Executive Director Mahama Kappiah of ‘Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency’ (ECREEE), a United for Efficiency Partner in West Africa, was awarded African Energy Leader of the year on 21 April 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The jury commended Mr. Kappiah for bringing the “X” factor to impact at a company level and within the industry as a whole.
The nomination comes at a time of significant developments in the West African energy sector. Current projects to unleash the regional energy efficiency potential will provide great savings.
About 60 per cent of the region’s 300 million inhabitants lack access to an efficient, modern and safe electrical system.
According to United for Efficiency-en.lighten estimations, by transitioning to energy-efficient on-grid lighting the region could save annually over 6 per cent in electricity consumption. These savings would be enough to provide new grid connections to over 2 million households. Regional annual financial savings on electricity bills could exceed $220 million.
A Great Honour
Mahama Kappiah and his team at the Centre are driving this exciting transformation of West Africa. Mr. Kappiah feels humbled to have been recognised for his work.
“It is a great honour. I think I’ve been fortunate to have an exceptional and dedicated team. The Centre’s success story is in large part due to its dedicated staff; and this award is dedicated to them, the people of West Africa and our Partners,” says Mr. Kappiah.
This year’s 10th Annual Africa Energy Awards brought together several nominees for five award categories: Women in Power, African Energy Innovation, African Energy Leader of the Year, Premier Energy Project of the Year, and the Small and Medium Energy Company of the Year.
The African Energy Leader of the Year is awarded to an individual that exhibits courage, dedication, vision and judgement that empowers those around him/her. He/she must be a leader that is highly respected and recognised by his peers and competitors.
This year, the jury was looking for an individual that brings the “X” factor to impact at a company level and within the industry as a whole.
Workdays Driven by the Need to Ensure Equity
Mr. Kappiah’s job is not a traditional 9-to-5 job.
“I wake up every morning and strive to do my best to contribute to improving the energy access situation in my region,“ says Mr. Kappiah.
He usually starts his workday with strategic meetings with his team, identifying programmes and projects to be implemented and designing effective strategies for their implementation. Implementing on-the-job training programmes for his employees and fostering a crosscutting work approach to encourage units to work together are close to his heart.
“I also talk a lot to various partners to see how best they can support our work for the benefit of the region,” he explains.
United for Efficiency Supports Transformation
ECREEE is a United for Efficiency-en.lighten Partner since 2014, when West African countries agreed on a roadmap to accelerate transition to energy-efficient lighting by 2020. The United for Efficiency-en.lighten supports actively the region in this transition.
As part of the 2014 agreement, the 15 West African countries are harmonising minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for both grid and off-grid lighting products. This will ensure that only efficient and quality products are available in the marketplace. Additionally, a national registry for energy-efficient lighting products and a certified testing laboratory are being established to monitor products in the market.
Mahama Kappiah is grateful for the on-going Partnership.
“I think our collaboration with United for Efficiency-en.lighten definitely impacted this Energy Leader nomination,” he says.
Much work needs to be done to continue the regional energy transformation. Mr. Kappiah wants to see a completely reformed West African sustainable energy policy landscape that attracts major investments into the energy sector.
Like a true leader, he never stops being a student, always learning, improving.
“I think the award will inspire me to re-double my efforts. My goal is to ensure that West Africa becomes the top destination for energy investments in the not-too-distant future,” he says confidently.