Nairobi Negawatt Weekend days away

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The Negawatt Weekend will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 21-22, aimed at finding solutions to transform the city’s use of energy.

Disrupt Africa has previously reported the World Bank’s Negawatt Challenge hosts innovation competitions in cities worldwide, with Nairobi the scene of a Negawatt Challenge Definition Day in January that saw attendees identify the four most pressing energy-related issues in Kenya.

The Negawatt Weekend is now set to take place at Strathmore University’s tech incubator @iBizAfrica, marking the third phase in the challenge.

Hackers, coders, business experts and energy efficiency specialists are invited to sign up for the event to form teams and compete to address challenges relating to urban energy efficiency.

“In fast-growing cities like Nairobi, the demand for energy outstrips both total supply and the capacity of the grid to deliver that energy to businesses and households. Blackouts are a typical consequence and they are costly and dangerous. Energy generation is also often very inefficient. As such, energy efficiency holds a big opportunity for reducing wasted energy resources,” Negawatt said.

The two winning teams will win a place in a three-week bootcamp, featuring trainers and mentors handpicked from Nairobi and the international tech scene, with the teams then be flown to the Smart City Expo Congress in Barcelona, Spain for Demo Day, where they will compete against other winners from across the world.

The four problems identified in Nairobi were the inability to predict power consumption and the associated costs, the lack of awareness of green and renewable energies in Kenyan society, the limited financing available to those Kenyan entrepreneurs active in the renewable energy sector; and the high electricity tariffs in the country.

Ghana has also just held its own Negawatt Weekend, while another is scheduled to take place in Tanzania at the end of the month.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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