Introducing CCA’s Youth Clean Cooking Delegation for the YES! Summit: Get to Know these Future Change-makers
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2023 — To amplify youth voices and showcase the indispensable role of young people in shaping a sustainable future through clean cooking, the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) is sending a clean cooking delegation to the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) from June 20-23 in Nairobi, Kenya.
As the world grapples with the urgent need for sustainable energy solutions, youth empowerment is pivotal for achieving universal access to clean cooking. Today’s youth are often systematically marginalized in clean energy value chains, even as they experience disproportionate obstacles in accessing education, project funding, and employment. Therefore, to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7—ensuring safe and clean access to energy for all—it is imperative to provide training and support to empower youth to advocate for clean cooking within their countries and communities.
CCA firmly believes that empowering youth to gain access to clean cooking is a moral imperative and a strategic investment. To effectively address the challenges of access, education, finance, and job opportunities, we must involve young people in the decision-making, program design, and implementation of clean cooking initiatives. By supporting youth-led organizations, providing training and educational resources, and fostering collaboration between youth and relevant stakeholders, we can tap into the immense potential of young individuals to champion clean cooking on local, regional, and global scales.
As part of the Africa Energy Forum, YES! provides a central platform for entrepreneurs, students, and early career professionals to connect and collaborate with corporate and development communities, fostering alignment and synergy among diverse stakeholders.
CCA’s youth delegation at YES! is a dynamic and diverse group of young leaders committed to making a difference in the clean cooking sector. These passionate young individuals will actively engage in discussions, share insights, and champion the importance of youth involvement in the clean cooking sector.
During the Summit, CCA will host a panel session entitled “Unleashing the Power of Youth-led Change in Clean Cooking.” The event will highlight youth leading on clean cooking solutions and demonstrate how the equitable inclusion of young people in the clean cooking sector is essential for sustainable progress.
Both during and beyond YES!, CCA remains committed to amplifying youth voices, enhancing their skills, and enabling them to be change agents in the clean cooking sector. Together, we can create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable world where young people thrive and contribute to a brighter future for all.
Meet the Clean Cooking Delegation participating at YES! 2023:
1. Andrea Stanisic is the Global Networks & Partnerships Coordinator for the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA). She holds a Master’s degree in Global Challenges: Law, Policy and Practice from Swansea University, where she studied as a Hillary Rodham Clinton scholar. Her research focused on protecting the environment and clean air using human rights law. She also has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Ljubljana, and as an Erasmus scholar, she studied at the University of Vienna and the University of Salzburg. Before joining CCA, she worked with NGOs, such as ClientEarth, American Bar Association, the Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, and others.
2. Anne Wacera Wambugu is the Head of Electrification and Electricity Access for the UNESCO Chair for Climate Change Resilience and Sustainability at Strathmore University. She is a graduate student in the Masters of Sustainable Energy Transitions and an electrical engineer with more than years’ experience in the energy access sector. Her engineering work focuses on capacity building and demand-side energy issues, including quality, standardization, and conformity assessment of electrical energy systems. Other themes in her work are the gender mainstreaming of renewable energy technologies and electrical technologies to improve health outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Beatrice Gesisa is an Innovation Analyst at Bboxx Capital Kenya Ltd. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Eldoret in 2018 and completed the Women in Clean Cooking mentorship program. Her goal is to continuously learn and explore new opportunities to offer innovative solutions to challenging workplace issues.
4. Calvin Shikuku Odhiambo is a green entrepreneur, environmental activist, and youth advocate based in Nairobi, Kenya, who is passionate about sharing inspiring stories that drive change. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Motobrix Limited, an organization that engages unemployed youth to create renewable energy in the form of organic briquettes from waste in the environment. Calvin’s initiative was among the Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge 2.0 winners in 2020. Additionally, his work was acknowledged by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya during the Global Leadership Council meeting on April 30th, 2021.
5. Cherop Soy is a passionate energy enthusiast currently serving as SEforALL’s SDG7 Youth Ambassador while also working as an investment analyst for a climate and impact fund. Her primary focus is designing and implementing renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, she interned at the Ministry of Energy in Kenya for the Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), which aimed to provide electricity and clean cooking solutions to underserved areas. Cherop shares her passion for creating a sustainable future through her blog, Eco Warrior Kenya. She writes about climate ambition and showcases ways people can take action.
6. Costine Oyoo is an Energy specialist with a Bachelor of Science in Energy from Kenyatta University. He focuses on the productive use of energy, carbon reduction, and advocacy for clean cooking, energy efficiency, climate mitigation, and renewable energy adoption. He currently serves as the Head of the Students Chapter at the Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa (AEPEA), overseeing mentorship and technical talks for university students. He is also a member of the Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA).
7. Elisha Caleb is the United Nations Young Leader for SDGs. He is an entrepreneur, innovator, and creative thinker, passionate about using emerging technologies to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Elisha is also a member of the World Bank Youth Advisory Group. As the founder and CEO of Agrotech Plus, an agricultural technology company, he aims to provide 100% solar-powered cold storage technology to over 1 billion small-holder farmers globally. By doing so, Elisha hopes to improve the quality of produce and reduce hunger while achieving sustainable food security.
8. Esther Wanza is the founder of Mpito Energy, a start-up working with communities in coastal Kenya to accelerate access to clean cooking through awareness creation and dissemination of highly efficient improved cookstoves. She is a Tech-Women 2022 Fellow, a Banki-Moon Global Citizen 2022 Scholar, and an SDG 7 Youth Constituency member. In this role, she serves as the Gender Focal Point and the youth representative to the Res4Africa International Advisory Board. Esther also received the 2022 Community Leadership Award under the African Queen of Energy Awards.
9. Eva Barmasse is an experienced Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She is the legal advisor for MaMa Doing Good and Head of the Department for Climate Action in the Environment and Climate Action Directorate. She is dedicated to advocating for women and their issues, promoting the inclusion of women’s voices and wisdom at all levels of decision-making.
10. Fredrick Eteye Asitwa is a graduate of JOOUST in Renewable Energy Technology and Management. He has been actively involved in the private and public energy sectors. Currently, he is supporting the Programs Department in project implementation at the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya.
11. Marina Fenka is an urban planning expert from Cameroon passionate about climate change and empowering young people. She is involved with several youth-led organizations, such as the SDG 7 youth constituency, Africa Youth Mobilization for COP, and the Children and Youth major group to UNEP, where she advocates for youth leadership in the climate and energy sectors. Marina is particularly interested in promoting women’s empowerment, clean energy, and climate change awareness. She has also worked on sustainable development policies and infrastructure development in Cameroon, Kenya, and Nigeria with organizations such as UN-Habitat and local government authorities.
12. Meredith Muthoni is a Senior Financial Analyst at BURN. She specializes in leading strategy and fundraising for electric cooking, with over nine years of experience in helping businesses across different sectors design business models and structure innovative financing options to meet their growth goals. Before BURN, she worked as a product manager at Tustawi Professional Education, a Financial Modeller for GrowthAfrica, and a corporate finance and strategy analyst at Lattice Consulting. Meredith is a Bachelor of Business Science graduate from Strathmore University, specializing in financial economics.
13. Michelle Njoroge is an Associate at the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA). With her expertise in entrepreneurial ecosystems, she is dedicated to accelerating sustainable impact investment. At CCA, Michelle actively supports venture-facing programs such as the Venture Catalyst and Venture Accelerator. Additionally, she manages CCA’s Investor Resources. As a thought leader and young professional, Michelle focuses on social entrepreneurship, gender lens investing, and developing innovative approaches for a sustainable future of work, people, and the planet.
14. Norah Magero is a Mechanical Engineer and Renewable Energy Expert with extensive experience managing and designing off-grid energy technologies. She is the founder of Drop Access and leads the VacciBox project, an IoT-enabled cold chain technology that stores and transports vaccines in rural and off-grid areas of Kenya. Norah was a finalist for the 2020 Booking.Com Technology Playmaker Social Impact Award, won the Women in Energy Philanthropy Award in 2017, and was awarded the 2020 Social Impact Award, the Energy Champion of the Year Award, and the Microgrid Academy Award in 2020 by the World Energy Day-Kenya and Res4Africa Foundation. Additionally, she won the 2021 Innovation Award by Africa Queen of Energy Awards. Her invention, VacciBox, has made her the first Kenyan and second woman to win the Africa Prize from the Royal Academy of Engineers in the UK. The President of Kenya has recognized her efforts to bring energy access to rural communities in Kenya.
15. Prudence Lihabi is an energy expert passionate about sustainable energy access. She founded Youth for Sustainable Energy and is the Deputy Director of Energy at Green Villages International. Additionally, she serves as the Programmes Manager for Clean and Renewable Energy at the Office of the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya. With five years of experience in the energy sector, Prudence has a wide range of expertise, including on clean cooking, electrification, gender and social inclusion, and energy market systems analysis.