Alumni Eunice in running for top award

Alumni Eunice in running for top award

Issued: Mon, 08 May 2017 16:08:00 BST

Adam Smith Business School alumna Eunice Ntobedzi from Botswana has been shortlisted for an ‘Outstanding Woman of the Year: Power/Water’ accolade in this year’s African Utility Week Power Industry Awards.

The annual awards recognise, reward and celebrate the success of Africa’s power and water sectors. Entrepreneur Eunice has been recognised by her industry peers for her innovative solution to a shortage of electricity in her home country, Botswana and other regions in southern Africa. 

Empowered has evolved into a mobile, cloud and blockchain enabled financial technology (FinTech) energy management platform that takes advantage of the significant opportunity of decentralised off-grid energy supply in Africa.

The World Bank estimate that over 1.5 billion people around the globe do not have access to electricity and 660 million of these live on the African continent. At the current rate of connection, the problem is getting worse as population growth is faster than connection rates. The United Nations recently launched the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and SDG7 target to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030. 

Eunice said: “The link between the delivery of SDG7 is seen as underpinning all other areas of the SDGs.  With an estimated 660 Million Africans without access to electricity, the need to develop new ways to service this market is critical said Ms Ntobedzi. It is no longer a power generation issue but how do we develop new business models so projects and communities become bankable so they can attract the $700 Billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) required to deliver SDG7.

The recognition by the panel of international judges is an endorsement of my innovation. I am excited to have been selected and not only represent Botswana but also Africa”. 

I have been working with international partners including start up from University of Cambridge and a legal team supported by the Botswana Innovation Hub who are helping with making the project investment ready. I have already had support from Bank of Botswana and other regulatory partners in other regions of Africa.

My year of studies at Glasgow University have been fully utilised as I prepare for commercialisation.

I feel honoured to have to be selected as one of the leading Women in Energy in Africa alongside such a successful group of Women playing their part in changing the energy market in Africa.

The results of the African Utility Week Power Industry Awards will be announced on Wednesday 17 May 2017.


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