Project of the Year 2022: Award Finalists and Jury Panel

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


Companies in the current or recent EEP Africa portfolio were 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 2022 Project of the Year are:

African Clean Energy: A Dutch-South African social enterprise that produces and distributes solar-biomass hybrid cookstoves. The project launched a new pay-as-you-go (PAYG) cooking solution through their network of shops across Lesotho to increase access to clean energy products and improved household health.

Millennium Engineers: A local, woman-owned renewable energy start-up on Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The company is replacing kerosene lamps for night fishing with solar-powered LED lamps to improve health and reduce respiratory problems. The company is also establishing sardine drying facilities by combining solar and wind power to shorten significantly the drying cycle. Through capacity building and skills training more women are integrating into the fishing value chain.

Mobility for Africa: A woman-led start-up in Zimbabwe that is developing renewable community-based transport solutions for Africa. The three-wheeled vehicle are optimised for local conditions and improve access to markets and services for smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs, especially women. The vehicles run on bespoke long-life batteries charged by renewable energy.

SokoFresh: A social enterprise that offers cold storage solutions and a market linkage to small and medium-scale farmers in Kenya.  SokoFresh piloted an integrated approach to refrigeration, aggregation of produce, food processing and market linkages for smallholder avocado farmers. The project installed nine containerised, solar PV cold storage units and four solar-powered avocado oil extraction facilities.

The finalists will pitch their project before an international jury panel (see below) and the winner will be announced on 14 March during the “Demystifying Investor Readiness” 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 14 March for the announcement of our 2022 winner.

2023 Award Jury Panel:


Isabel Leroux, Program Manager, Nordic Development Fund (NDF): Isabel has over 12+ years in development finance and her focus is on NDF’s private sector financing activities. Her areas of expertise include project preparation, early-stage and blended financing in climate change adaptation and resilience strategies and initiatives.

Arivazhagan G D , Partner, SIMA Funds: Arivazhagan is currently spearheading the Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF) that has approved relief funding to 119 energy access companies in 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia Pacific. Ari is an investment professional with 12+ years of experience in impact sectors and has been an observer in the board of multiple portfolio companies. He also has a short stint as an entrepreneur.

Sam Grant, Senior Director, Clean Energy Access, East Africa, Clasp: Sam brings ten years of experience working in energy access to CLASP. He has lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. Sam previously held leadership roles at the Equity Group Foundation and MicroEnergy Credits. He has worked closely with the cookstove and solar home system sectors and is committed to supporting the delivery of quality energy services.

Wout van Blommestein, Investment Associate, DOEN Participaties: Wout is part of the investment arm of the DOEN Foundation and his focus is on Energy Access and Circularity. Prior to joining DOEN, Wout worked at the M&A department of Deloitte and has a background in finance.