EEP Africa Knowledge Week 2020: Agenda and Speakers

Thanks to everyone who joined us for Knowledge Week 2020. See a summary of the week here and find links to the webinar recordings below.


EEP Africa Knowledge Week features three online events that highlight key themes from our portfolio in 2020 and celebrate EEP Africa’s 10th anniversary. See links to the session recordings and brief bios of our speakers below.

Tuesday, 17 November 

Clean Energy for Climate Resilience

Clean energy projects are often viewed in terms of climate mitigation, but they are also producing important co-benefits for climate adaptation and resilience. Our panel of speakers discuss the role clean energy plays in fostering agricultural resilience and local self-reliance, and the need for a more holistic approach to climate funding and impact evaluation. Results from Energising Resilience, a new publication from EEP Africa, and the global study on Private Markets for Climate Resilience, are highlighted.

Moderators: Chiedza Mazaiwana and Tracy Dolan, EEP Africa

Speakers: Julia Larkin, IDEAS for Energy; Isabel Leroux, Nordic Development Fund; Dr. Rebekah Shirley, Power for All

Julia Larkin, Managing Director, IDEAS for Energy, specializes in evaluating multilateral energy and climate finance programs, especially those promoting local markets for renewable energy, energy access and energy efficiency in developing countries.

Isabel Leroux, Program Manager, Nordic Development Fund (NDF), focuses on private sector resilience and financing in climate adaptation and resilience, including managing the launch of the private equity fund Lightsmith Climate Resilience Partners and the publication Private Markets for Climate Resilience.

Dr. Rebekah Shirley, Chief of Research, Power for All, works to create widespread public access to energy data and insights and explores integrated electrification opportunities in Africa.


Wednesday, 18 November

Expanding Productive Use: Lessons from the Field 

There is rising market interest in productive use of energy as an effective way to strengthen the financial viability and impact of clean energy companies. Renewable energy solutions for productive use are bringing sustainable and climate resilient applications to agricultural value chains, transportation, and small business development. EEP Africa’s 2020 call for proposals demonstrated the growing strength and diversity of companies promoting productive use (see 2020 Market Report). In this webinar, project developers in EEP Africa’s current portfolio discuss their experiences entering and expanding the productive use market in Africa.

Moderators: Faith Chege-Schooley and Lotta Wilkman, EEP Africa

Speakers: Laura Sundblad, Pawame Kenya; Sharon Yeti, Powerlive Zimbabwe; Cody Plante, Village Industrial Power; Lara van Druten, The Waste Transformers; Priscilla Sani-Chimwele, Wala

Laura Sundblad, Corporate Development Director, Pawame, manages this Kenyan-based SHS company’s expansion into agricultural productive use appliances through an innovative business model aimed at expanding financial inclusion.

Sharon Yeti, CEO and co-founder, Powerlive Zimbabwe, focuses on expanding access to clean energy through a feminist approach aimed at making women’s lives better and empowering women in marginalized communities.

Cody Plante, Operations Coordinator, Village Industrial Powerworks to create market linkages that facilitate the adoption of waste-to-energy technologies, specifically for on-farm crop dehydration in Kenya.

Lara van Druten, CEO and founder, The Waste Transformers, is an entrepreneur with a substantial track record in innovation, clean tech and resource recovery. Her company is on a mission to revolutionise how we deal with organic waste.

Priscilla Sani-Chimwele, CEO and founder, Wala, is an entrepreneur with a background working at UN agencies and other international development organisations at global, regional and national levels. Her social enterprise focuses on soar irrigation and agricultural processing.


Thursday, 19 November 

EEP Africa Awards: Looking Ahead to the Next 10 Years  

EEP Africa has supported 250 innovative clean energy projects in Southern and East Africa since 2010 and many past grantees have grown into market leaders in the region. As we look ahead to the next 10 years, EEP Africa has launched Rising Energy Leaders, a new award to recognize the next generation of innovators. The 2020 winners join this session for a roundtable on emerging trends and opportunities in the sector. The winner of the 2020 Project of the Year award is also announced.

Moderator: Lauri Tuomaala, EEP Africa

Speakers: Ambassador Jan Wahlberg, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland; Aleksi Lumijärvi, Nordic Development Fund; Jeffrey Prins, IKEA Foundation; and the 2020 Project of the Year and Rising Energy Leaders!

Ambassador Jan Wahlberg, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, is an experienced career diplomat currently serving as Finland’s first Ambassador for Climate Change. The position was created to accentuate the importance of climate diplomacy in achieving the climate goals set by Finland and the European Union. The Finnish MFA hosted EEP Africa during 2010-2017 and remains a core donor.

Aleksi Lumijärvi, Program Manager, Nordic Development Fund (NDF), is a consultant and fund manager in clean energy and climate finance. NDF is host and manager of EEP Africa, since 2018, and Mr. Lumijärvi is jury chair for the 2020 Project of the Year award.

Jeffrey Prins, Head of Portfolio Renewable Energy, IKEA Foundation, is a specialist on renewable energy and circular economy, with a focus on energy access as a means to alleviate poverty and fight climate change. Mr. Prins was a member of the 2020 Project of the Year jury panel. (See other members of the jury here.)