Even in the midst of a crisis such as the one brought about by Covid-19, there are positive stories to tell, such as Ms Ogutu Okudo’s.
She is on this year’s “Forbes Africa 30 under 30” list — the only Kenyan. Ms Okudo, 28, is the founder of Women in Energy & Extractives Africa, a social enterprise she founded in 2012.
Her initiative, which has a presence in 15 countries with 15 staff, “bridges the gender gap in the oil, gas, mining and alternative sectors in Africa”.
In 2018, she was recognised by President Uhuru Kenyatta as one of the young female Kenyan trailblazers.
That same year, she won the ‘Under 30 Women in Energy East Africa’ award and, in 2019, the Kenya Upstream Oil and Gas Woman of the Year award.
Also in 2019, she addressed the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations headquarters in New York, accompanying President Kenyatta as part of the Kenyan delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.
She says her degree was not challenging enough.
My initial degree was a bachelor of arts in foreign policy and diplomacy from USIU-Africa. I later realised that it wasn’t challenging enough. By then, I had already started taking a keen interest in the oil and gas industry, which led me to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where I studied for a master of science in oil and gas enterprise management.
Her organisation carries out gender assessment studies, drafts petroleum policies and generates communication and public relations campaigns, besides organising youth SME capacity building seminars.
They also offer informal training to sector entrepreneurs.
We also implement community engagement frameworks and offer skill trainings to informal sector entrepreneurs.
Nearly 100,000 girls in high schools in Kenya have benefited through her organisation’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Outreach Campaign.
(H/T Daily Nation)