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The Ugandan National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Zambia’s ZESCO, the Southern African Power Pool and Nigeria’s Genesis Electricity Limited walked away with top honors at the African Utility Week Industry Awards that were announced during the event in Cape Town, South Africa .

The continent’s leading utility and sector professionals and projects were honored and successes in the industry throughout 2013 were celebrated. Thousands of power and water professionals gathered for the 14th annual African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and expo during which the focus was on energy and water efficiency, back-up electricity supply, clean energy solutions and Pan-African cooperation.

Winner of African Water Utility Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation walked away with top honors in the African Water Utility category.

According to African Utility Week’s program director Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, “ Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has become a beacon in the region due to its very remarkable achievements. In the early 2000, utilities started visiting NWSC to benchmark practices and policies. As the number of visits increased NWSC established the External Services Unit in 2005 to handle such programs and render advisory, training and consultancy services to the utilities. Ever since over 110 benchmarking visits and training has been carried out and the utilities have realized tremendous improvements.”

The utility’s Business Relationship and Development Manager, Joseph Ndegeya: “It is very exciting to win such a prestigious award, coming on top of other African utilities – not very simple. This forum should be supported and all water and power companies should join to see how they can work together for improved service delivery and performance for sustainability. Thanks to the organizers.”

Finalists were Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, Kenya, Tanga Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Tanzania and Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority, Rwanda.

African Utility Executive Cyprian Chitundu, Managing Director of Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO),won the coveted African Utility Executive Award.

Says African Utility Week’s Pombo-van Zyl: “Mr Chitundu has driven ZESCO through the most aggressive expansion plans. Major projects in the Generation and the Transmission sectors have been made possible, to name a few:  the Kariba North Bank Expansion Project,  the connection of the North Western Province to the Grid, the Kalumbila 330kV Transmission project, the Luano and Kitwe 330/220/11kV substations and various substation upgrades.”

Finalists in this category were:  Michael Wolf, Technical Advisor, GIZ for Kericho Water Company, Kenya, Gordon Molefe, Director: Customer Services and Supplies, Botswana Power Corporation, Sicelo Xulu, Managing Director, City Power Johannesburg.

In  the category of African Collaboration the  Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) was recognized for its Zimbabwe-Zambia-Botswana Namibia (ZIZABONA) inter-connector project that is currently the only project in the SAPP that involves four countries. The countries have signed an
MOU expressing their desire to connect their networks and trade electricity. No other inter-connector in the SAPP, involving more than three countries, has ever progressed this fast and this is a milestone achievement for the SAPP.

In his response to the award, Lawrence Musaba, Co-ordination Centre Manager, Southern African Power Pool in Zimbabwe said “it is a great
opportunity to continue and implement the project.  I am glad that our efforts have been recognized – this recognition energizes us to move forward.”

Finalists in this category were Emfuleni Local Municipality, Reykjavic Geothermal and University of Stellenbosch.

Genesis Electricity Limited won the award for top African Power Utility. The company is one of the first IPPs that are executing a 78MW power plant for the supply of power to one of the two functional refineries in Nigeria. Genesis Electricity has developed IPPs in a few countries in Africa, and is in the process of acquiring a 1020MW Thermal IPP in Nigeria. Other finalists in this category were:  Copperbelt Energy Corporation, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, ZESCO Limited of Zambia.

The City of Cape Town was named top municipality. “We’re absolutely delighted,” said the City of Cape Town’s Executive Director for Utility Services Gisela Kaiser after receiving the award for top municipality: “this is thanks to thousands of dedicated and disciplined staff and fearless leadership who only expect the best from us.”

Says African Utility Week’s program director Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl: “we are so proud to have the City of Cape Town as the official host city to our event as Cape Town is a city that is serious about service delivery and planning. The City of Cape Town’s infrastructure planning for short-term, medium-term and long-term is at the highest level.”

The other finalists in this category were the eThekwini, Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipalities.

“An unexpected and gratifying honor,” is how Dr Steve Lennon, Group Executive Sustainability at Eskom responded to winning the African Utility Week Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been with Eskom for more than 30 years and is widely recognized locally and internationally for leadership in areas such as technological innovation and R&D, sustainability management and the triple bottom line, Southern African and Global energy sector trends and policy, climate change policy and strategy, renewable energy including project development and funding and establishing partnerships and networks including investor relationships.

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