THE 2018 African Youth Energy Innovator submissions are now open!

Africa Energy Indaba is proud to present the second African Youth Energy Innovator Showcase in 2018.  Africa needs to invest in and grow its next generations of energy leaders if its countries and the broader continent are to compete in the global arena. Africa Energy Indaba is committed to empowering talented young Africans by allowing them to be seen by the industry experts and energy decision makers. Africa Energy Indaba wants to encourage empowerment and help find solutions to energy problems in Africa. We want to foster inspirational and innovative thinking, starting with the talented youth in Africa.


• Individuals who are between 18 to 35 years old; AND
• Have citizenship to any country in Africa


1. Energy Security: Can your innovation help with effective management of energy supply, reliability of energy infrastructure, or meet a specific set of current and future demands?
2. Environmental Sustainability: Does your innovation provide clean renewable or low carbon supply energy?
3. Energy Equity: Can your innovation improve accessibility and affordability of energy in Africa?
4. Job creation: Could your innovation create jobs?
5. Target customers: Who is the innovation going to benefit? For example Utilites / Rural communities / Corporates etc.?
6. Customer value: What are the key benefits of your innovation to customers?
7. Your unique value proposition: How will you differentiate and position yourself?


• The winner will receive the Best Innovator Award and will be recognized at the Africa Energy Indaba 2018 in Johannesburg.
• The winner and the 4 runners-up will each receive an all-inclusive ticket to attend the Africa Energy Indaba 2018 and showcase their innovations in a 2-day exhibition. This will provide the following benefits:
– Publicity and exposure of the winning innovations to local and international market opportunities
– Access to exclusive Business Matchmaking networking program to meet with potential investors
– Opportunity to meet key public and private sector stakeholders
– The possibility of attracting funding or sponsorship


Submissions are now open! You can enter from 30 October 2017 and entries close on 15 January 2018. No late entries will be accepted.


Download the Proposal Submission Form and submit the completed forms with any diagrams and pictures to BY 15 January 2018.

Learn more about the Top 5 African Youth Energy Innovators of 2017

Winner: Patrick Akpan
Innovation: Oil Palm Fruit Boiler

Patrick Akpan, a Mechanical Engineering student doing his PhD at UCT, won the first-ever African Youth Energy Innovator Award in 2017. Patrick’s energy efficient fruit palm sterilizer won the award for the best African energy innovation. Palm oil is used in beverages, cosmetic products, cooking and baking. “For me it’s like waking up from a dream. This idea was conceived some years back and I did some work on it, but since I was not getting support on it, I left it on the shelf. Now, I can see a brighter horizon and I’ve met a couple of people at the exhibition who said they would like to work with me to see what can be done on it, and so I see the product going to the market in the near future,” said Akpan.


Paseka Litabe
Innovation: Photovoltaic Blinds

Africa is experiencing one of the fastest rates of urbanization, this poses many challenges for governments in sectors relating to health, clean water, and sustainable energy resources. The innovation allows vertically mounted solar panels to track and follow the sun around a building, and positions the panels on the side receiving optimal sunlight. The innovation addresses the issue of carbon emissions, reduces smog through the use carbon-free  renewable energy and hence minimises health risks.  Innovation benefits include that it is scalable, measurable(R/KWh), affordable and that it improves efficiency and aesthetics.


Mpumzi Swana
Innovation: Desalination using hydrowave energy

The innovation creates hydroelectricity for desalination using ocean waves. The solution benefits include:

  • Zero carbon emissions
  • Addresses water and energy security
  • Job creation during construction and operation
  • Free source of energy
  • Use wave energy and hydro-power
  • Consistent and reliable supply
  • Modular
  • Low operating costs


Mbangiso Mabaso
Innovation: EED CITY GAME

“The Game That Every Utility Needs”  The innovation is a game-based solution aimed at users between 14-27 years, who own a smartphone and love playing games. The game educates them about energy terms by bringing in a fun and competitive component. Customers like local utilities would see an improvement in energy saving campaigns and better customer engagement.


Jonathan David Naude
Innovation: Solar Tracking Mechanism

The innovatation proposes optimising Solar PV systems by using an improved solar tracking mechanism which typically results in 30-45% higher electricity production, at a feasible cost. The following advantages are possible through solar tracking:

  • No software required to operate. No pc-board is required to facilitate the tracking method.
  • Does not require additional power source for the tracking mechanism.
  • Higher energy efficiency for tracking module and in effect higher output for the solar collector.
  • Scalable based on application
  • Robustness in setup and operation
  • Does not require precise alignment of the solar tracking setup

With an optical feedback means, the control system can ensure that any tracking errors due to wind effects, mechanical backlash, installation mismatches, accumulated errors or other disturbances in the positioning of the parabolic dish are reduced.

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