“Agricultural value addition and use of technology will boost productivity and improve social economic development of the African communities.”
Grace Nanteza is one of the three winners of the MGA Young Talent of the Year Award 2022, presented in the framework of the COP27 at the event Youth Empowerment for Driving African Energy Transition.
Her expertise lies at the intersection of agriculture and renewable energy, recognizing that the relationship between the two is critical in building a more sustainable future. Hailing from Uganda, where over 70 percent of the population is employed in agriculture, Grace has demonstrated exceptional innovative thinking in this sector, finding solutions to address the challenges faced by her community.
Grace's upbringing in rural Uganda gave her firsthand experience of the crucial role of climate in people's lives, especially in a country where only one-third of the population has access to electricity.
Growing up in a family of farmers, agriculture played a significant role in her livelihood. Over the years, she observed that climate change has rendered planting seasons unpredictable, making every harvest season more challenging. These experiences fostered her curiosity about the future of agriculture, and how renewable energy could boost it and make it more effective for last-mile farmers and low-income communities.
What steps could be taken to start implementing concrete change? Let's hear from Grace.
Catalyzing Energy Equity
Soon enough, however, Grace realised that her dream would come with a hefty price tag and she would have to face multiple unexpected challenges. One of the significant limitations to take into account is surely the high cost of developing a solution that combines software and hardware. “How I tackled this challenge so far was through sacrificing some of my savings to cater for procuring items as well as financing the production processes”, she says, demonstrating all her dedication and unselfishness. Nevertheless, she soon found that the lack of funds was slowing down her progress. To overcome this issue, Grace has been applying for different calls: “I am grateful to the MGA grant”, she remarks…and frankly, RES4Africa is quite grateful too, as without young innovators like Grace, its vision would be way harder to materialize.
“We are in the future”
With their ambitious project, Grace and her startup are poised to make a meaningful impact on Ugandan society, promoting sustainability and enhancing efficiency. Through her work, this young woman is highlighting the crucial importance of linking sustainable development and energy transition to a substantial change in productive sectors. Her contributions are indispensable for a greener future, that acknowledges and leverages the importance of a holistic and integrated approach to achieving sustainable development goals, without forgetting their ultimate and most noble purpose: serving the welfare of human communities.