Project of the Year 2021: Award Finalists and Jury Panel

The Project of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievement by an EEP Africa portfolio company during the past year.


Companies in the current or recent EEP Africa portfolio are invited to submit a nomination for the Project of the Year award. Nominees are asked to demonstrate significant and verifiable achievement during the past year in terms of innovation, delivery, impact and/or fundraising.

We are pleased to announce that the finalists for 2021 Project of the Year are:


Jaza Energy: A last-mile energy company in Tanzania deploying solar energy hubs, operated exclusively by local women, that offer affordable battery rentals to bottom-of-the-pyramid customers.


Powerlive: A women-led social enterprise in Zimbabwe bringing scalable solar systems and productive use appliances to marginalized communities through a pay-as-you-go model. A social enterprise in Kenya providing farmers access to biodigester technology, training and financing to become more productive, efficient and sustainable.


Zembo: An e-mobility start-up in Uganda selling electric motorcycles to boda-boda drivers on a lease-to-own basis and building a network of solar charging and battery swap stations.

The finalists will pitch their project before an international jury panel (see below) and the winner will be announced on 25 November during the closing session of EEP Africa Knowledge Week.

Thank you to the jury and to all the companies that submitted nominations this year. Read more about our past winners and tune in on 25 November for the announcement of our 2021 winner.

2021 Award Jury Panel:


Aleksi Lumijärvi, Program Manager, Nordic Development Fund (NDF): Aleksi has over 20 years of global experience in clean energy and climate finance as a consultant, financial advisor and fund manager in developed and developing countries. He has worked at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and advised several governments in the design and implementation of policies to promote investments in the energy transition.

Kornelia Iipinge, Project Coordinator, SACREEE: Kornelia coordinates the SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility, which is supported by IRENA. Prior to this, she worked as a researcher on urban governance and climate change for the Future Resilience for African Cities and Lands (FRACTAL) project, UNDP-Namibia, and the Gobabeb Namib Research Institute. She is an active member of Namibian Youth on Renewable Energy (NaYoRe) and Water-Youth Namibia.

Kwaku Owusu-Achaw, Regional Manager, West Africa, Shell Foundation: Kwaku manages strategic activities in West Africa and is heavily involved in the Access to Energy and Sustainable Mobility portfolios. He has been key in scaling a number of businesses in these sectors across Africa. Prior to this, he worked in asset management at Fidelity Investments and spent five years in global energy trading at Shell Trading.

Sarah Bieber, Associate Director, Strategic Partnerships, Acumen: Sarah leads strategic partnerships for the energy sector, working with private and public investors to co-invest in pioneering enterprises in emerging markets. Prior to Acumen, she worked at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and led the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development, a global partnership to mobilise investment in off-grid solar solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.