Electriciens sans Frontières (Electricians without Borders), a French charity that provides solar-powered electricity to poor, off-grid communities in developing countries, including refugee camps, has won the Energy category of the 2020 Zayed Sustainability Prize.
The charity has helped more than one million people in 38 countries get access to electricity, which in turn has led to increased access to water and healthcare.
The other two finalists in this category were Kingo Energy, a Guatemalan company providing pay-as-you-go solar power to more than 50,000 people, and Germany's Solar Kiosk, which offers turnkey solar solutions to disadvantaged and rural areas, impacting more than five million people.
The Zayed Sustainability Prize, presented annually by the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), was also awarded in three other categories — health, food and water — while six high schools from different regions around the world were also presented with prizes for their sustainability projects.
The winners were announced at the opening ceremony of ADSW and the awards were handed out by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the assistance of the presidents of Indonesia, Armenia, Rwanda, Seychelles and Sierra Leone, and the prime ministers of Serbia, Bangladesh and Fiji.
ADSW is hosted by Abu Dhabi-based renewables company Masdar.