Ifeoma Malo is the Campaign Director of Power For All (Nigeria), CEO, Clean Tech Hub and Member, extractive360 Advisory Board. She recently won the Power Industry Leader Award 2020. It is the largest industry award in sub-Saharan Africa, organized by ESI Africa, PowerGen and the African Power and Energy Elites Publication, to celebrate industry players from across the globe who are working on the African continent in the areas of Power, Utilities, and Water. In this interview with e360, Malo speaks on the significance of the award and underscore the need to end energy poverty in Africa. Excerpts
The selection process was quite transparent. A global call for nominations is sent out every year and anyone is allowed to nominate whomever they feel is best suited for the award. In this case, the dates for nomination were opened in May 2019 and closed in August 2019. After about six months, the nominees are sifted and whittled down to about 8-10 persons per category and at this stage you are informed that you are a finalist. An exclusive interview is held with each of the nominees and this also forms part of the selection process. The final selection of African Power & Energy Elites is made by an external advisory board that is composed of experienced industry figures from around the world.
The African Power & Energy Elites Publication has always celebrated several categories of leadership and successful projects in the Power, Utilities and Water sector since 2016. The respective Elites categories are focused on excellence in leadership in the sector as well as across pioneering projects. These projects have to be applicable to both the public and private sectors, extending across power generation, transmission, distribution, water, independent power producers and project developers.
The Power Leadership category where I was nominated comprised of industry influencers that are active in the private or public sectors – and who are innovative in their leadership approach and strategies in improving and advancing the power, utility and water value chain on a regional or country level. That Power Industry Leader of the year category had in it a total number of about eight nominees.
REACTION TO THE AWARD
I recall being contacted via email by the organizers, saying that I had been nominated for the Power Industry Awards in the Leadership category – I didn’t have any idea who could have nominated me, but I was really privileged to be in the same category with pretty incredible people including my sister and friend Kristina Skeirka – the global CEO of Power For All. Everyone nominated was involved in very important and amazing work in the power and utility sector both locally, regionally and globally. Being selected as the winner in that category and in an award that is the most recognized regionally – was a major surprise, but I was totally honored, humbled and yes, happy at the same time to have been selected. I am grateful to the ESI Africa and PowerGen Africa for putting together an amazing platform that recognizes the work and impact of industry players in their various sectors. I am also thankful to all my colleagues who voted me in as the winner. I must say that this award is itself as much a win for me as it is for everyone doing their bit to end energy poverty and ensure that electricity on the continent does not remain a benefit of a privileged few, but that this technology is used to transform lives and communities across the continent
WORD FOR THE INDUSTRY
I must commend the work already being done by players in the power, utilities and water industry; however, there remains a lot of work to be done especially in achieving the vision for universal energy access and rural electrification across Africa. It is important for stakeholders, CSO’s, individuals and the community at large, and we must pull our weight and work towards creating a sustainable and inclusive impact around energy access that will not only benefit the continent, but the world at large.