Ashden Awards: African innovators lead in shortlists for cutting edge climate solutions

24th Apr 2023

This article was originally published by Ashden Awards on Earth Day (22nd of April 2023) and can be found here.

African innovators lead in shortlists for Ashden Awards for cutting edge climate solutions

Earth Day 2023 (Sat 22 April) – The shortlists for the 2023 Ashden Awards have been announced – and African organisations are again spearheading global climate solutions.

The Ashden Awards shortlists highlights 32 inclusive climate solutions to power our future and regenerate our world. 75% of the organisations shortlisted from the Global South are from Africa. They range from a scheme bringing clean energy to 2 million people in Nigeria, to work raising the incomes of rainforest communities in Cameroon.

Other African organisations in the shortlist come from Kenya, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda. All shortlisted projects and organisations are tackling key climate challenges creating fairer societies as well as lower emissions.

Photo: A Kenyan farmer receiving an SMS from the solar-powered crop pests and pathogens detection device (in the background) in her farm – this affordable solar-powered device scans crops for signs of danger. Farmer Lifeline Technologies are shortlisted for the 2023 Ashden Award for Powering Agriculture. Credit: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

Winning organisations, chosen by panels of expert judges, will be revealed this autumn. Winners will benefit from a cash prize and publicity, as well as new connections to investors, funders and policymakers. The annual Ashden Awards were launched in 2001.

Photo: Sierra Leone woman solar installer teaching health workers to use the Solar Suitcase – a complete, immediately operational, institutional-grade 12V DC solar electric system tailored for health workers. The Solar Suitcases are installed by all-female teams in energy-deficient health facilities. We Care Solar are shortlisted for the 2023 Ashden Award for Powering Futures in Clean Energy.

Ashden’s Head of Awards Dr Stephen Hall said: “This is a breathtaking collection of climate trailblazers and we have again been stunned by the range and excellence of climate innovation presented by African organisations. Their work proves we can successfully tackle climate change alongside the world’s other great challenges – like gender inequality, poverty, and the marginalisation of refugees, Indigenous Peoples and other vulnerable groups.” 

“Our 2023 shortlists prove once again Africa is a hotbed of climate innovation – funding and investment into this great work must be stepped if we are to meet climate and development goals, such as connecting everyone to clean energy by 2030. 

“Africa faces the world’s greatest energy poverty challenge, but is also home to many pioneering solutions. In fact, 75% of organisations featured in our international shortlists come from the continent. 

“In every award category we’ve seen exciting potential to create stable green jobs and livelihoods. We now need global leaders to recognise the potential for clean energy and regenerative solutions, to drive fairer and more productive economies.”  

Photo: Trainee solar engineers mount solar roof panels. Women in Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship (WISEe) in Kenya trains women in the renewable energy sector, including engineers, technicians, educators, students and entrepreneurs. WISEe is shortlisted for the Ashden Award for Powering Futures in Clean Energy. Credit: WISEe

The 2023 Ashden Awards shortlisted organisations:

Ashden Award for Integrated Energy Africa
Boosting the continent’s clean energy pioneers

Supported by Integrate to Zero


At its factory in Kenya, Aceleron repurposes waste batteries – turning them into energy storage technology for homes, offices and electric vehicles.

Beacon Power Services – pan-Africa

Beacon Power Services offers grid management software and analytics, helping utility companies expand their reach across Africa.

Husk Power – Nigeria

Through its Nigeria Sunshot initiative, Husk Power is building at least 500 clean energy microgrids by 2026 – supporting businesses, schools and hospitals, and benefiting more than 2 million people.

Power for All – Uganda

In Uganda, Power For All’s Utilities 2.0 Twaake project unites centralized and decentralized renewable energy companies to achieve faster and cheaper electrification, boost rural livelihoods, and end energy poverty.

Ashden Award for Powering Futures in Clean Energy 
Building the workforce to energise the Global South

Supported by LinkedIn

Fondazione ACRA – Senegal

ACRA supports marginalised women in rural Senegal to launch solar-powered businesses, with training and access to products and finance.

We Care Solar – Sierra Leone

We Care Solar is giving women the technical training and skills to install life-saving solar energy, powering Sierra Leone’s off-grid rural health centres.

Women in Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship – Kenya

Kenya’s WISEe empowers women in the renewable energy sector, including engineers, technicians, educators, students and entrepreneurs. It provides training, hands-on skills, mentorship and networking opportunities.

Burasolutions Solar Academy – Nigeria

Burasolutions Solar Academy in Nigeria boosts skills and pathways to work for women and marginalised people, with support for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Ashden Award for Powering Refugees and Displaced People  
Taking on the humanitarian energy crisis

Award delivered in partnership with Global Refugee Network. Supported by NextEnergy Foundation, The Linbury Trust, JAC Trust, The Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund.

Hope for a Better Future – Cameroon

In Cameroon, Hope for a Better Future helps women affected by conflict grow their incomes as solar technicians – and even become owners of ‘solar shops’, selling products to their community.

Care for Social Welfare International – Nigeria

Care for Social Welfare International has used clean energy to bring much-needed light and water to a camp for displaced people in Nigeria.

Save the Environment Ethiopia

Save the Environment Ethiopia has supported homes and businesses with new solar mini-grids, clean cook stoves and more in five refugee camps. Benefits have reached displaced people and host communities.

USAFI Green – Kenya

USAFI Green manufactures and supplies affordable, low-carbon cookstoves in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp – creating work and improving health for displaced people and host communities.

Ashden Award for Powering Agriculture 
Tackling hunger and poverty in the Global South

Supported by the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

Farmer Lifeline Technologies – Kenya

Farmer Lifeline Technologies helps farmers in Kenya beat pests and disease – with an affordable solar-powered device that scans crops for signs of danger.

Mobility for Africa – Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, Mobility for Africa’s hambas – custom-built electric tricycles – are helping woman dairy farmers boost their incomes.

Oorja Development Solutions – India

In India, Oorja Development Solutions are pioneering an inclusive pay-per-use model that brings solar-powered farming services to marginalised communities.

Collectives for Integrated Livelihoods Initiatives (CInI) – India

CInI helps women in India’s Central Tribal Belt use clean energy to raise their incomes – and become leaders in their communities.

Ashden Award for Natural Climate Solutions 
Defending and empowering Indigenous communities

Supported by the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

CERAF-NORD, Cameroon
CERAF-NORD supports communities around Benue National Park, and in the north of Cameroon, to restore degraded land through agroforestry.

ECA-Amarakaeri, Peru
In southern Peru, ECA-Amarakaeri supports people to earn a sustainable living, and also gives them the tools to monitor and report illegal logging and mining.

Love for Life & Kabata Konana, Costa Rica
This partnership is empowering Indigenous communities in Costa Rica to grow food sustainably, generate clean energy and build leadership roles for women.

Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), Indonesia
AMAN has helped 168 Indigenous groups in Indonesia map their territories and strengthen their rights, launch sustainable businesses, access clean energy, and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

12 UK organisations were also shortlisted covering themes of clean energy, nature and regenerative farming.

 For more information about all the Ashden Awards see: The Ashden Awards – Ashden Climate Solutions


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