DIGITAL EVENT: 24-26 November 2020 
 LIVE EVENT: 11-13 May 2021 | CTICC | Cape Town

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Young Talent Challenge

Hello #Students | Hello #YoungTalents | Hello #Innovators

The industry needs your talent and ideas!

The Initiate! Young Talent Programme welcomes students and young professionals about to graduate and ready to work in the industry or under 35 and working for a utility - join us!

Why you should apply to participate in the Young Talent Challenge:

  • You will network with your peers, share your knowledge
  • You will work with other utility professionals to put your ideas into practice to present an innovative solution to the posed challenge.
  • By joining the programme you have access to the African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa conference programme where you will additionally be able to network with the policymakers, thought leaders and utility giants.

Initiate Contestants


Initiate Wunners

What does the Young Talent Challenge entail?

The Initiate! 3-day challenge is for postgraduate students enrolled at Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, the University of Witwatersrand, and Strathmore University.

Four students will be selected to represent their university to complete a series of challenges where they'll have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the conference and exhibition. 

On the last day, students will be invited to our ‘Ideas Pitching Platform’ at the Training and Development workshop, where each team will have 5-10 minutes to pitch their innovation to a prestigious committee of judges.

Ready to make an impact in the power and energy sector? Here's what you need to enter

Simply click on the boxes to find out more about entering the contest

Why Enter?

Not only could your team win great prizes, as a participant you will receive:

  • Paid-for economy flights to and from Cape Town, accommodation and meals
  • Incubate your innovation with our knowledge partner, The Innovation Hub
  • An opportunity to be interviewed by ESI Africa, Africa's leading power and energy journal, where you can showcase your research across Africa and the globe
  • A free pass to African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa valued at R12,500
  • Gain maximum exposure within a pool of the top power, energy and water decision-makers
  • Learn about career opportunities
  • Submissions open in January 2020

Entry Process

  1. Submit your individual abstract
  2. Individuals are selected by a AUW and PGAF Advisory Board members
  3. Based on your abstract, you could be selected to be part of your university team
  4. You will be notified on the success of your entry and be informed of your team members by 31 March 2020.

How do I Enter

You can simply enter online

  Click Here To Enter Online


Complete the submission form with the below information and submit this to

Your submission should include:

  • Abstract Title:
    What is the biggest challenge in the current African energy sector and how would you propose to flip this around to being an opportunity? (maximum 500 words)
  • List three learning objectives you would want to take home. (maximum 100 words)
  • Your biography and a photograph 

Important Dates - Make a note!

Abstract Submission: 31 July 2020

Notification of Acceptance: 14 August 2020

Last day of registration: TBC

Final Competition: 24-26 November 2020

Meet the reigning winners of 2019!

During the first Initiate Impact Challenge a team from Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya walked away with the grand prize of R20 000. They proposed an innovative concept to provide equitable energy access to remote villages based on, among others "{Uber)ising" solar energy.
Initiate Winners

Got more questions? Get in touch!

Get in touch with our Initiate! project lead to discuss the various options.

Project leader: Naz Fredericks


Contact Number: +27 (0) 21 001 3822 / +27 (0) 71 404 1142


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Host Ministry

  • Ministry of Energy South Africa

Host Utility

  • Eskom

Host City

  • Host City

Municipal Leaders Forum Partners


Platinum Sponsor

  • Landis + Gyr
  • Conlog
  • Actom Pty Ltd


Silver Sponsor

  • Akilee
  • Nyamezela Metering (Pty) Ltd
  • Huawei Technologies Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Ntiyiso Consulting


CEO Forum Partners

  • Conlog
  • Eaton
  • Lucy Electric
  • Nyamazela
  • APUA
  • ALSF
  • Prime Alliance
  • Oracle


Global Knowledge Partner

  • Enel Foundation


Host Publication

  • ESI Africa