Kenyan President calls for increased investment in renewable energy
President Uhuru Kenyatta broke ground and toured the facilities at Africa's biggest wind-power project in Laisamis, Marsabit County, as part of an initiative that will see Kenya become a world leader in renewable energy generation.
The Lake Turkana Wind Project is the largest single private sector initiative on the continent and has cost €623 million to develop and will produce 310MW of electricity when it becomes fully operational in 2017. It is expected to contribute its first 90MW of electricity to the national grid by next year.
As he toured the accommodation, President Kenyatta called for more people to invest in wind power production, promising increased Government co-operation to improve the investment environment.
The region does not support any developed economic activity save for animal husbandry due to unsupportive weather conditions; the wind project is set to change this, employing people both directly and indirectly.
One way this has already happened is through its partnership with Southern Engineering Company (SECO) which was responsible for constructing surrounding accommodation units.
SECO CEO Omri Cohen said: “This is a great case study for future projects, the Kenyan Government has been so supportive. Kenya is one of the leading countries for green energy. We are one of two Kenyan companies taking part in this project.”
He added: “We hosted the president and his ministers in the SECO village that we built; he laid the first stone in a house we were building, operated one of our machines and spoke with our employees about the project.”
Power from the plant will cost 8.42 US cents per KW and is projected to benefit Kenyans by driving down energy costs, as well as generating energy in a clean and sustainable way, for future generations to come.
Supporting Source: [Standard Digital]
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.