By Olivia Kyomugisha
The stage was set at the Pride Inn Azure hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, as the sun dipped below the horizon on the 4th of September 2023. It was a momentous occasion, the Nuclear Energy Essay Award Ceremony, organized and hosted by RePlanet Africa. This event had been months in the making, a culmination of hard work and dedication, all in the name of promoting nuclear energy awareness among the youth of Africa.
The journey to this grand ceremony began with a competition that had swept through universities across the continent. The application period had spanned a month, from July to August, during which students poured their hearts and minds into crafting essays that would explore the intricacies of nuclear energy.
The essays underwent thorough examination, both internally and externally. The internal review focused on technical details, checking font size, type, and word count to ensure adherence to the eligibility criteria. Externally, a panel of four judges, each hailing from different career paths, delved deep into the essays. They assessed the essays based on a multitude of parameters: impressions left on the reader, feasibility of the ideas presented, the strength of research and evidence, integration of relevant themes, and language proficiency.
As the judges deliberated, the top five winners were not only celebrated but also rewarded handsomely. Their hard work had earned them a fully funded trip to Kenya to attend the prestigious award ceremony in person. It was a chance to meet their fellow winners, connect with experts in the field, and bask in the glory of their accomplishments. But that wasn’t all.
The grand prize winner was granted the opportunity to embark on a fully funded trip to a nuclear reactor, either in South Africa or Sweden, to witness firsthand the nuclear reactors. The second runner-up received a brand-new laptop, a tool that would undoubtedly aid them in their academic and professional pursuits. The remaining winners were not left empty-handed; they walked away with brand new mobile phones, valuable assets in our increasingly interconnected world.
The ceremony itself was a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of engaging both the youth and experienced professionals in the realm of nuclear energy. RePlanet Africa had managed to forge valuable connections with university heads and departments, expanding its network and strengthening its mission. It was a night filled with inspiration and the promise of a brighter, more sustainable energy future for Africa.
In the years to come, the Nuclear Energy Essay Award Ceremony would continue to shine, bringing together brilliant minds from across the continent, fostering innovation, and pushing the boundaries of what was possible in the field of nuclear energy. Africa’s journey towards a sustainable and energy-efficient future had taken a significant step forward on that memorable evening in Nairobi.