganda was announced as a winner alongside, Norah Magero and Elly Kevin Oriko from Kenya. The announcement was made by the CEO of Enel Green Power and President of the RES4Africa Foundation Salvatore Bernabei. The Award is a way to showcase and reward youth-driven projects that address the major environmental and social challenges hampering full, sustainable and inclusive development in African countries.
The Talent of the Year Award was open to young African innovators from the Micro-Grid Academy network who launched quality renewable energy projects in their communities. Eileen Phoebe Lara, a graduate in electrical engineering heads the solar department at CREEC. She has not only contributed to the development of standards for solar products in Uganda but is also the founder of Uganda’s Women in Renewable Energy Association (WREAU), a platform to empower women to acquire skills in the renewable energy sector.
Lara points out that 50% of Africa’s population has no access to electricity. This means they must leave their homes to collect fuel for cooking — 90% of which is done by women. Among its many positive ripple effects, access to sustainable electricity will improve family standards of living, health, and women’s incomes. These three Micro-Grid Academy students showed they have the vision, passion and dedication to create smart, sustainable and efficient renewable energy solutions for their communities. As well, the 2020 winners will join the three winners of the 2021 edition of the Award to the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition event in Milan, Italy, on Sept. 28-30. Transforming communities through provision of energy takes strong individuals with a great vision. Many initiatives of this kind can a long way in providing sustainable energy for off grid communities. CREEC would like to congratulate Ms Lara on this milestone.