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  • Writer's pictureSTEM DRC Initiative

The Mentoring Work of STEM DRC Initiative

Updated: Apr 17, 2019

STEM DRC Initiative was delighted to accompany three students from the Pan African University in an international competition organized by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) of the University of Loyala (Seville, Andalusia, Spain).

"Empower a Billion Lives is a global competition, the first of its kind launched by the IEEE. There are three major stages of selection at the global, regional level and then the final ( ). Thousands of projects from Africa, Asia, Europe and America have been submitted to the organization. The price to be won was One Million US Dollars.

Three Master's students in Energy Engineering specialization from PAUWES (Pan African University, Institute of Water and Energy Sciences - ), took part in the competition. After being selected at the global level, Francis Sadeu (Cameroon), Shallirosena Mbwette (Tanzania) and Kamundala Janvier (Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC), were mentored by Dr. Adewale Odukomaiya. Thanks to the STEM DRC Initiative through the scientific network and the leadership of Professors Karine Ndjoko Ioset and Sandrine Ngalula Mubenga, this mentoring was effectively articulated and implemented. Dr. Odukomaiya is active in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Denver.

The project presented to the Africa-Europe regional from 22 to 23 January 2019 at Loyola University, focused on the rural electrification of the island of Idjwi, located off Lake Kivu in the DRC. It is the second largest island in Africa after Madagascar, it has more than 250,000 of Population, living isolated from the electricity grid and therefore without electricity. In the current context of the DRC with an electrification rate of less than 12%, this island faces technical challenges for the arrival of electricity accentuated by economic and social problems.

Having been selected among the 12 best projects from Africa and Europe, the Jua Box (Solar Box in French) would Empower Billion Lives and reached the final. The aim of Jua Box is to distribute electricity to households, hospitals, schools, telecommunication companies through a recycled container containing packages of mini-grid.

STEM DRC Inititiative is committed to overseeing the Jua Box project, which will contribute to electrifying a quarter- millions of population of Idjwi Island and other villages in the DRC after the successful implementation of the project.

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