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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE JOURNALISM COMPETITION HIGHLIGHTING THE WINNING JOURNALISTS R E P O R T I N G O N S U S TA I N A B L E E N E R G Y


VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

WELCOME The Voices of a Brighter Future journalism competition called on journalists from least developed countries to submit inspiring stories on how sustainable energy positively impacts communities and individuals in their countries. Over 50 submissions were received highlighting the challenges and life changing benefits that sustainable energy brings to communities. The competition has been run by the Office of the High-Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States with generous support from The Government of Norway, Sustainable Energy for All and the UN Office for South-South Cooperation. A high-level panel of judges from the United Nations, sustainable energy and media sector assessed the entries and seven winners of the competition were selected to travel to the Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, Portugal 2-3 May 2018. This publication features excerpts from the seven selected journalists and five other shortlisted entrants. UN-OHRLLS wishes to thank all the participants who took part in this competition and who helped to shine a light on the remarkable difference that sustainable energy makes to the world’s poorest communities

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

FOREWORD A W O R D F R O M M S . F E K I TA ‘ U T O I K A M A N U Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. T W I T T E R : @ fekit a _U

In 2015, the international community adopted a groundbreaking Agenda for sustainable and inclusive development Agenda 2030. Sustainable development goal 7 (SDG7) of Agenda 2030 calls for the achievement of energy access for all and sets targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Progress is underway but it is still not sufficient to meet the target of doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency or meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. UN-OHRLLS is a voice for 91 countries with over one billion people. We risk leaving the people of these countries once more behind. In the spring of 2018, UN-OHRLLS called for stories from the least developed countries to tell stories of how access to sustainable energy positively impacts sustainable development for communities and individuals. Nothing is more powerful than real life stories! Of the 53 stories received from around the world, UN-OHRLLS will bring the seven selected stories to the May 2018 Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Lisbon, Portugal.

Excerpts from these stories are laid out in this publication. The stories were gathered under difficult circumstances for journalists, making the reports we feature even more remarkable. I hope these stories inspire you. Let us all strive even harder to accelerate action so that Agenda 2030, an agenda of hope, becomes reality for all. We would not have been able to share these stories without the generous support from the Government of Norway, Sustainable Energy for All and our colleagues in the UN Office for SouthSouth Cooperation. I thank you all. These partnerships show us how by working together we do achieve more and have been able to bring to you voices from those often left behind in the least developed countries. This is a call for action. I congratulate the winners and I thank ALL of the journalists who took part in this exciting competition.

M S . F E K I TA ‘ U T O I K A M A N U

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

ABOUT US T H E U N I T E D N AT I O N S O F F I C E O F T H E H I G H - R E P R E S E N TAT I V E F O R L E A S T DE VELOPED COUNTRIES, L ANDLOCKED DE VELOPING COUNTRIES AND S M A L L I S L A N D D E V E L O P I N G S TAT E S ( U N - O H R L L S ) S U P P O R T S G R O U P S O F V U L N E R A B L E C O U N T R I E S I N T H E U N I T E D N AT I O N S S Y S T E M . The 47 Least Developed Countries, 32 Landlocked Developing Countries and 58 Small Island Developing States have their own special challenges. L E A S T D E V E L O P E D C O U N T R I E S represent the poorest and most vulnerable

segment of the international community. Due to an over reliance on few primary commodities as a major source of earnings, they are typically highly vulnerable to external trade shocks. L A N D L O C K E D D E V E L O P I N G C O U N T R I E S face challenges due to their

remoteness, lack of territorial access to the sea and significant distance from world markets. Complex trade routes and high transit costs continue to impose serious constraints on socio-economic development in this group of countries. S M A L L I S L A N D D E V E L O P I N G S TAT E S have narrow resource bases and many are

remote from world markets. They also suffer from major challenges related to climate change and fragile natural environments. UN-OHRLLS helps coordinate and implement programmes of action which assist vulnerable countries in areas including economic growth, poverty reduction and meeting targets laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals. UN-OHRLLS plays a coordination role in regard to the UN system and actively advocates for vulnerable countries. The Voices of a Brighter Future is just one example of where UN-OHRLLS continues to actively advocate for vulnerable communities and countries. LDCs have a long way to go to achieve universal access to modern energy by 2030. While the average global electrification rate reached 87.4 per cent in 2016, the average access to electricity across LDCs hovered as low as 44.8 per cent, and more than half of the world’s 1 billion people without electricity live in LDCs. In 2016, on average, 75 per cent of the urban population in LDCs had electricity access, compared with only 31 per cent of rural populations. The global community needs to make sure that LDCs can achieve the global goals on energy, as it is a key driver of sustainable development that sparks development across different sectors.

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

EDITORIAL E XECUTIVE PRODUCER DAVAR ARDAL AN

E XECUTIVE EDITORS LOUISE STODDARD & DAMIEN SASS

DESIGNER NIKKI MCL AY

DIRECTOR UN-OHRLLS HEIDI SCHRODERUS-FOX

SUS TAINABLE ENERGY ADVISOR RITA RUOHONEN

TR ANSL ATION AND RESE ARCH MAY YA ACOUB

RESE ARCH AND COORDINATION TESSA PANG

WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR PARTNERS

This publication was made possible thanks to generous support from the 2030 Agenda Sub-Fund of the UN Peace and Development Fund financed by China

The stories and journalists featured in this magazine and the boundaries, names and designations used in maps or graphics, do not imply official endorsement or acceptance from the United Nations.

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INTRODUCING

SAFIA MAHDI COUNTRY: YEMEN

SAFIA MAHDI has been reporting for more than a year through the Al-Arabi website. Her stories are also carried by the “Here is Your Voice” radio station affiliated with Radio Netherlands Worldwide as well as Deutsche Welle Arabic. Safia graduated in 2014 with a BA in Journalism. Her interests include social, health and humanitarian issues. T W I T T E R : @safia_mahdi

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E M A I L : safia.mahdik@gmail.com

BY SAFIA MAHDI ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : Deutsche Welle (DW)

SOLAR ENERGY IN YEMEN. LIGHT SHINES THROUGH THE DARKNESS OF WAR

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he collapse of electricity in Yemen due to the turmoil of war, has pushed Yemeni people to look for another alternative. They found this in solar energy, which many in their country use throughout the year. This alternative source of power, has even reached areas that did not enjoy electricity before. When darkness covered most of Yemen’s cities, including the capital Sana’a, more than two and a half years ago, electricity had yet to reach Hassan’s family, who live in a rural village of Dhamar province (100 km south of the capital). But in recent years, they finally got electricity through solar energy that most Yemeni families, especially in the north, centre and west of the country depend on now. It is an experiment brought about by tough circumstances, which is considered a positive phenomenon. But “clean energy” faces many problems and requires encouragement and regulation by the respective authorities.

or partially, depending on the financial capacity of the household. Although government electricity has returned completely or partially to some areas of Yemen, especially those controlled by the internationally recognized government in the south, center and east of the country, the rest of the region, including the capital Sana’a, has remained almost entirely dependent on solar energy to cover the basic needs of homes. “Since the outbreak of the war in 2015 and the power outage, families in cities, particularly in Sana’a, have resorted to using solar energy, which represents the lifeline for getting energy,” says Omar Al-Hayani. “Since 2015, Yemen has witnessed a suffocating blockade of oil derivatives, the use of solar energy has been the only option,” he said. “This is a quantum leap in the use of renewable energy, despite the high cost on households.” In the early months of the crisis, that escalated in March 2015, there were only a few solar panels and batteries in the market and these were quickly consumed, so their prices rose dramatically before traders resorted to importing solar energy supplies. Then, new shops have spread in various cities, specialized in the sale and engineering of energy, thus providing new work opportunities for those who install and maintain solar systems at homes.

“The population in Yemen is distributed in many small, rural and scattered communities, which is a major obstacle to accessing electricity services in many areas,” explains Ibrahim AlYusufi, a solar energy engineer, to DW Arabic. Therefore, independent photovoltaic cells and energy storage batteries are the best option, according to Mr. Al-Yusufi, and have been an ideal solution that can be relied upon, fully

R E A D FU LL S TO RY O N LI N E AT: www.unohrlls.org/voices-of-a-brighter-future 6


P H O T O C R E D I T : Safia Mahdi

VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Yemenis in one of the specialized shops selling renewable energy panels in Sana’a

The Expert Omar al-Hayani, standing in front of solar panels on a rooftop in Sana’a

Solar Panel on the roofs in the Sinniya neighborhood of the Yemeni capital Sana’a

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Yemen

L’ÉNERGIE SOLAIRE AU YÉMEN. LA LUMIÈRE BRILLE À TRAVERS LES TÉNÈBRES DE LA GUERRE L’effondrement de l’électricité au Yémen et l’absence des services due au tumulte de la guerre ont poussé les Yéménites à chercher d’autres alternatives. Ils ont trouvé leur objective dans l’énergie solaire dont leur pays jouit tout au long de l’année. A l’aide de cette alternative, ils ont même atteint des zones qui ne jouissaient pas de l’électricité auparavant. Lorsque l’obscurité couvrait la plupart des villes yéménites, y compris la capitale Sanaa, il y a plus de deux ans et demi, ce qu’on appelle électricité n’avait pas encore

atteint le foyer de Hassan qui vit dans un village rural à Dhamar (à 100 km au sud de la capitale). Mais ces dernières années, ils ont finalement été reliés au réseau électrique grâce à « l’énergie solaire » dont dépendent la plupart des familles yéménites, en particulier dans le nord, le centre et l’ouest du pays. Une expérience imposée par les circonstances difficiles, ce qui est considéré comme un phénomène positif. Mais “l’énergie propre” est confrontée à de nombreux problèmes et nécessite de l’encouragements et de la réglementation de la part des autorités respectives.

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INTRODUCING

KOSSI BALAO COUNTRY: TOGO

KOSSI ELOM BALAO is the editor-in-chief and CEO of AfricaWeb, an independent journalism company dedicated to in-depth reporting and high-quality investigative journalism about the issues that matter most to Africans. He writes about science, environment, energy, technology and climate change issues and is also deeply interested in issues facing farmers in rural areas. T W I T T E R : @kossielombalao

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E M A I L : kossibalao@gmail.com

BY KOSSI BALAO ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : AfricaWeb

IN TOGO, WOMEN BRING SOLAR ENERGY AND HOPE TO FARMERS

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n Agome-Sevah, a village in the southeast of Togo, farmers are now smiling and hope to rise out of poverty due to solar electricity installed in the entire village by four women with no formal education. Adjoa Amegbleame, 38, and mother of seven, was singing and filled with enthusiasm selling doughnuts to a customer. “I am making more profit. Selling my doughnut now in the night has become a fact of my life. Now I can settle here every night and not have to fight anymore against the wind, which in the past used to blow and threaten to extinguish the lantern I used as a light”. Amegleame, like many others in Agome-Sevah, now has electricity and feels secure when selling her products late in the night. Two years ago, life was really tough in the village. There was no electricity. The whole village was living in darkness and was not connected to the public electricity grid. The main sources of energy used were wood and charcoal for cooking and oil for lighting. Sourcing raw materials to produce energy is an increasingly important expense item in the household budget. As a result, the potential for economic activity is reduced, reinforcing the precariousness of the village inhabitants and pushing young people to leave. A maize farmer in the village said “we can now charge our phones at home. And my wife is no longer setting off for miles to grind millet or grill corn.” This situation has been made possible by a local association named Dekamile, association which has implemented a solar energy electrification

project across the whole village. The association sent four illiterate women to India for six months training in solar electrification. In September 2016, “on their return, we ordered solar components and when this equipment reached Agome-Sevah, the four women engineers installed them on each household. 153 households in total are covered today” said Dethanou Logossou, the general secretary of Dekamile Association. These women have changed the living conditions of the 1500 inhabitants representing the population of Agome Sevah. Today, these installations enable 175 households to have light at night from a clean, renewable source of energy, and to reduce the cost of purchasing kerosene. The solar electrification project of AgomeSevah, while contributing to the fight against climate change, has allowed the creation of a source of income, mainly for 4 women who can charge installation and maintenance costs of equipment. The development of nocturnal economic activities in the village is also of note, such as the opening of grocery stores, sale of donuts and agricultural products at night. Lighting has also increased safety at night, improved general sanitary conditions, education, health and care and generally improved working conditions in the village. For Adjoa Amegbleame, there’s no doubt that solar energy has empowered her business and completely changed her life. “Now I have a lot of money to supply my family’s needs and to pay the children’s school fees.”

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Mialo Tassi ,a Solar Grandmother erecting solar panels at a small village home in Agome Sevah

TOGO

TOGOLESE S OLAR MAMA CLASS OF 2 014 Village Chief has given his blessings to these four Togolese Mamas who will return in six months to solar electrify the community.

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P H O T O C R E D I T : Lar Bolands

Togolese Solar Mamas teach women from other villages how to become Solar Engineers, spreading light both spiritually and physically.

AU TOGO, LES FEMMES APPORTENT DE L’ÉNERGIE SOLAIRE ET DE L’ESPOIR AUX AGRICULTEURS A Agome-Sevah, un village situé au sud-est du Togo, les agriculteurs sourient et espèrent sortir de la pauvreté grâce à l’électricité solaire installée dans tout le village par quatre femmes analphabètes.

formation en électrification solaire. En septembre 2016, “à leur retour, nous avons commandé des composants solaires, et lorsque cet équipement a atteint Agome-Sevah, les quatre femmes ingénieures les ont installés Un agriculteur qu’on a rencontré sur sa ferme dans chaque foyer. 153 ménages au total de maïs a déclaré : « Nous pouvons maintenant jouissent de l’électricité aujourd’hui “, a déclaré Dethanou Logossou, secrétaire général charger nos téléphones à la maison. Et ma de l’association Dekamile. femme ne parcourt plus des kilomètres pour moudre le mil ou griller du maïs. » Cette Ces femmes ont changé les conditions de vie situation a été rendue possible grâce à une de 1500 habitants représentant la population association locale nommée Dekamile, qui a mis d’Agome Sevah. Aujourd’hui, ces installations en œuvre le projet d’électrification de tout permettent à 175 foyers d’avoir de la lumière le village en utilisant l’énergie solaire. la nuit à partir d’une source d’énergie propre et renouvelable et de réduire le coût d’achat du kérosène.

L’association a envoyé quatre femmes analphabètes en Inde pour six mois de

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INTRODUCING

JAMES CHAVULA COUNTRY: MAL AWI

JAMES CHAVULA has a passion to tell life-changing stories with a human face. He has worked with Malawi’s leading print media houses, Times Group and Nation Publications, since graduating from the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 2007. Presently, he works for Nation Publications Limited as the principal features journalist, diversifying his areas of coverage to environmental journalism, energy and climate change. As a member of the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Malawi, he has won several awards in the areas of Hunger and Poverty; Social Accountability in Agriculture and Climate Change; Tourism Environmental Reporting; and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

T W I T T E R : @chavulaj

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E M A I L : chavulaj@gmail.com

BY JAMES CHAVUL A ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : Nation Publications (Malawi) Limited (NPL)

SMOKY KITCHENS: MALAWI’S COOKING CRISIS

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oing up Kuchawe Peak on Zomba Plateau, we saw how women and children are bearing the brunt of energy poverty in Malawi.

For Mary Makwinja, who lives in the populous slum of Chikanda in Zomba City, this is an everyday burden comes with being one of millions of Malawians without better energy alternatives. “Every weekend, I wake up around 4am to climb the mountain,” she stated, “Trees are disappearing so fast that it takes almost six hours to gather enough firewood. By the time we start going downhill, we will be weary and it takes another hour or two to get home.” But the untold misery of these women and children goes all the way into the kitchens where open fireplaces emit smoke and soot which expose them to coughs, pneumonia and other silent killers. Every day, they risk their lives carrying out a familiar chore—cooking meals for their families.

alternatives. The cookstoves, dubbed chitetezo mbaula, are known to reduce the amount of smoke produced by allowing the firewood to burn completely. Complete combustion provides health benefits for the family, especially women and children who spend most of the time cooking or in the kitchen. But users find the cleaner stoves are more efficient than traditional mbaula and open fires as they consume less wood or charcoal to cook meals and emit less smoke. “Ever since we started using Chitetezo Mbaula, we are no longerhaunted by frequent coughs. We don’t have to run out of the kitchen to breath fresh air. Besides, a bundle of firewood that used to take one or two days now lasts the whole week. This means we make fewer trips up the mountain,” says Eneless Betha in an interview as she cooked lunch on Chitetezo Mbaula. The cookstoves may be seen as a small step towards cleaner energy, but it is one of the simple solutions that make a huge difference in the country where 97 percent of the population rely on biomass for cooking needs.

Malawians, who do not use electricity for cooking, are slowly turning to low-energy cookstoves in search of cleaner energy

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Technicians fix solar panels at Mulanje Mission Hospital

MALAWI

P H O T O C R E D I T : Bobby Kabango, Nation Publications Limited

A woman sneezes as she cooks on an open fire in southern Malawi

FRENCH

Solofina Chitsani of Kauma in Lilongwe fashions an energy-saving Chitetezo Mbaula cookstove

ount Zomba with Women descend M ewood bulky bundles of fir

CUISINES ENFUMÉES: LA CRISE CULINAIRE AU MALAWI Pour Mary Makwinja, qui vit dans le bidonville populeux de Chikanda dans la ville de Zomba, c’est un fardeau quotidien qu’entraine le fait d’être un des millions de Malawiens qui manquent de meilleures alternatives énergétiques. « Chaque week-end, je me lève vers quatre heures du matin pour escalader la montagne », a-t-elle déclaré, « les arbres disparaissent si vite qu’il faut près de six heures pour ramasser assez de bois de chauffage. Au moment où nous commencerons à descendre, nous tomberons épuisés et il nous faudra donc une heure ou deux pour rentrer à la maison. “ Mais la misère incalculable de ces femmes

et enfants va jusque dans les cuisines et les cheminées ouvertes qui émettent de la fumée et de la suie et qui les exposent à la toux, à la pneumonie et à d’autres tueurs silencieux. Chaque jour, ils risquent leur vie en exécutant un repas familier de cuisine pour leurs familles. Les Malawiens, qui n’utilisent pas l’électricité pour cuisiner, se tournent lentement vers les fourneaux à basse énergie à la recherche d’alternatives énergétiques plus propres. Les fourneaux, appelés chitetezo mbaula, sont connus pour réduire la quantité de fumée produite en permettant au bois de brûler complètement.

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INTRODUCING

SÉNA LIBLA SÉNA WISLANDE LIBLA, was born on February 27, 1993 in Cotonou, Benin. She holds a degree in audiovisual journalism obtained in 2016. She is currently in her second year of a Masters in audiovisual journalism at the ISMA, Institute of Audiovisual Professions of Benin. Eleven months ago, she started working at the National Radio of Benin as a reporter.

BENIN

COUNTRY: BENIN

E M A I L : libla272wislande@gmail.com

BY SÉNA LIBLA ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S AT I O N : Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin ( ORTB )

SOLAR STREET LIGHTS CHANGING LIVES IN BENIN

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his is the story of Adjoua, a 30-year-old woman. She was captivated by the white light of a solar lamp post located in her district of Fidjrossè, west of Cotonou. At the time, she was searching for a spot for her business. It has been a year since she settled on a place to work and it is a bustling world that surrounds her every night. In this radio piece Yabodé Adjoua tells us how, the light of this solar street lamp allows her to make profits every night:

While at nightfall, the other vendors find themselves in the dark with only the lighting of smoking lanterns, Adjoua enjoys the beams of light generated by the solar lamp under which she has established herself. It is a metal post that rests on a concrete base. This public lighting device, about three meters tall, is topped with a solar panel that powers it. For Adjoua installed here for a year, the choice of this site is not a mistake.

We are in Fian Couta, 12th district of Cotonou. We see Adjoua, in her thirties, she is busy whilst waiting for customers. She sells donut porridge made from wheat flour.

“Since settling under this lamp I make more profit because this solar light illuminates me. Added to this is the way I maintain my display. All this attracts customers who stop even if they are in their cars. Before I made at least 4 to 5 thousand CFA of profit. But since I’ve been here, I’m doing at least 6 or 7,000 francs a day and I’m happy. “

“I’m selling cooked porridge and wheat flour donuts. It’s been seven years now that I’m doing this business. I have three children who are all going to school.” It is 5 pm, residents of the district and other visitors go to her display to taste what she is offering. Adjoua rushes to satisfy them. Next to the display is a stove of incandescent charcoal on which is placed a pan containing simmering palm oil. On the fire, the cakes that serve as an accompaniment to the porridge are cooking. It is a business led by most women in this neighbourhood.

“Children can cost a lot of money, these benefits allow me to help my husband pay for their schooling. I’m in charge of their breakfast and their clothes. I also take care of myself and thank God. When the motorcycle taxi engine breaks down, this street lamp allows them to stop to repair their motorcycle. Which brings me a lot of customers.

R E A D FU LL S TO RY O N LI N E AT: www.unohrlls.org/voices-of-a-brighter-future

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P H O T O C R E D I T : Mathieu Toulassi

6:00pm Adjoua is at her location sitting in front of her stove. On her right side the solar street lamp not yet lit.

6:20 pm Adjoua is working to serve her first clients.

FRENCH

7:30 pm Lighting of the solar pole lamp, next to it stand Adjoua’s nephews.

h her 7:45 Adjoua’s daughter wit cousins, her by ed ound surr reading book p. lam r under the light of the sola

7:00 pm Adjoua’s cus tomers placing orders and waiting to be served.

7:55 The customers in front of Adjoua’s display, coming to buy porridge and donuts made of wheat flour.

LES LAMPADAIRES SOLAIRES CHANGENT LA VIE AU BÉNIN C’est l’histoire d’Adjoua, une femme de 30 ans. Elle a été séduite par la lumière blanche d’un lampadaire solaire implanté dans son quartier de Fidjrossè, à l’ouest de Cotonou. A l’époque, elle recherchait un emplacement pour son commerce. Depuis un an qu’elle s’est installée, c’est un monde fou qui l’entoure chaque soir. Yabodé Adjoua nous raconte comment, la lumière de ce lampadaire solaire lui permet de faire des bénéfices chaque soir.

« Depuis que je me suis installée sous ce lampadaire, je fais plus de bénéfice car ce poteau solaire m’éclaire. A cela s’ajoute la façon dont j’entretiens mon étalage. Tout ça attire les clients qui s’arrêtent même s’ils sont dans leurs voitures. Avant, je faisais au moins 4 milles à 5 milles Fr CFA de bénéfice. Mais depuis que je suis ici, je fais au moins 6 milles voire 7 milles francs de bénéfice par jour et j’en suis heureuse. »

R E A D FU LL S TO RY O N LI N E AT: www.unohrlls.org/voices-of-a-brighter-future

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INTRODUCING

MOUSSA NGOM COUNTRY: SENEGAL

MOUSSA NGOM is an independent journalist and tours his country, Senegal, to narrate everyday stories of socio-cultural origins and unknown problems. After a short stint on television in 2017, he decided to make the most of the audience potential on the Net by practicing full-time his professional and civic blog “A Vos Commentaires” (www.avoscommentaires.com), the beginning of an adventure that takes him into the country every month to discuss topics of interest. T W I T T E R : @avscommentaires

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E M A I L : ngom.moussa93@gmail.com

BY MOUSSA NGOM ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : A Vos Commentaires

SENEGALESE COMMUNITIES CALL FOR BETTER SOLAR EQUIPMENT

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t is barely 8 o’clock when the rays of sun begin to shine on the roofs of the huts of Touba Aly Mbenda Lô.

that can help manage them. “Before, just to charge our phones we had to travel 18 kilometres to Koungheul. The arrival of solar has prevented acts of banditry since the perpetrators always prefer darkness”, according to the village chief.

The young teacher, A. Kh. Sene unrolls the cable wrapped around his solar panel. In the other hand, he connects the small battery that stores the energy thanks to the photovoltaic panel and the small electric clamps. Finding the right position for optimal exposure is a natural reflex he has acquired over time.

A ten-meter high pole stands in the center of the village as if to dazzle its inhabitants by the upcoming electricity arrival. But they are not impatient for its arrival.

The business has flourished over time but the first goal of the sixty-year old has always been his personal comfort by energy autonomy: “Unlike others I can turn on a fan with my panels, the one you see there, stays on all night long. The lamp with which it was made also allows me to read everything I want at night. The farmer does not forget his neighbors for whom he has installed many solar panels in the past and knows better than anyone the concerns about electricity: “It only needs very little support so that everyone, each house, can have enough electricity, it is not so difficult to make solar panels and we cannot run out of power because our exposure to the sun is one of the best”.

“All we need is better solar equipment” ensured the Village Chief, where on either side the solar panels standing above the straw huts manage to handle a few lightweight appliances. We used to say the solar equipment could manage “Everything but the fans and refrigerators” this is not because it is impossible to run them, but because of the high price of solar accessories

He repeats this advocacy message to all enthusiastically, showing great understanding of the issues learnt by those who went to school, unlike him. “I did not go to school, but I think you know, like me, that the electricity obtained from fossil fuels with all the pollution it generates, is not at all good for the environment.”

The device is rustic and it is impossible to determine the level of charge because of the inverter, but 4 to 5 hours are sufficient according to him to ensure his needs at night. His bedroom lamp and an occasional charger for his smartphone are essential for the tedious daily preparation of educational sheets.

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P H O T O C R E D I T : Moussa Ngom

VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Thanks to the solar, it is now possible to watch television

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Dozens of batteries belonging to the villagers to be charged daily by Abdou Ndao

The panels that provide energy autonomy to Abdou Ndao

Abdou Ndao is one of th e few to able to turn be on his fan at home.

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Multifunctional solar lamp recharging in the sun

LES COMMUNAUTÉS SÉNÉGALAISES RÉCLAMENT UN MEILLEUR ÉQUIPEMENT SOLAIRE Un poteau haut d’une dizaine de mètres trône d’ailleurs au centre du village comme pour faire miroiter à ses habitants la venue prochaine de l’électricité.

réfrigérateurs » a-t ’on l’habitude de dire ici non par impossibilité mais à cause du prix élevé des accessoires solaires pouvant les prendre en charge.

Mais ces derniers ne sont pas pour autant impatients de sa venue.

« Avant, pour pouvoir juste charger nos téléphones on devait parcourir 18 kilomètres jusqu’à Koungheul et l’arrivée du solaire a permis de prévenir les actes de banditisme puisque les malfaiteurs préfèrent toujours l’obscurité » d’après le chef du village. D’ailleurs « c’est avec le solaire qu’on a commencé à regarder la télévision » révèle Mor Lô.

« Nous n’avons besoin que de meilleurs équipements solaires » assure le Chef du Village où de part et d’autre les tableaux solaires trônant au-dessus des cases en pailles parviennent à prendre en charge quelques légers appareils à consommation réduite. « Tout sauf les ventilateurs et

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

INTRODUCING

ABU SIDDIQUE COUNTRY: BANGAL ADESH

An astute pro-environment journalist, Abu Siddique has a nose for smelling stories, especially those with a climate change angle. Working for some of the leading national dailies of Bangladesh including the Dhaka Tribune and the Daily Sun for the better part of the last decade, Siddique has explored the remotest corners of the country in search of stories that have often made headlines and hit the talking points. He is also active away from home, having covered all the climate change COPs since 2015 and other issues including adaptation, mitigation and indigenous knowledge. T W I T T E R : @siddique1219

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E M A I L : siddique.aab@gmail.com

BY MD ABU BAKAR SIDDIQUE ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : The Third Pole

SOLAR ENERGY ILLUMINATES STREET LAMPS IN RURAL BANGLADESH VILLAGE Returning every night from the market, Abdul Aziz used to stumble in the darkness that enveloped the road for the entire 500 metres ahead of him. Groping in the dark, careful of any missteps, he made his way home. But in the last three months, a few street lamps have appeared, transforming the path. This is the story of Khowamuri, a village in Singair just 35 kilometres from Dhaka. “Though we are living near the capital, our village is beyond the reach of the national [electricity] grid. Therefore, we are mostly dependent on kerosene after sunset. It was really tough for us to move anywhere after sunset,” Abdul Aziz told thethirdpole.net. The recent change is due to off-grid solar power, and is a demonstration of the potential of renewable energy by one of the country’s leading NGOs, Grameen Shakti. Like many villages in Bangladesh, Khowamuri is made up of 50 to 60 households. Of these, around 20 are enjoying the benefits of solar home

systems provided by the NGO. Many others are waiting to get connected to the national grid, which is supposed to reach them soon. While Grameen Shakti has provided the solar lamps for free, other components of the solar systems are expensive, and the villagers are unsure whether to invest in them. Among the immediate beneficiaries of the lamps are women; the light provides them with that extra bit of security at night

SCHOOL CHILDREN GET WATER While residents of Khowamuri can now see in the dark, the children of the nearby Uttar Bokchar government primary school are getting fresh water through solar pumps. Before, the 275 students in the school developed problems due to the high iron and arsenic concentration in the groundwater. While most residents would use water from tubewells and ponds, and boil it before drinking, the school had no facilities to boil such large quantities of water, and so the children would have to carry it from home...

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P H O T O C R E D I T : Abu Siddique

VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Walking through the lights

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of solar street lamps

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Local villagers are talking under the street lamps at night

L’ÉNERGIE SOLAIRE ILLUMINE LES RÉVERBÈRES DANS UN VILLAGE RURAL DU BANGLADESH En revenant tous les soirs du marché, Abdul Aziz avait l’habitude de trébucher dans l’obscurité qui enveloppe la route durant tous les 500 mètres. À tâtons dans le noir, attentif à tous les faux pas, il rentra chez lui. Mais au cours des trois derniers mois, quelques lampadaires sont apparus, transformant le trajet. C’est l’histoire de Khowamuri, un village de Singair qui s’éloigne à peine de 35 kilomètres de Dhaka. “Bien que nous vivions près de la capitale,

notre village est hors d’atteinte du réseau électrique national. Par conséquent, nous dépendons principalement du kérosène après le coucher du soleil. C’était vraiment difficile pour nous d’aller n’importe où après le coucher du soleil “, a déclaré Abdul Aziz à thethirdpole.net. Le changement récent est dû à l’énergie solaire hors réseau, et il est une démonstration du potentiel des énergies renouvelables par l’une des principales ONG du pays, Grameen Shakti.

R E A D FU LL S TO RY O N LI N E AT: www.unohrlls.org/voices-of-a-brighter-future

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INTRODUCING

MILO MILFORT COUNTRY: HAITI

MILO MILFORT studied Social Communication and Public Administration at the State University of Haiti and Photography at the Center of Photographic and Cinematographic Studies. From March 2016, he started working as a freelance photographer/ journalist with the Haitian weekly based in New York, Haiti Liberté. He also writes for Mag Haiti, an online media. In September 2016, he was among the 10 winners of the 2nd edition of the “Young Journalist Award of Haiti.” In February 2017, Milo Milfort founded Enquet’Action, an independent, critical and alternative investigative media whose mission is to carry out journalistic investigations on subjects of public interest. T W I T T E R : @milforthaiti

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E M A I L : milforthaiti@yahoo.fr

BY MILO MILFORT ENGLISH

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : Mag Haiti

RENEWABLE ENERGY IS THE FUTURE FOR HAITI

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nergy in Haiti is characterised by low access rates, mediocre quality services and unequal access to electricity for the population. The energy system in Haiti is subject to eternal challenges that constitute a major obstacle to reducing poverty in a country with high potential for clean energies. In the face of these limitations, non-state actors are proposing alternatives – the use of renewable energies to provide electricity to marginalized and forgotten populations. For some years now, the social reality has been quite different at Mole St Nicolas, for Jean Rabel and Bombardopolis in the northwestern department of Haiti. Sustainable energy has been put to positive use to affect the lives of no less than 20 thousand people living in some of Haiti’s poorest regions, says Mag Haiti. These communities are are part of the small minority who have access to affordable electricity 24/7 in a country where three quarters of the population do not have this opportunity and where those who have it - have to deal with intermittent access from 5 to 9 hours a day.

In Haiti, between 25 to 30% of the population in urban areas and less than 5% in rural areas have access to electricity, according to official figures. In the Latin America and Caribbean region, the country has the lowest electrification rate and the largest number of people without access to electricity - more than 8 million. The availability of 24/7 electric power has allowed companies to stop using their diesel generators, many of which were oversized and poorly maintained. In schools and clinics, workers report improvements in service delivery through 24/7 food. At the base of these changes in living conditions and existence, is the arrival of the company Sigora Haiti that produces electricity through a combination of solar energy and diesel generators and who will soon add battery storage. Sigora operates hybrid networks that leverage Haiti’s vast renewable energy potential to provide reliable power to the communities it serves.

“Renewable energies - that’s the future in Haiti. New electricity service approaches that exploit smart meters, prepaid electricity and solar power That has not always been the situation. plants hold the promise of sustainably expanding Previously, electricity was a luxury for the people access to energy in previously underserved and of the Northwest. They live in a region with great unconnected areas of the country, “concludes potential for renewable energy, as well as an Natasha Skreslet. untapped potential for communities (continued overleaf).. to develop. R E A D FU LL S TO RY O N LI N E AT: www.unohrlls.org/voices-of-a-brighter-future

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P H O T O C R E D I T : Sigora Haiti

VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Solar panels of the hybrid micro-grid of Sigora Haiti in Mole St Nicolas. Construction began in 2015, and today, the company’s three networks supply energy to 20,000 people in northwestern Haiti.

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The residents of Mole St Nicolas gathered under a lamppost installed for free by Sigora Haiti. Clients said that they feel safer in their community because of public lighting.

According to Haiti’s sustainable energy roadmap, released in November 2014, only 6 square kilometers of solar photovoltaic panels would be able to produce as much electricity as Haiti produced in 2011. The study compares the economic and societal

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costs of electricity. Current electricity sector in Haiti and its usual development to that of alternative routes and concludes that Haiti will benefit enormously if it relies more heavily on renewable energy sources and less on fossil fuels.

L’ÉNERGIE RENOUVELABLE EST L’AVENIR POUR HAÏTI Faibles taux d’accès, services de piètre qualité, accès inégal des populations à l’électricité … Le système énergétique en Haïti est sujet à d’éternelles remises en question constituant un obstacle de taille à la réduction de la pauvreté dans un pays, pourtant à fort potentiel d’énergies propres. Face à ces limites, des acteurs non étatiques proposent des alternatives visant à utiliser des énergies renouvelables pour offrir de l’électricité à des populations marginalisées et oubliées des autorités de l’Etat. Depuis quelques années, la réalité sociale est toute autre au Môle St Nicolas, à Jean Rabel et Bombardopolis dans le département du Nord-ouest d’Haïti. L’énergie durable

utilisée affecte positivement la vie de pas moins de 20 mille personnes – vivant dans des régions parmi les plus pauvres d’Haïti, constate Mag Haïti. Elles font partie de la petite minorité qui a accès à l’électricité abordable 24/7 dans un pays où ¾ de la population n’ont pas cette possibilité et où ceux qui l’ont – doivent faire face à un accès intermittent de 5 à 9 heures par jour. La situation n’a pas toujours été telle. Antérieurement, l’électricité était un luxe pour les populations du Nord-ouest qui vivent dans une région dotée d’un grand potentiel d’énergie renouvelable, ainsi que d’un potentiel inexploité des communautés à se développer.

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

WE ALSO RECOGNISE

HONOURABLE MENTIONS Twelve entries were shortlisted for consideration by the judging panel. The following entries are included as honourable mentions, they were not selected in the final seven, but are highlighted as excellent examples of journalism from least developed countries. R E A D TH E FU LL S TO R I E S O N LI N E AT: www.unohrlls.org/voices-of-a-brighter-future

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

HONOURABLE MENTION

MAFOUDIA CAMARA |

COUNTRY: GUINE A

MAFOUDIA CAMARA graduated from the Higher Institute of Information and Communication of Kountia ISIC in 2010. Currently she works for the Hadafo Medias media group located in Matoto, Guinea. Since 2013, she has been a presenter of the spoken newspaper and reporter on Radio Espace 99.6 for a programme that focuses on women. Mafoudia has covered COP 22 in Morocco 2016 and in 2015 the fight against Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea. E M A I L : camaramafoudia64@gmail.com M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : Radio Espace

P H O T O C R E D I T : Fatoumata Dalanda Bah and Mafoudia Camara

AUDIO STORY

GUINEANS REJOICE IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

LISTEN:

BY MAFOUDIA CAMARA

LISTEN ON YOUTUBE:

This radio report, in french, highlights perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders from government to local businesses and students. It demonstrates how access to electricity can transform lives and be a driver of socio-economic benefits to communities in Guinea.

https://tinyurl.com/mcamara

Mamadou Sow, service provider in the community.

Dr. Fatoumata Binta Diallo is the Director of the Flamboyant Health Center in Ratoma Commune.

View of the street with lamp posts.

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

HONOURABLE MENTION

MAHABIR PAUDYAL |

COUNTRY: NEPAL

MAHABIR PAUDYAL has worked for Republica English daily, published by Nepal Republic Media Pvt Ltd, Kathmandu since 2011. As a senior correspondent, he covers issues ranging from politics, social affairs, education, climate change and LDCs. He closely follows developments around LDC issues and is keen on issues related to LDCs’ graduation, sustainable energy and climate change impacts on LDCs. He reported for Republica on the Mid-term Review of the Istanbul Program of Action from Antalya, Turkey in May 2016. T W I T T E R : @mahabirpaudyal

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E M A I L : mahabirpaudyal@gmail.com

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : Nepal Rebublic Media Pvt Ltd

TAPPING INTO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Electricity workers installing solar panels in street of Dillibazar, Kathmandu

BY MAHABIR PAUDYAL

“It’s a wonder,” he said, pointing at a small solar device laid on top of a tin roof of a makeshift shed he has been living in for more than two years. Megha Nath, 70, has lived through the darkest and the brightest of times in this village of Bahrabise of Sindhupalchok district, around 90 kilometers away from Kathmandu. “There was a time when there was no source of light. When children had to do homework, they did it during the day,” he said speaking of the ‘dark’ Days. Megha Nath, an earthquake survivor, first saw electricity in his village in the mid-1990s when it was connected to a national grid. When electricity went out, which happened frequently during the dry seasons, the village would plunge back into darkness. And for the past month, after the transformer broke down, the village is in a similar state. But Megha Nath and the other villagers have nothing to worry now. Their homes remain illuminated - thanks to small solar panels provided to them in relief aid. “This is why I say it’s a wonder,” he said.

Megha Nath, 70, standing in front of his makeshift shed. Small solar device at inset.

Solar panel installed at a small hut in a village of Tanahu district. Rural householders are increasingly using solar panels to meet energy needs

RE AD FULL STORY:

https://tinyurl.com/mpaudyal

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P H O T O C R E D I T : Mahabir Paudyal/Republica, Sane Bahadur Nepali/RSS and Bijay Gajmer/ Republica

EXCERPT


VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

HONOURABLE MENTION

DANIEL ADDEH |

COUNTRY: TOGO

DANIEL ADDEH is a young Togolese journalist. For 10 years, he has been working as a journalist, presenter and reporter. In addition to his work on television, he collaborates with several newspapers and foreign news sites such as: Africa 24 magazine, Our Afrik, Irinews, Free Law TV and New Tribune. Daniel is also the winner of the Accer Awards (2016) and the Lorenzo Natali Prize Media (2017). T W I T T E R : @danieladdeh

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E M A I L : daniaddeh@gmail.com

M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : Nouvelle Tribune

EXCERPT

TOGO: ENERGY TO SUCCEED BY DANIEL ADDEH

P H O T O C R E D I T : Daniel Addeh

Its inhabitants had never seen public electricity. But since September 2016, a solar-powered street lamp stands in the center of the village. With a power of 145 watts, its installation was made possible through the combined efforts of the young Franco Dolagbenou, a native of the community and his classmates. “I did not grow up in the village. But every time I had the opportunity to go there, I was always dismayed by the conditions of study of these students,” he said.

Start-up team “Energy-for People” installs solar panels on the roof of Agbetim Primary School

The residents of Agbetim receive the

solar lamp offered by “Energy-for people”

Since the installation of solar panels in the village, the life of pupils in the school has changed considerably. Students can now take part in the practise classes, initiated by their teachers thanks to solar energy.

RE AD FULL STORY:

https://tinyurl.com/danaddeh

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

HONOURABLE MENTION

ABDIRIZAK ATOSH |

COUNTRY: SOMALIA

ABDIRIZAK ATOSH has been working in the media industry in the region for over 16 years. As a social media guru, Atosh has one of the largest Facebook followings among Somali media personalities. He is also well known as the leading presenter with BBC East Africa Bureau as the Senior Multimedia Broadcast Journalist with special focus on Somalia. E M A I L : abdirizak@m2amedia.com M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : M2A Media and Communications

EXCERPT

INVESTMENT IN SOLAR ENERGY USING WATER AND SOLAR POWER IS THE BEST WAY SOMALIA CAN RECOVER BY ABDIRIZ AK ATOSH

Those were the words of the engineer and founder of the SolarGen Company, Aboubakar Aidurus Abdikarim. He added ‘Since I am an electrician, I was surprised how keen some of the business people as well as non-state actors were to know more about solar power. This was one of the most important amenities badly needed at the time in the city, because solar power could drastically reduce the cost of electricity for homes and business centers.”

Women and children enjoying the water from their newly solarised borehole.

RE AD FULL STORY:

https://tinyurl.com/aatosh

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P H O T O C R E D I T : SolarGen Technologies

Solar panels - Solar equipment installed in a village in the outskirts of Baidoa, so that it produces up to 90 cubic metres of water for the community and livestock on a daily basis.

‘In late 2011, I visited Somalia’s Capital Mogadishu to personally experience and see for myself the impact of the war in the capital. However, the mental picture I had was completely different from the reality on the ground, safe for the instability and struggling governance’


VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

HONOURABLE MENTION

FLORIDA ZOSSOUNGBO |

COUNTRY: BENIN

FLORIDA GHYSLAINE ZOSSOUNGBO is a journalist/photo reporter from Benin. She has a degree in audiovisual journalism and has made three documentaries on the “Lio, a food of Abomey”, the production of palm wine and the production of salt by the women of Ouidah. She has also produced two magazines on the death penalty and the contribution of the charges in households.

E M A I L : floridazossoungbo@gmail.com M E D I A O R G A N I S A T I O N : ORTB - ATL FM

P H O T O C R E D I T : Lariaus Honvo

VIDEO REPORT

BIOGAS: A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOURCE FOR COMMUNITIES

WATCH:

BY FLORIDA ZOSSOUNGBO

WATCH ON YOUTUBE:

This video, in french, provides a demonstration on biogas usage and details how the use of biogas is helping families with waste collection, increased economic benefits and sustainability.

https://tinyurl.com/floridaz

Loading waste into the bio digester

The digester’s disposal area

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

INTRODUCING THE

JUDGING PANEL

FEKITAMOELOA KATOA ‘UTOIKAMANU @fekita_u Ms. ‘Utoikamanu is Under-SecretaryGeneral and High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Ms. ‘Utoikamanu, a Tongan national, took up her appointment as the High-Representative in May 2017. Prior to her position with the United Nations, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Tourism in Tonga. Ms. ‘Utoikamanu has a wealth of national, regional and international experience at various senior leadership levels. She was previously Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2015), Deputy ProChancellor and Deputy Chair of the Council of the University of the South Pacific (2009-2016), Deputy Director General and Director of Education, Training and Human Development of the Secretariat of Pacific Community (2009-2015), Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Government of Tonga to the United Nations, United States of America, Cuba and Venezuela and High Commissioner to Canada (2005-2009), and Secretary for Foreign Affairs and European Commission’s National Authorizing Officer for Tonga (2002-2005).

ALISON SMALE

YINKA ADEGOKE

@alison_smale

@YinkaWrites

Appointed by United Nations SecretaryGeneral António Guterres, Ms. Alison Smale of the United Kingdom became Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications at the UN on 1 September 2017. Ms. Smale brings to the post almost 40 years of experience in international journalism in which she has been a reporter, an editor and a senior leader. Before joining the UN, she served most recently (2013 to 2017) as the Chief of Bureau in Berlin for the New York Times. Ms. Smale served previously as Executive Editor of the International Herald Tribune from 2008 to 2013, becoming the first and only woman to have held that post. She joined that newspaper in 2004 as its Managing Editor. Prior to that Ms. Smale was the New York Times’ Deputy Foreign Editor (2002 to 2004) and Weekend Foreign Editor (1998 to 2002). Earlier in her career she reported for United Press International and the Associated Press as a bureau chief or correspondent in Vienna, Moscow and Bonn. Ms. Smale, who studied in Bristol, Munich and at Stanford in the United States, holds a Bachelor of Arts in German and politics from Bristol University, and a Master of Arts in journalism from Stanford University. She also has an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Bristol University. Ms. Smale is fluent in English, French, German and Russian.

Mr. Yinka Adegoke is Africa editor for Quartz. He oversees Quartz Africa coordinating its news, ideas and events in partnership with an editorial team across the continent. As a journalist, has reported from more than 10 countries across Europe, Africa and the North America. Before joining Quartz, Yinka was deputy editor at Billboard where he ran the business coverage for the world’s leading music magazine brand. Prior to that he was Reuters’ senior media correspondent covering the global media business where he focused on the digital disruption of the traditional media industry. Earlier in his career Yinka was an editor at New Media Age in London covering the early days of the digital media revolution and a regular writer for The Guardian and The Financial Times. He has spoken at the World Bank, WTO and numerous business and technology events around the world. He’s also a pundit on broadcast outlets including BBC, CNN and NPR.

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VOICES OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE

RACHEL KYTE

SHERWIN BRYCE-PEASE

HARISH HANDE

@rkyte365

@sherwiebp

@Harishhande

Ms. Rachel Kyte is Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and Special Representative of the UN SecretaryGeneral for Sustainable Energy for All. A leading advocate for sustainable development, Ms. Kyte is focused on affordable, reliable and sustainable energy as the key to combating both poverty and climate change. Ms. Kyte drives SEforALL’s work to mobilize action towards its 2030 goals of ensuring universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. As Special Representative for the Secretary General she is the point person in the UN for action towards the recently agreed global goal on sustainable energy. Ms Kyte served until December 2015 as World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change, leading the Bank Group’s efforts to campaign for an ambitious agreement at the 21st Convention of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 21). She was previously World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development and was the International Finance Corporation Vice President for Business Advisory Services. Recipient of numerous awards for women’s leadership, climate action and sustainable development, she is a Professor of practice in sustainable development at Tuft’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Fletcher, and a bachelor’s degree in history and politics from the University of London.

Born and raised in East London, Mr. Sherwin Bryce-Pease has interviewed everyone from presidents such as Barack Obama to actors such as Morgan Freeman. He has also interviewed South African presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlante and Jacob Zuma, as well as local celebrities such as Black Coffee. After completing a degree in Journalism and Linguistics at Rhodes University, Sherwin started out as a marketing and communications intern in the US during which time he also worked as an International Communications Liaison for Rhodes University. When he came back to South Africa, he started working for the SABC’s Newsbreak after which he became a Bulletin Writer and News Presenter on SAFM. In 2005, Sherwin was appointed Insert Producer and CoAnchor of SABC’s Weekend Live as well as being a stand-in presenter on SABC 2’s Morning Live. In March 2008, Sherwin was appointed SABC’s US Bureau Chief & Correspondent, based at the United Nations in New York where he also covered the recent US elections. Sherwin was elected the President of the UN Correspondents Association in 2017 and is the first African to be elected to this position.

Mr. Harish Hande is the co-founder of SELCO, a social venture to eradicate poverty by promoting sustainable technologies in rural India, and the implementer of several REEEP-funded projects. With its headquarters in Bangalore, SELCO has 31 branches in the Indian states of Karnataka and Gujarat, and has installed solar lighting systems in over 145,000 households there. Harish and SELCO have won many awards including the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2011, the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2005 and the Ashden Outstanding Achievement Award in 2007. He was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation. India Today has named him one of the 50 pioneers of change in India. Harish earned his Doctorate in energy engineering (solar specialty) at the University of Massachusetts (Lowell). He has an undergraduate degree in Energy Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur.

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The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) supports groups of vulnerable countries in the United Nations System. The Voices of a Brighter Future is just one example of where UN-OHRLLS continues to actively advocate for vulnerable communities and countries. The competition called on journalists from least developed countries to submit inspiring stories on how sustainable energy positively impacts communities and individuals in their countries. Over 50 submissions were received highlighting the challenges and life changing benefits that sustainable energy brings to communities.

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Voices of a Brighter Future  

Highlighting the winning entries from the UN-OHRLLS 'Voices of a Brighter Future' journalism competition.

Voices of a Brighter Future  

Highlighting the winning entries from the UN-OHRLLS 'Voices of a Brighter Future' journalism competition.

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