A 28-year-old Kenyan woman has made it to the 2020 Forbes Africa top 30 under 30 list released this month.
Ogutu Okudo, who is the founder and CEO of Women in Energy & Extractives Africa, was recognized for her immense contribution to the oil and energy sector in Kenya and Africa.
"These are the men and women forging ahead with credible, creative and profound strategies to shape our tomorrow," Forbes Africa said.
"Celebrating six years of the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list, they are the continent’s revolutionary thinkers revitalizing ideas and industries with fresh business models and innovative leadership."
The top 30 under 30 list was compiled from more than 3,000 nominations received by Forbes from the start of 2020.
In an interview with Forbes, Ms. Okudo said a woman, who was balancing her child on her hips and carrying yams to feed her family amid a protest in Nigeria over oil spillage, inspired her to start her company.
“I vividly remember noticing the men dominantly speaking, but it was the woman performing the balancing act of her child on her right hip and yams to feed a family on her head that was the inspiration behind Women in Energy and Extractives Africa that initially began as Women in Oil and Gas East Africa," she said.
Okudo established Women in Energy & Extractives Africa in 2012, months before Kenya discovered oil in Lokichar, Turkana County.
Besides creating employment opportunities, her company acts as a voice for women in the energy industry. Currently, the company has employed 15 people in five countries and over 75 volunteers in 10 countries with vacant opportunities.
Okudo has gained international recognition and won several awards for her achievement through the organization. She was among the women recognized as young female Kenyan trailblazers by President Kenyatta in 2018 and was named the Kenya Upstream Oil and Gas Woman of the Year.
Okudo intends to open offices in all their East African satellite locations by the end of this year.