Young Talent Challenge

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:

  • The winner will receive a cash prize
  • The winner of the Young Talent Challenge is featured in the Africa Elites Magazine
  • The winner will get a global mentorship supported by key industry role players
  • Winning the Young Talent Challenge scores you an interview on ESI Africa, Africa's leading power and energy journal, where you can showcase your research across Africa and the globe
  • This is a unique opportunity to not only shape the future but also start establishing a sound and professional personal brand, taking your career to the next level
  • Be seen as a thought leader in the industry
  • Network and work with some of the industry’s brightest minds
  • The Initiate Young Talent Challenge is your gateway to the future, presenting you with a platform to be seen and heard by key industry figures 
  • Gain maximum exposure within a pool of the top power, energy and water decision-makers
  • Learn about career opportunities in Africa’s energy sector

What Does The Young Talent Challenge Entail?

The Initiate! Young Talent Challenge is a competition for postgraduate students enrolled at universities in Africa. Four students will be selected to represent their university to complete a series of challenges which give them an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the Enlit Africa digital conference and exhibition. This is an opportunity to disrupt the industry with innovative and a new ways of thinking.

During the digital event, the Young Talent finalists will have the opportunity to present their solution to the audience of Enlit Africa Connect. Each team also has a 5-10 minutes opportunity to pitch their innovation to a prestigious committee of judges.

The reigning winners of the Initiate Young Talent Challenge 

Some of the reigning winners of the Initiate Young Talent Challenge have been engineering students Ignatius Maranga, Raymond Kiyegga, economics student Fredrick Amariati and cyber specialist Alex Osunga. 

In June 2021, we announced our newest Initiate Young Talent Challenge winner, electrical engineering student and thought leader, Kingsley Akpeji.

Watch the 2021 finale on-demand now


Kingsley Akpeji

University Partnerships

We are constantly looking for universities dedicated to working with students who can make a difference in accelerating the energy transition. Join the Initiate! community and we will make sure to work with you to promote your cause, your university and your students.

By becoming one of our partners we will connect your selected students to those industry professionals who can truly accelerate their careers and their opportunities.


  • “Initiate! was an AMAZING EXPERINCE! Initiate exposes you to a network with like-minded students and industry partners.”
    Johann Bierman
    Master’s in Electrical Engineering University: Stellenbosch
  • “Initiate is a great opportunity for learning and connecting with power and energy leaders from across the globe.”
    Carol Ngwenya
    PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Department of chemical Engineering
  • “Initiate! is a brilliant initiative. I'm so happy, I participated.”
    Olufemi Olayiwola
    Electrical Engineering University: University of Cape Town
  • “Initiate! Increased my network with working professionals and strong MSc and PhD students."
    Chelsea Tucker
    University: University of Cape Town

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

Host Ministry

  • Mineral resources & energy

Host Utility

  • eskom-logo

Host City

  • City-of-Cape-Town

Platinum Sponsor

  • Conlog
  • Actom Pty Ltd
  • Gridspertise
  • SAP
  • Sulzer

Diamond Sponsor

  • General Electric

Silver Sponsor

  • Siemens
  • Megger

Registration Sponsor

  • SAP

Host Publication

  • ESI Africa

CEO Forum Partners

  • Conlog
  • Eaton
  • Oracle Utilities
  • Prime Alliance
  • Eskom GC

Municipal Leaders Forum Partners

  • IFC

Global Knowledge Partner

  • Enel Foundation

Initiate Supporting Partners

  • Sarebi