News and updates from the continent

Malawi School Authority Awarded at Zayed Future Energy Prize

The Nkhata Bay School Authority in Malawi was awarded the 2014 Zayed Future Energy Prize in the Global High Schools category for the Africa region.

The School Authority was rewarded with US$100,000 for its proposal to create a solar demonstration and training center – a program that will promote the use of solar power, as well as train and educate the entire community on sustainable sources of power.

Malawi is one of the least electrified countries in southern Africa, with less than one per cent of the rural population connected to the national electric grid. The Nkhata Bay School Authority operates Maula and Sanga schools, located in one of the poorest parts of Malawi without a municipal electricity grid.

The award was presented to student representative Yotam Kaunda by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces at the Prize’s awards ceremony. The ceremony was held during the second annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East, attracting over 30,000 delegates and visitors from more than 150 countries.

Speaking after the award ceremony, Elsen Kisty Mwase, zone education advisor at Nkhata Bay School Authority, Malawi, said: “We are very grateful for the award. In honor of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates and the namesake of the Prize, we would like to establish the ‘Zayed Energy and
Ecology Learning Centre’ that will benefit the entire community by providing access to electricity as well as create awareness and training on various
aspects of living sustainability.”

His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize said, “Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan left us a legacy of collaboration and the establishment of the Zayed Energy and Ecology Learning Centre in Malawi is a fitting tribute to his legacy. Energy access is a pathway to economic and social opportunity and we are proud to support the Nkhata Bay School Authority’s commitment to sustainability.”

The US$4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize, established by the United Arab Emirates government in 2008, recognises companies, organisations, schools
and individuals across the world that have made significant contributions to the future of renewable energy and sustainability.

The Prize is awarded in five distinct categories: Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non-Governmental Organisation, Lifetime Achievement and Global High Schools.

The Global High Schools category is currently in its second year and was launched to recognise and encourage young people to incorporate renewable
energy and sustainability into the daily operations of their schools. Five schools from five regions are each awarded US$100,000 for their proposed
sustainability projects.

Submissions and nominations for the 2015 edition of the Prize are open at

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