Flipping a switch. That’s all it takes to turn on the lights, charge our phones or dry our hair. However, not everyone is as fortunate as we are. Two out of three people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to power.
Two years ago, Mark Kellaher, an advisor on MISO’s Competitive Transmission Administration team, was introduced to the Power Africa Initiative by a former colleague.
Power Africa launched in 2013 to bring together technical and legal experts, the private sector, and governments from around the world to work in partnership to increase the number of people with access to power. The project is funded through the Energy Utility Partnership Program (EUPP), through a cooperative agreement with the United States Energy Association and United States Agency for International Development.
Last week, Mark traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the 2018 Individual Volunteer of the Year Award, an honor presented annually by the United States Energy Association. The award recognizes the individual’s dedication to assisting the organization by sharing their knowledge and expertise through the overseas partnership.
“We’re pleased and excited to see the United States Energy Association recognize Mark for his great work with the Power Africa Initiative,” said MISO’s Aubrey Johnson, executive director System Planning and Competitive Transmission Administration. “It’s a great honor for him to receive national recognition for the passion and excellence that he brings to work every day.”
For Mark, it was no small feat. He dedicated his time over two years to support the initiative.
Mark and his fellow volunteers participated in facilitating and presenting at four separate 5-day workshops on Project and Contract Management of Power facilities in East Africa. These workshops were attended by project managers, engineers, senior leaders, attorneys, and sourcing professionals from the national utilities of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. By the end of the project, Mark had made 4 trips overseas to Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
“I really appreciate the support MISO has provided to allow me to perform this work,” Mark noted. “It is an honor and it would not have been possible without MISO’s assistance and support.”
Congratulations, Mark. You truly represent MISO’s PowerfulGiving initiative.
More information on the Power Africa Initiative can be found at www.usaid.gov/powerafrica
MISO encourages employees to give back to their communities by providing four hours per month of paid volunteer time.