SOS HG Sheikh Secondary School has been awarded the Zayed Future Energy Prize as the winner of the Africa region of the Global High Schools category today during an awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Now in its eighth year, the UAE’s international prize recognises pioneers in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability.
The award was presented to SOS HG Sheikh Secondary School by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Nine winners across five categories received the prize, including former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, who won the Lifetime Achievement award for her long-term commitment to sustainability and sustainable development.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world attended the awards ceremony, which takes place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest gathering on sustainability in the Middle East.
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “We are delighted to welcome SOS HG Sheikh Secondary School to our growing international community as the 2016 winner of the Africa region of the Global High Schools category. We were impressed by the vision and drive for innovation that was shown within their project proposal. We hope they will act as an inspiration for other schools to want to begin their sustainability journey with the Zayed Future Energy Prize.”
Commenting on the school’s achievement, Physics Teacher Mohamed Omar, said: “We are deeply honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award, and we feel that winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize is a giant leap towards a better future, not only for our school, but also for our community which will be getting the greatest benefit from implementing our biogas project.”
Funds of US$100,000 from the prize will be split between energy installations and educational workshops. The school will install solar panels and wind turbines that would produce almost 40 megawatt hours over the nine months the school is open, and a four kilowatt hour battery to store solar power. The workshops are outward facing, focusing on the local community.
Mr. Omar continued: “This achievement is a clear testimony that brilliant ideas are universal while opportunity is not and the United Arab Emirates is sparing no effort to bridge this gap.”
Established by the UAE government in 2008, the US$4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize has recognised 48pioneers from around the world and created a growing community, committed to finding solutions that will meet the challenges of climate change, energy security and the environment. To date, more than 200 million people are experiencing the sustainable actions of the prize winners and this number continues to grow each year.
The Global High Schools category was established in 2012 and provides valuable funding to schools around the world, aiming to accelerate the adoption of clean energy through education. Each edition of the prize, up to five schools receive US$100,000 each for project proposals encouraging youth to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into the daily operations of their schools and local communities.
Previous winners of the Africa region of the Global High Schools category are: Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland in 2015, Nkhata Bay School Authority in Malawi in 2014, and Tanzanian Kirya Secondary School in 2013.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize was established by the UAE leadership in 2008 in honour of the environmental, social, and economic sustainability advocated by the nation’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. More than 200 million people are experiencing the sustainable actions of the prize’s 48 winners to date. The 9th Zayed Future Energy Prize is open for entries.