One thing that I am really enjoying about living and working in Kenya is that I get to help draw ties and strengthen relationships between Africa and the Caribbean on energy and sustainability. This year it was my genuine honor to serve as a judge for the #BlueClimateInitiative Community Awards for Ocean-Related Climate Solutions. Alongside an amazing panel of fellow islanders working on sustainability, I had the opportunity to explore a host of locally led, grass-roots driven climate solutions ongoing in coastal and island regions around the globe from Africa to Latin America and Asia, spread across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Initiatives ranged from commercializing seaweed farming technologies in Tanzania, to incubating disaster preparedness innovations in the Bahamas, to reviving community assemblies for public participation in decision-making in French Polynesia, combining AI and indigenous knowledge for coral reef protection in the Pacific Islands, and sustainable artisanal fisheries powered by renewable energy in Peru.
I was so inspired by and in awe of the power of local action on display, and so proud of the many nominees from East Africa and the Caribbean showing that local communities are highly engaged on climate action. Social movements are truly the world’s change. Thank you to the Blue Climate Initiative for creating a platform to highlight these innovations, these communities, and our precious Oceans. Watch our video and raise a toast to the 2021 winners! https://www.blueclimateinitiative.org/community-awards
Then, a few weeks after World Ocean’s Day, I had the pleasure of giving a talk to the Caribbean Electric Utility’s Renewable Energy Community. This is a vibrant community full of engineers, regulators, entrepreneurs, and passionate enthusiasts from all across the Caribbean. It was a relaxed, fire side atmosphere, full of super thoughtful questions from the audience.
We spoke about some of the latest trends in energy transition and power utility evolution happening here in East Africa, and discussed what lessons these may hold for the Caribbean, where power system reliance is an important issue, growing even more critical with every Hurricane Season. I thoroughly enjoyed the time with CAREC, and hope to further this conversation over time. The talk is recorded and now available on CAREC’s website.
I really enjoy these spaces of South South exchange, look out for more from me on collaboration between Africa and the Caribbean.