Dangote Group’s Joseph Makoju, Akon Lighting Africa and the AfDB big winners at West African Power Industry Awards in Lagos

200 top power professionals gathered for 2nd edition of coveted awards

Joseph Makoju, Honorary Advisor for the Dangote Group, was honoured with the  Lifetime Achievement Regional Award during the sold-out gala dinner at the West African Power Industry Awards in Lagos on Tuesday evening. Akon Lighting Africa scored a double nod of approval from the industry with two awards, namely Best Renewable Energy Project and CSR Initiative of the Year. The African Development Bank walked away with the Power Transaction of the Year accolade for its OMVG Energy Project.

Some 200 top power professionals gathered for the second edition of the coveted awards evening to cheer on and celebrate well-known industry pioneers and companies in seven different awards categories. The awards form part of the West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) which is taking place this week at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos.

The full list of winners and runners-up in the West African Power Industry Awards 2015 are:

Lifetime Achievement – Regional Award, West Africa

Winner: Joseph Makoju, Honorary Advisor, Dangote Group, Nigeria

Joseph Makoju has been honorary adviser to the President and chief executive of the Dangote Group since 2009. Before joining the Dangote Group, he worked in several world-class organisations including Shell-BP; Blue Circle (UK) and WAPCO which he headed as managing director and chief executive for about a decade before taking up an appointment as managing director and chief executive of National Electric Power Authority. Mr Makoju served as special adviser (electric power) to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria under two separate administrations. He was pioneer chairman of the board of the West African Power Pool for eight years and today remains an honorary member of the board. Mr Makoju holds a number of awards including a national honour from the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) and a national honour from the Republic of Niger – Grand Commander of the Special Order of Merit (GCSO).


–          Abubakar Sani Sambo, Chairman, Nigerian Member Committee, World Energy Council, Nigeria

–          Henry Paul Batchi Baldeh, Senior Vice President + Head of Power, Africa Finance Corporation, Nigeria

–          Kandeh Yumkella, CEO, SE4All initiative, Sierra Leone

–          Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Ghana

–          Oladele Amoda,  Eko Electricity Distribution, Managing Director + CEO, Nigeria

–          Reuben Okeke, Director General, NAPTIN, Nigeria


Power Transaction of the Year
Winner:  African Development Bank – OMVG Energy Project, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal

In September 2015 the African Development Bank approved a €121.5-million package to the Gambia River Basin Development Organization (OMVG) to improve electricity access and provide renewable, clean and affordable energy in The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. The OMVG Energy Project will address these power supply constraints through the development of the Sambangalou hydro-electricity dam with an installed capacity of 128 MW and the construction of an interconnection network for the evacuation of energy, comprising 1,677 km of 225 kV lines, 15 high/medium voltage transformer stations, and two load dispatch centres. Project management and institutional support will also be provided. The OMVG network will play an important role within the West African Power Pool system by connecting the existing Senegal River Basin Development Organization network in the north to the Côte d’Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea network in the east.


–          Africa Finance Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, African Infrastructure Investment Managers, Cenpower Holdings and FMO – Kpone Independent Power Project, Ghana

–          African Development Bank + European Investment Bank – Electricity Distribution Network, Guinea Bissau

–          Diamond Bank, Geometric, Stanbic, AfriGem + Aba IPP, The Aba Integrated Power Project, Nigeria

–          European Investment Bank, European Union + AFD, Sonabel Solar Project, Burkina Faso

–          World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank + German Export Bank, Transco CLSG Interconnection Line, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia + Sierra Leone


Excellence in Power Generation
Winner: Azito Energie SA, Ivory Coast

Azito is now one of the most modern, efficient power plants in West Africa, providing 25 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s electricity capacity. The newly built Phase 3 adds 10 percent more affordable and reliable electricity to the country. During the peak of construction, the plant’s expansion created more than 1,300 jobs, of which more than 60 percent were met by local employment. Azito Power Plant is located on a 5-hectare plot of land near the Azito village in Yopougon District, approximately six kilometres west of the port of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire. Côte d’Ivoire, Francophone West Africa’s largest economy, has been inhibited by a lack of dependable electricity infrastructure even as it emerges as a regional power hub. The need for reliable and efficient power supplies has become increasingly urgent, as the country’s economic growth is dependent on it. The Azito Power Plant will help address this need.


–          Egbin Power PLC, Nigeria

–          Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd, Nigeria

–          Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited, Nigeria

–          Volta River Authority, Ghana


Best Renewable Energy Project
Akon Lighting Africa

Launched in 2014, the Akon Lighting Africa initiative aims to develop an innovative solarpowered solution that will provide African villages with access to a clean and affordable source of electricity. Since its launch, Akon’s group has operations in 11 nations, including Guinea Conakry, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin and Sierra Leone. As a result, a number of households, villages, community houses, schools and health centres located in rural areas have been connected to electricity for the first time ever. Local jobs, primarily for young people, have also been created in these communities, whether for installation of equipment or for maintenance. The highly positive results observed since the start of the project show that a local presence and practical solutions are key to resolving energy issues in Africa.


–          Azuri Technologies + Oasis African Resources, Ghana

–          Kaleta Hydroelectric Dam, Guinea

–          Namene Energy International Limited, Togo/Ghana

–          Otis Engineering, Nigeria

–          Power up Gambia, Gambia

Best Off-Grid Electrification Project
Winner:  Azuri Technologies & Oasis Africa Resources, Ghana

In July 2015 the PayGo home solar power in the Assin district of Central region, Ghana was launched. Starting with households in the area of Assin Sienchem, the first phase of the program will deliver power to over 100,000 households with particular focus on Cocoa growing regions in Central, before being rolled out more widely. The technology service, designed by UK-based Azuri Technologies, is provided in Ghana by Oasis Africa Resources Limited. It combines four LED lights with mobile phone charging, a torch and a rechargeable radio. The system is powered by a 10-watt solar panel, and efficient power consumption allows for all four lights to be used for eight hours a night. This technology will be followed by larger systems in 2016 that offer additional capabilities including TV and devices for use in small businesses.


–          Arnergy Solar Limited, Nigeria

–          Namene Energy International Limited, Togo + Ghana

–          Oolu, Senegal

–          PEG, Ghana

–          Power Up Gambia, Gambia

CSR Initiative of the Year
Winner: Akon Lighting Africa, Various

Launched in 2014, Akon Lighting Africa seeks to provide a concrete response at grass roots level to Africa’s energy crisis and lay the foundations for future development. In less than one year, thanks to a private-public partnership model and a well established network of partners (including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC and NARI), a wide range of quality solar solutions, including street lamps, domestic and individual kits, have been installed in 14 African countries. As a result, a number of households, villages, community houses, schools and health centres located in rural areas have been connected to electricity for the first time ever. Local jobs, primarily for young people, have also been created in these communities,whether for installation of equipment or for maintenance. 100,000 street lamps, 1,000 solar micro-generators and 200,000 household electric systems: all these different solutions were proposed and installed in targeted localities, thus creating direct and

indirect jobs mainly for local youth.


–          Green Village Electricity project, Nigeria

–          Power up Gambia, Gambia

–          Skipper Nigeria Limited, Nigeria

–          Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, Green Energy + Biofuels Bio-refinery project, Nigeria

Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution
Winner: GRIDCo, Ghana

At its inception in 2008, GRIDCo owned and operated forty-three (43) substations and about 4000 km of high voltage transmission lines across the country, with a bulk of them operating at 161 kV. The other transmission voltages are 69 kV and 225 kV. The company has steadily invested in the system to increase its transmission lines to over 5,100 km and fifty four (54) substations by 2014 and also introduced a 330kV transmission line. This is intended to enhance the power transfer capacity of the National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS) and thus improve reliability of the NITS. For five consecutive years, GRIDCo has made targeted investments into the NITS, and it is evident that they are gradually achieving their aim of developing a resilient transmission system with adequate back-up to ensure uninterrupted power supply to customers in the very near future.


–          Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, Nigeria

–          Eko Electricity Distribution Plc, Nigeria

–          DEXTRON Engineering Limited, Nigeria

–          Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Nigeria

–          Nsquared Integrated Electric Company Ltd, Nigeria

–          OTIS Engineering, Nigeria

Industry support
Once again, WAPIC is enjoying overwhelming support from the industry with the global networking and telecommunications giant, Huawei, returns as the exclusive diamond sponsor. Eko Electricity Distribution Company, MEMMCOL and Mojec International are platinum sponsors while Ecobank and Siemens are gold sponsors. Momas and Huawei are award sponsors while Accenture is the official verifiying of the award procedures.

The WAPIC expo floor is showcasing the latest technologies and services for the industry while the free technical workshop programme will offer practical solutions, lessons learnt from case studies and problem-solving mechanisms to assist power companies and utilities in improving their efficiency and productivity.

The West African Power Industry Convention is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK. Other flagship power events by Spintelligent are African Utility Week in Cape Town and EAPIC in Nairobi.

WAPIC dates and venue:

Clean Power Master Class: 23 November 2015

West African Power Industry Awards: 24 November 2015

Strategic Conference days: 24-25 November 2015

Expo: 24-25 November 2015

Site visits: 26 November 2015

Venue:  Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria

Web: www.wapicforum.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/wapic_expo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestAfricanPowerIndustryProfessionals

LinkedIn: Group: West African Power Forum – WAPIC

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