African climate innovators lead Ashden Awards longlist

Ashden • Climate Change Charity

Africa’s outstanding climate solutions lead the way in the longlist for the prestigious Ashden Awards, announced today (April 14).

The annual awards, now in their 20th year, celebrate innovation that lower emissions while creating better lives and fairer societies. Areas covered by this year’s awards include energy access, natural climate solutions, regenerative agriculture, and cooling in informal settlements.

38 organisations from around the world have been longlisted for the awards, which feature three UK and six global categories. 13 of the 23 organisations on the international category longlists are from Africa.

Photo:: Technical solar installers pose with their training certificates after attending a five-week solar technology course with Sendea Academy, Uganda – one of the Ashden Award longlisted organisations. Increasing energy access skills are crucial in order to drive up standards in the off-grid renewables sector during this ‘climate decade’.

Ashden CEO Harriet Lamb said: “It has been incredibly exciting to see so many applications for the Ashden Awards coming from the African continent – there are an amazing array of initiatives to choose from and judging is going to be tough! We cannot wait to showcase their outstanding innovations to the world when we announce the winners this autumn.”

Photo: Ashden’s natural climate solutions award  focuses on forest stewardship in the Democratic Republic of Congo (as well as the Amazon and SE Asian rainforest). One applicant is the Albertine Rift Conservation Society which is supporting forest based cooperatives in Central and Eastern Africa. Credit: ARCOS

The Ashden Awards focus on cutting-edge initiatives that are both green and fair – that deliver climate justice, create good jobs, train people in green skills, and cut carbon.

In total, more than 800 organisations applied for this year’s awards. Among the 25 international longlistees 13 are based in Africa, 7 in Asia, 4 in South America and one works across the world.

This year’s longlist announcement comes less than a week before Earth Day (April 20-22) – three days of action addressing climate change and environmental destruction.

Winners will be announced in November – after a rigorous assessment and judging process involving on-the-ground visits and input from sector experts.

Photo: Keeping food stocks, crops and medicines cool using clean energy is the focus of organisations applying for the Ashden Award for cooling in informal settlements.Credit: BASE – Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy  (Cooling as a Service Initiative)

Winners receive a cash prize, development support, and the chance to connect with investors and leading figures in the energy and climate sectors. Since 2001, Ashden has awarded more than 236 ground-breaking organisations.

African organisations on the 2021 Ashden Awards longlist:

See the full international longlist here

Ashden Award for Energy Access Skills, supported by The Ashden Trust  

Sendea Academy, Uganda – a collective of locally-owned SMEs driving up standards in the off-grid renewables sector.

Strathmore Energy Research Centre, Kenya – a technical university leading the way in inclusive solar industry curricula.

African Management Institute – supplying work-based training for middle managers, helping them reach leadership positions.

Ashden Award for Humanitarian Energy, supported by Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund and Linbury Trust  

Energy Peace Partners and Nuru (joint application), Democratic Republic of Congo – a groundbreaking micro-grid project, made possible by a pioneering finance mechanism of renewable energy credits.

Kakuma Market Based Energy Access Project, Kenya – innovative support for local clean energy entrepreneurs.

Solar Freeze, Kenya – pay-as-you-store refrigeration in humanitarian settings.

Kube Energy, South Sudan/Somalia – Helping humanitarian agencies integrate renewable energy into their operations through innovative finance.

Ashden Award for Energy Access Innovation 

KOKO Networks, Kenya – 700 ‘ethanol ATMs’ supply cleaner cooking fuel made from sugar industry waste.

New Energy Nexus Uganda – inclusive support for community-based sustainable energy businesses.

Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions 

Mbou Mon Tour, Democratic Republic of Congo – this NGO helps villagers secure land rights and earn a better living.

Albertine Rift Conservation Society, Central and Eastern Africa – an NGO supporting sustainable forest-based cooperatives.

Ashden Award for Regenerative Agriculture, supported by The DOEN Foundation 

YICE Uganda – a grassroots initiative training women and young people, including refugees, in regenerative farming techniques.

Ashden Award for Cooling in Informal Settlements, supported by K-CEP/Climateworks Foundation 

Worofila, Senegal – architectural collective specialising in ‘raw earth’ building design.

An Awards longlist submissions map can be seen here.