Shaping Today to Benefit Tomorrow; A Year of Impact in Review

Starting Out

As we have approached another end of the year, it is a noteworthy opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months ideating and executing 18 projects, launching a website, moving to the US for a residential program, hiring and training new staff, and starting a solar panel production factory. It’s one day after Christmas, 7.14 pm, I am sitting with a cup of coffee whilst writing this at my apartment in New York City where I moved to in August 2023 for the Obama Scholars program.

I started the new year 2023 with a huge burst of energy. I traveled to Egypt in December 2022, spent some time at the beautiful land of Sharm el-Sheikh, and ended my trip by visiting Mount Sinai 2800 Ft above sea level, where I had a life-changing opportunity to observe the actual rising of the sun from the east by 6 AM.

Kickstarting 2023 with ‘Energy Tutorials and Short Lectures’

Investing in knowledge for the energy sector was important due to the rise in interest and investment in Africa’s energy sector and at the same time an increase in confusion and misinformation about the industry. So, we started a six-month project – Monday Energy Tutorials and Short Lectures where every Monday, I spoke on wellresearched subject matter areas – reviewing the strategies of nations in advancing their energy sector taking into cognizance their economy, advantages and weak points, then highlighted exemplary countries and the strategic steps they took in leveraging their main strength instead of going with the crowd.

Creating the energy tutorials was important due to the rise in interest and investment in Africa’s energy sector and at the same time an increase in confusion and misinformation about the industry

These topics were key because we were in an era of climate change menace and energy transition where governments who have contributed least to climate impacts signed the Paris Agreement to reduce their carbon emissions and switch to renewable energies. It was important to think about how they could do this sustainably. We took a strategic look at Brazil, India, the USA, Egypt, and Nigeria and analyzed sub-sectors such as Electric Vehicles, Hydropower, and Bioenergy.

Work and Milestones

Brief Introduction

In this review, I will be talking to you about two main organizations. Our non-profit, Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment was created in 2013 to promote local economic development through job creation and energy access. Our company, The Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute which first started as an advocacy program of Glow Initiative launched into a full-fledged company in 2019 established to train and prepare a workforce who will promote a clean energy transition.

Milestones (Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment)

1)      Our organization – Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment reached 10 years in 2023 which we commemorated during a youth roundtable in Enugu State, Nigeria, and In New York, USA

  • New York, USA: Please read about the Glow Initiative 10th Anniversary commemoration in New York:
  • Enugu State, Nigeria: Please read about the Glow Initiative 10th Anniversary commemoration in Enugu HERE and watch the VIDEO.
  • Strategic Partnerships Formed in 2023

    1)      Access Bank PLC

    Our partnership with leading Nigerian financial institution – Access Bank Plc grew stronger as they have so far adopted and are funding 13 programs. This year we collaborated to launch 2 new projects – ‘Operation Save the Coast’ and ‘Act for Forest’ Program to promote climate resilience in coastal communities, create a new livelihood for fish farmers, and Plant trees in Delta. Our Program, the Climate Leadership Fellowship reached the 5th cohort this year.

    2)      US Government Exchange Alumni

    We partnered with the US Government Exchange Alumni for the Climate Awareness Program with sponsorship from the US Mission in Nigeria to educate students from 5 secondary schools on Climate Change and create 10 green clubs – They purchased 110 units of our Climate Education Toolkits for distribution in the schools and school Libraries.

    Projects Executed this Year at Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment which Significantly Impacted Nigeria’s Economy;

    Solar and Climate-Focused Projects

    The Climate Leadership Fellowship, a three-month climate education program held its 5th cohort this year with 30 fellows from 23 Nigerian states who trained 6800 total students. The CLF has trained 175 climate leaders who, in turn, educated 68,000 students on climate change and worked with 180 partner schools, impacting over 123,800 community members across 20 states in Nigeria.

    The Solar for Schools Community Project is focused on the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to power the computer centers of offgrid rural schools. This year we powered 4 schools in Kwale Delta State, Itchi in Enugu State, Urum, and Ugbenu both in Anambra State, and provided electricity to 6,350 students.

    The Project Light Up is aimed at providing solar power to night markets, thereby reducing the reliance on kerosene lanterns and extending trading hours for women. This year, we powered a night market in Delta State providing more opportunities for 102 traders.

    The Clean Water Project offers a sustainable water source to communities facing challenges from climate change. The project has provided clean water to over 26,000 individuals in Ebonyi State, Nigeria, and Enugu State (Obegu Izzicha, Ndunwanphu Ntezi, Amechi, Ulepa Ntezi communities).

    The SHE CAN; Solar Champions Initiative for Girlsempowers girls in solar energy through comprehensive training, solar power for the school’s library, creating new career opportunities in the energy, ICT, and engineering sectors. This year we trained 50 young girls and installed a 3kva solar system for their school’s library.

    Operation Save the Coast; launched this year, this project enhanced the socio-economic resilience of a coastal community through the installation of a 5 KW Solar PV system, providing reliable electricity for fish preservation and fostering economic stability.

    Environmental Focused Projects

    The Save Wildlife Awareness Program is a comprehensive effort with the primary aim of educating and involving residents in the preservation of wildlife. In its Enugu pilot phase, the project educated 250 hunters and farmers on conservation.

    The Ozone Action Campaign aligns with the World Day for Ozone Layer Preservation, educating 1450+ youth on ozone protection and fostering their sense of responsibility. This year, we trained 1500 youths in Enugu State Nigeria, and ran a radio campaign that reached 1 million people.

    The Act for Earth Campaign integrates awareness and action for environmental issues, engaging 7,220 community members in pollution reduction, habitat protection, waste management, and sustainable practices.

    The Save Biodiversity Awareness Program educates communities on biodiversity conservation, conducts environmental cleanups, and promotes tree planting to restore ecosystems.

    Act for Forest Program: Launched this year, the ACT for Forest program planted 100 regenerative trees in the oil-affected community, Kwale, and educated the community members.

    Click here to see a list of all of our projects and their impacts

    This Year at Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute (RETTI)

    RETTI provides educational programs on the design and installation of renewable energy systems for electricity purposes – 3000 trained – clean electricity provided for over 15, 000 persons including homes and businesses, and 840k tonnes of C02 prevented through the deployment.

    Strategic Partnerships Formed in 2023

    The Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute started a partnership with West Africa Vocational Education to train more Nigerians on Solar Power Design, Installation, Maintenance, and Entrepreneurship.

    This year, we welcomed five new members of the team to handle several aspects of the organization. Read about them and their expertise here.

    Projects Executed by RETTI in 2023

    • July 2023: RETTI/WAVE Scholarship Program which trained and certified 35 Nigerian youths on Solar PV
    • November 2023: RETTI/WAVE Scholarship Program which trained and certified 40 Nigerian youths on Solar PV
    • RETTI Internship Program: We Launched the RETTI internship program, a strategic move to place our graduate engineers in solar installation jobs. 30 of them have currently received placement.
    • RETTI Virtual University Africa’s first online learning platform which has trained 1,450 individuals on solar design and installation. In 2023, one hundred and fifty people enrolled and took courses on the platform.
    • Africa Fellowship for Young Energy Leaders (AFYEL): This year we began our third cohort and welcomed 105 fellows from 23 African countries into the program. AFYEL is a six-month program established to train young Africans on the small and utility-scale areas of 4 core renewable energy technologies (Hydropower, Onshore Wind, Solar power, and Bioenergy).

    We also graduated fellows of the second cohort in March 2023.


    RETTI Solar Panel Assembly Factory: Our Company – The Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute launched a new subsidiary – The RETTI Solar Panel Factory was established to manufacture high-quality solar panels tailored to meet the specific temperature and weather conditions in Africa. The primary goals include promoting standardized solar technology, fostering local employment, and contributing to the strengthening of Nigeria’s currency.

    The factory’s core objectives extend beyond the production of top-notch solar panels; it also seeks to:

    • Advance the adoption of standardized solar technology across the region.
    • Generating employment opportunities within the community
    • Contributes to the skill development of the workforce
    • Promotes indigenous production and reduces dependence on imports positively impacting the overall economic resilience of the nation.

    The RETTI solar assembly factory embodies a comprehensive approach, addressing technological, economic, and national development goals.

    Africa has the strongest solar potential in the world (60% of the entire world’s solar capacity), which means that Africa can take the lead in the space of solar power technology for electricity generation. Nigeria can lead Africa in exploring its solar manufacturing capabilities.

    Personal Achievements (Features, Awards, and Fellowships in 2023)


    Obama Foundation Scholars Program: On 25th May 2023, I received the most gracious news, the best news I got in the year; that I have been selected as an Obama Scholar; one of 12 leaders from around the world to participate in the 9 months’ residential program at Columbia University in The City of New York and the first female awardee of the prestigious scholarship from Nigeria.

    2015: I took a selfie with President Obama during the Presidential Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship
    2023: Seated with 11 others during a roundtable discussion with President Obama

    Books (Paperback now available on Amazon)

    Excited to share that I upgraded all my books to Amazon and created paperback copies for them. You can now order paperback copies alongside Kindle. I am the author of eight books written for youths, in primary, and secondary schools to advance the knowledge of climate change and the intervention of renewable energy with strategies on how Africa can lead efforts in the new climate economy. All my books are now available for purchase on Amazon.


    Interviews and International Features

    • Energy and Net-Zero Expert

    Featured as a Net-Zero and Energy expert and interviewed by the Economist.

    • Women in Business Feature by Business Day Newspaper

    I woke up to a surprise feature of myself as a Woman in Business by THISDAY Newspaper in September 2023.

    • Expert Feature: The Ideal Way to Fund the Energy Transition.

    I was excited to share my thoughts with ESI Africa on strategies to fund the energy transition in a way that is just and equitable for all.

    • Expert Feature: Women in Renewable Energy and the Just Transition.

    I was happy to catch up with Enlit Africa and Clarion Energy and discuss the myriad impacts of the Just Energy Transition across sectors in Africa.

    • Invest in Youth to Ramp up the Clean Energy Transition

    Featured by the Rocky Mountain Institute for the International Day of Education sharing on the importance of youth development in the energy transition.

    Speaking Engagements

    • Ensuring Gender Equitable Energy Transition for Businesses

    I joined leading experts at the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva and spoke during a roundtable session on the topic “Ensuring Gender Equitable Energy Transition for Businesses” at the Hotel Warwick in Geneva, Switzerland.

    • Championing Climate Action and Justice

    I share with Columbia University students from the Energy and Environment Concentration of the MPA Development Practice on the topic: Championing Climate Action and Justice; a Case Study from Nigeria where we explored Keys to a Successful Community-Based Climate Action and Justice.  

    • Climate and Interlinkages with Humanity; How Engineers Can Make a Difference

    I delivered a Keynote address at the IEEE Power & Energy Society on the topic Exploring Climate and Interlinkages with Humanity; How Engineers Can Make a Difference.

    • The Next Generation of Energy: Innovations Driving Africa’s Path to Net-Zero

    I was excited to Moderate this event by Solar Quarter – “The Next Generation of Energy: Innovations Driving Africa’s Path to Net-Zero” webinar.

    • Core Principles to Empower Women in Public Transport

    I spoke at the Smarter Mobility Africa’s Electric Mobility Summit on Breaking the Barriers for Women in Mobility where I shared 5 Unique Strategies to set up Women for Success in the #EV and public transport sector.

    • Climate Resilience Salon

    I delivered a speech during the first Climate Resilience Salons in Nigeria and addressed women founders on transitioning from a climate nonprofit to a social enterprise. Sharing an example of how our organization – Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment was able to create a social enterprise- the Renewable Energy Technology Training Institute (RETTI) a strategic company created to combat climate change through social entrepreneurship.

    Close to my Heart

    • Very dear to my heart was my non-profit – Glow Initiative for Economic Empowerment clocking 10 years this year. It reminded me of Nelson Mandela’s quote which states – “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. It was a corporate pet community development project I started in 2013 to help widows and youth improve their economic opportunities. 

    It faced a lot of challenges and I was without funds and with only the support of my parents and siblings for the first 4 years. But this project surprised everyone and grew to birth four other organizations and companies.

    I documented the story here in a memoir I wrote and published in 2021 – Dare to Be Audacious which is free.

    • Very dear to my heart was the creation and launch of the RETTI solar Panel assembly factory which launched in August 2023 to bridge the gap in Africa’s solar technology manufacturing, producing standard panels that are on par with our weather conditions and create local jobs.
    • We held the second edition of The Glory Project Annual Business Support Gala and Fair for women in our community situated in ETIOSA LGA which provided small grants for 6 female petty traders and hosted 50 kids for a Christmas Party. Watch this delightful video to learn more about this activity.

    Thank you for reading! May 2024 be the year when your dreams come through.

    2 replies on “Shaping Today to Benefit Tomorrow; A Year of Impact in Review”

    • Beatrice Sankah December 31, 2023 at 4:21 pm

      It’s just amazing and very inspiring to read all your achievements and initiatives. And coming from a fellow Lady, this is just super wonderful. It’s obvious you have worked hard to achieve all these, which only suggests one thing- excellence and hard work always pays off. I’m really inspired by you.

      Thank you for all you do for Nigeria, Africa and the world. I wish you a fruitful 2024 and look forward to connecting with you in future.

      Bea, Ghana.

    • Glory Oguegbu January 1, 2024 at 7:30 pm

      Dear Bea,

      Happy New year and thank you for your lovely message and kind words.

      I hope you have a rewarding year ahead and look forward to all the great things you’ll achieve.

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