Africa celebrates continent’s exceptional solar achievers at inaugural AFSIA Solar Awards


The awards recognize companies and individuals that have contributed to promoting and advancing the use of solar across Africa. A statement from the organizers disclosed that over 130 entries were received this year, coming from all corners of the continent. Each application was reviewed and evaluated by an independent jury, comprised of eight international jurors.

John van Zuylen, founder of Rwanda-based AFSIA, said, “AFSIA Solar Awards is delighted to be hosted by this much respected programme and to unveil the winners during a digital ceremony on October 29.

“The event was organized as a great show celebrating exceptional achievement in the solar industry and hosted several African personalities such as Ndumiso Lindi, the host of the awards, and the African band and dance troupe ‘Les Merveilles de Guinee’ who gave a thrilling performance. Several leaders of the global industry such as Huawei, Trina Solar and Jinko Solar also provided their support to make this a truly exceptional event.”

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The winners

  • The utility scale project of the year was won by Sterling & Wilson Solar for its 322 MW contribution to Egypt’s 1.6 GW Benban Solar Complex.
  • Cross Boundary Energy was awarded Commercial & Industrial Solar for its Jabi Lake Mall project executed in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Africa GreenTec emerged the winner of Mini Grid Project on account of its projects in Mali, Niger and Senegal, which are often subject to high security risks.
  • Solar Home System Company of the year went to d.light for achieving the target of reaching 100 million people with solar energy.
  • Rwanda’s Munyax Eco was handed the Residential Project Award for exceptional achievement in the field of Solar Water heaters, having installed more than 1,000 units across Rwanda, saving 8,000 tons of CO2per year.
  • The African Solar company of the year went to ANKAMadagascar for securing 5 MW worth of mini grids across Madagascar, and for the company’s innovative AgriGrid model.
  • The African Solar SME award was jointly won by Pawame and Solar Box Gabon for respectively reaching 80,000 Kenyans with Solar Home System solutions while achieving cash-flow break-even and profitability; and for developing the “Solar Cube”, which doubles the production of traditional solar panels.
  • The Financial Advisor award went to Synergy Consulting Infrastructure and Financial Advisory Services for their advisory services to cutting-edge large-scale projects across the continent, such as the 2×50 MW tender in Botswana, the 32 MW Djermaya project in Chad and the 200 MW PV-CSP hybrid project in Egypt.
  • Eversheds Sutherland was selected as Legal Advisor of the year for its contribution to the Open Solar Contracts with IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, and the Terrawatt Initiative, for providing open source standardized contracts to governments across the globe.
  • Technical Advisor of the year went to Suntrace for technical advisory to the Fekola Gold mine hybrid project in Mali – a first of its kind off-grid hybrid project comprised of 36 MW of solar and 15.4 MWh of storage. It is said to save 13 million liters of heavy fuel oil annually.
  • Development Finance Institutionof the year went to the African Development Bank (AfDB) for establishing SEFA, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, which has contributed to, among others, the first of its kind inventory finance facility for solar irrigation products in East Africa.
  • The Woman in Solar of the Year went to Olaedo Osoka for leading the expansion of her company from Nigeria to Ghana, Togo and Senegal, and realizing C&I projects totaling 8 MW during this two-year period, at the age of 27.
  • Phaesun took the Solar Innovation for the year award for its work on the RevivED Water Innovation project – a solar-powered desalination and purification systems for brackish water based on electrodialysis technology, providing up to 2,000 liters of clean drinking water daily.
  • Solar Picture of the year went to Alexandre Skander Allegue of Pawame for his picture highlighting the impact of lighting in the most remote areas.
  • Finally, Joanna Gentili – African Minigrids won the Solar video of the year for a inspiring and motivating video about electrifying a village in Malawi.

By Patrick Olisa

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