Ethiopia's former state minister in the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy Wondimu Tekle Sigo was among the winners at the annual African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards held in Cape Town last week. Sigo, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, said he was "grateful for being chosen".
According to the former minister he was fortunate to have been involved in many interesting projects in his career, in both water and energy, “especially the 6000MW hydropower Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is under construction, on the Blue Nile. This project has already reached almost 60%, so this will help Ethiopia as well as the neighbouring countries through integration. This was one of the big projects that I was leading when I was at the ministry. This award is not just for me, but also for all the colleagues who have worked on so many projects with me, from the time when I was a site manager until I became a minister, and the team work we achieved”.
For seven years, Wondimu Tekle Sigo served as Ethiopia’s minister of state for the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy. He is well respected for the design and construction of various infrastructure projects, including the expansion of a rural electrification programme for more than 6000 towns and villages in the region. Furthermore, he tackled water shortages by increasing the water supply of the city around the Dire water reservoir dam from 240,000m³ to 400,000m³ per day.
Amongst his many achievements, Sigo upgraded eight cities’ electric distribution systems including that of Addis Ababa. Now as a PhD candidate for Economics at the Peking University in China, Sigo has been conducting research since 2017 around achieving Ethiopia’s economic growth and development.
The rest of the award winners are:
- Outstanding Contribution Award: Power - Jasandra Nyker, CEO, BioTherm Energy, South Africa
- Outstanding Contribution Award: Water - Professor Andras Szöllösi-Nagy, president of the governing board of the Sustainable, Development Studies Institute National University of Public Service, Hungary
- Outstanding Contribution Award: Young Leader - Astria Fataki, Energy Generation, founder and president
- Power Service Provider of the Year - Ghana Grid Company Ltd, Ghana
- Water Service Provider of the Year - Lilongwe Water Board, Malawi
- Grid-Tied Renewable Energy Project (10MW +) - Kathu Solar Thermal Power Plant, South Africa
- Small-Scale Sustainable Energy Project (under 5MW) - Rubagabaga Hydropower Limited, Rwanda
The awards gala took place on Wednesday 15 May, and formed part of the African Utility Week and PowerGen Africa conference and exhibition.