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JLA and the University of Nairobi Announces Winners of the Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Jacob Ladder Africa, JLA, and the University of Nairobi have announced the winners of the Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge.

Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge

The program challenges Kenyan youths to innovate energy solutions to adverse climate change effects. The Renewable Energy Innovative Challenge is a great way of motivating the Kenyan youth to learn and innovate.

What The Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge Is About

The challenge encourages youth between 20 and 25 to research, develop, and submit relevant ideas that address the impacts of climate change and energy access. It is usually done in a month.

An event, Demo Day, is organized at the end of the challenge to reward the finalists. Note that only 24 finalists are allowed to showcase their projects to the judges and audience at this event. 

The judges include experts from Microsoft East Africa, Mercy Corps, Bright Green Energy, Fedha Electrics, and Mercy Corps Ventures. It also includes Klaudine Wakasa, Chebet Lesan, George Mosomi, and so on. 

Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge To Address Socio-Economic Issues In Kenya 

Karen Chelang’at, Chief Innovation Officer, of Jacob’s Ladder Africa, said at this year’s challenge, “At the heart of JLA’s mission is the proliferation of green solutions, with African youth at the center.”

“Through the Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge, we were able to mentor and journey with young people from across the country. Additionally, they come up with impressive innovative solutions, proving they have what it takes to ideate and implement green solutions. Solutions that solve current and pressing socio-economic issues in the country.”

Also, Professor Mary Kinoti, Director of Innovation and Intellectual Property Management, said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Jacob’s Ladder Africa in this endeavor. Furthermore, the University of Nairobi remains committed to supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and commercialization of solutions. Also, these solutions address different challenges in the country and welcome opportunities for like-minded collaborations.”

The Winners of The Innovation Challenge

Three of the twenty-four finalists were chosen as winners. They presented their ideas in more detail and were allowed to reveal how their projects work. This year’s top three Renewable Energy Innovation Challenge projects are listed below: 

  1. SunTrack: Firstly, this is a system that helps people and businesses monitor their energy use to make better decisions about solar power.
  2. Umeme Sense is a smart technology that helps large buildings and industries cut down on energy waste by monitoring and controlling energy use in real-time.
  3. Mobilab: Lastly, this is an initiative using solar-powered buses to deliver hands-on STEM education across Kenya, promoting clean energy and tackling educational inequality.

The 24 finalists have access to the greenLabs Incubation Program for nine months. They get to have mentors who will teach and guide them to various opportunities. 


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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

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