The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP) has won the Community Development Programme of the Year Award at the highly regarded East African Power Industry Awards ceremony. This was in recognition of ABPP’s leading role in establishing the largest commercially viable and market-oriented biogas sector in Africa.
The event, which was hosted by the 2016 yearly East Africa Power Industry Convention in Nairobi, invited 180 individuals, organisations and projects responsible for outstanding work in the energy sector during 2015-2016.
The 21 September statement by the event’s senior communications manager, Annemarie Roodbol, noted that ABPP was recognised for its significant contribution in providing clean energy access to low-income people in rural areas of Africa.
ABPP was awarded alongside individuals and organisations such as Mobisol East Africa, Ethiopian Electric Power, Azeb Asnake (CEO Ethiopian Electric Power), Faith Chege (Chief Financial Officer, Barefoot Power Africa Ltd) and Umeme Uganda. The contributions to the energy sector of Permanent Secretary at Uganda Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr. Kabagambe Kaliisa, were also acknowledged.
While receiving the award, ABPP’s Fund Manager Jean Marc Sika emphasised the programme’s role in providing a sustainable and clean source of energy, particularly for women and children, while boosting food security. He said, “For most of development programmes, the impact in terms of improvement of the living standards of women and the rural households is only perceived many years after the programme has been closed. With ABPP, this impact is immediate, the moment the woman lights her biogas stove, she cooks in a clean and safe environment! A few months later, thanks to the use of bio-slurry, the household significantly increases its agricultural production as well.’’
ABPP is a Public Private Partnership between Hivos, SNV and the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The programme, now in its sixth year, has constructed 60,000 biogas plants to date in five African countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Uganda and Tanzania) thus enabling more than 300,000 people to gain access to a sustainable source of clean energy. Through the programme, vulnerable populations such as women and children are no longer exposed to indoor air pollution. Farmers who own bio-digesters now practise organic farming using bio-slurry as a fertilizer and pesticide.
The East African Power Industry Awards have become a popular gathering of influencers in East Africa’s energy sector. Organised by the East African Power Industry Convention, the annual event brings together senior decision makers from utilities, governments, large power users, consultants, contractors and regulators to source the latest energy solutions and meet new clients and suppliers.