3 min read
Youth Energy Summit Experience, Nairobi, Kenya
Empowering Africa's Energy Future: Insights from the Youth Energy Summit in Nairobi
Benedict Okpala
Co Founder & Chief Operations Officer
Kiru Energy

I'm thrilled to recount my transformative journey through the heart of sustainable energy innovation at the recent Youth Energy Summit (YES!) held in Nairobi, Kenya from June 20th to 24th. This extraordinary event united visionary entrepreneurs, budding scholars, and early career professionals from across the African continent, catalyzing a harmonious convergence to steer the energy sector toward a greener, brighter future.



Key Events and Highlights:


Engaging Sessions and Workshops: The YES! Summit offered a diverse range of sessions and workshops focused on clean energy innovation, sustainable development, and entrepreneurship. I had the privilege of attending engaging sessions led by industry experts, gaining valuable insights into the latest trends, technologies, and policies shaping the energy landscape in Africa.

Some of the key sessions which participated in include;

  • An intergenerational discussion to brainstorm solutions that engender meaningful youth action in clean energy hosted by Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP)
  • Energy & Gender Stakeholder Roundtable: Prioritising Women's Leadership for a Just Energy hosted by IFC & Power Africa
  • Using Digital Tools to Drive Your Energy Initiative hosted by META
  • The Energy Sector as a Home of Opportunities hosted by KenGen.
  • Unleashing the power of youth-led change in Clean Cooking hosted by Clean Cooking Alliance & Student Energy.



Inspirational Keynote Addresses: The summit featured inspiring keynote addresses by renowned leaders in the energy and sustainability sectors. Their stories of success, challenges overcome, and vision for a sustainable future left a lasting impact on all attendees, igniting our motivation to drive change in our respective fields.


Networking Opportunities: The intentional networking setup and opportunity by the organizers of YES were among the best experiences at the summit. YES! Summit provided a platform for meaningful networking with like-minded individuals. I had the chance to connect with passionate entrepreneurs, students, investors, and professionals who share a common goal of advancing clean energy development and deployment. These connections have the potential to foster future collaborations and partnerships.


Pitching Kiru Energy Pawabiz™ Project: As a representative of Kiru Energy, I had the privilege of pitching our impactful work during the Youthpreneur Energy Showdown session. I shared how our PawaBiz project is transforming access to clean and affordable energy for micro and small businesses in Nigeria. The positive feedback received from the judges and audience further validated the importance of our mission.



Knowledge Sharing and Learning: The YES! Summit fostered a vibrant learning environment. Through interactive panel discussions, case studies, and knowledge-sharing sessions, I gained valuable insights into best practices, innovative approaches, and emerging trends in the energy sector. These learnings will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and success of Kiru Energy.


Key Connections and Collaborations:

During the summit, I had the opportunity to connect with individuals and organizations that share our vision for sustainable energy solutions. These connections have opened doors for potential collaborations, knowledge exchanges, and strategic partnerships. Building a strong network of like-minded professionals is invaluable in driving our mission forward.


Key Takeaways and Learning:

Collaboration is Key: The YES! Summit reinforced the significance of collaboration in addressing the energy challenges Africa faces. By joining forces with other solution providers, we can scale our impact, share resources, and collectively work towards a sustainable energy future.


Importance of Innovation: The summit highlighted the crucial role of innovation in driving clean energy solutions. Staying at the forefront of technological advancements and embracing innovative approaches will enable us to deliver more effective and efficient solutions to our customers. This further affirms our conscious prioritization of innovation at Kiru.


Knowledge as a Catalyst: Continuous learning and knowledge-sharing are vital in advancing the energy sector. By staying informed about the latest industry developments, policies, and technologies, we can adapt and evolve our strategies to meet the changing needs of our target market.



Attending the Youth Energy Summit was a transformative experience, filled with inspiration, knowledge, and valuable connections. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent Kiru Energy and showcase our commitment to providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions to tackle energy poverty in Africa. The summit has deepened my understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the energy sector and has motivated me to continue driving positive change in the industry.

I am confident that the connections made, knowledge gained, and experiences shared at the YES! Summit will propel Kiru Energy towards even greater success. With our continued dedication to innovation, collaboration, and sustainability, we will create a brighter and cleaner energy future for Africa.


Together, let's power progress and build a sustainable tomorrow!