From 14th to 16th May, a team of postgraduates will represent Strathmore University at the “Initiate! Impact Challenge” at this year’s African Utility Week. Fredrick Amariati, Ignatius Maranga, Raymond Kiyegga and Alex Osunga were the candidates selected to represent the university at the annual event hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. The four emerged with the best abstracts out of all the other applicants from the university, which are chosen by a panel from the event.
“We are looking at reducing the cost of having solutions that work for single houses and going for communities coming together to fund a solar solution that can give them energy and electricity,” says Raymond Kiyegga, in response to what the project they are presenting is about.
The Initiate! 3-day challenge is for postgraduate students enrolled at Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, the University of Witwatersrand and Strathmore University. It involves completing a series of challenges that will enable the contestants to immerse themselves in the conference and exhibition while sourcing opinions from experts and pooling ideas from conference sessions. The team hopes to interact with mentors and key players in the sector for guidance and ways to improve their project. According to Fredrick Amariati, “We would like to know what is happening in other universities, learn from what they are doing, know what innovations are coming up in the sector and incorporate it with what we are doing.”
The 19th annual African Utility Week is the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals. This year’s event brings in the addition of POWERGEN Africa, expanding focus on generation (Including renewables, off grid) while still concentrating on transmission and distribution, new technologies (including storage, mini grids, IOT and ICT systems) and, of course, water.
“There will be various utility companies from Africa showcasing their technology, innovations and products. We hope to understand their needs, products and challenges, and this should help with the solution we are coming up with.” Ignatius Maranga
Two of the candidates, Ignatius Maranga and Fredrick Amariati, are Open Africa Power 2018 alumni. Open Africa Power is a programme about renewable energy. It was founded by the NL Foundation, of which Strathmore is the main implementing partner. Its main objective is to forge the next generation of clean energy leaders for Africa.
On the last day of the “Initiate! Impact Challenge”, the teams will be invited to pitch their innovations to a prestigious committee of judges and the winning team walks away with a prize of R20,000.
This article was written by Christine Mukasa
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