A Kenyan has made it to the list of top 30 under 30 young Africans who are doing amazing things for themselves and their community.
In a list released by Forbes Africa last week, founder and CEO, Women in Energy and Extractives Africa Ogutu Okudo, 28, made it to the coveted list.
Okudo was listed in the Oil and Energy Industry category.
In 2012, Okudo found herself at a conference on the outskirts of Nairobi discussing environmental sustainability and the strategic role women play.
At the same time, on the opposite end of the continent in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, communities were protesting the negligence in operations by oil companies resulting in oil spills.
“I vividly remember noticing the men dominantly speaking, but it was the woman performing the balancing act of her child on her right hip and yams to feed a family on her head that was the inspiration behind Women in Energy and Extractives Africa that initially began as Women in Oil and Gas East Africa,” she told Forbes.
During this period, oil hadn’t been discovered in Kenya but Okudo was on a mission, not knowing that fate would knock on Kenya’s doors months later in 2012.
Oil reserves were discovered in Kenya’s vast and dry remote area of Turkana County and became a source of new wealth and a source of conflict for the pastoralist Turkana people.
Part of her role then was to speak for women in the energy and extractive sector by informing industry participants and decision-makers of the challenges and opportunities women are finding in pursuing careers in these sectors.
She then participated in market meetings and industry bodies to constantly increase the visibility of her organization.
Today, her company is a social enterprise bridging the gender gap in the oil, gas, mining and alternative energy sectors in Africa
They have 15 employees in five countries and over 75 volunteers in 10 countries and counting.
CNN Africa Voices referred to her as “the woman on a mission to disrupt the energy sector”.
I am passionate about the opportunity to play a role in factoring a development driven by strategic partnerships.
Founder and CEO, Women in Energy and Extractives Africa, Ogutu Okudo