Leadership Lessons from Thriving Innovative Energy Startups in Botswana

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With a pressing need to diversify its economy and ensure sustainable development, Botswana is harnessing the potential of renewable energy and technological innovation. Led by visionary entrepreneurs who are not only illuminating Botswana’s energy sector but also offering valuable leadership lessons.


A growing awareness of the environmental impact of fossil fuels has spurred a national conversation on diversification. The Ministry of Minerals and Energy, National Development Plan 12 outlined the ambitious goals for renewable energy integration, aiming for 16% of the national energy mix to come from renewables by 2030.


According to Botswana Power Corporation, 2023 Annual Report, Botswana’s energy sector is heavily reliant on coal, with Morupule Coal Mine supplying over 80% of the country’s electricity needs.


This shift towards renewable energy has fostered a vibrant ecosystem of innovative energy startups. According to the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), the number of energy-focused startups has grown by over 40% in the past five. These companies are tackling diverse challenges, from developing efficient solar power solutions for rural communities to creating innovative battery storage technologies.


One such company is Kgabo Power. Founded by Lesego Motlagale, a young entrepreneur with a passion for sustainability, Kgabo Power designs and installs solar-powered irrigation systems for small-scale farmers. “We realized that traditional irrigation methods were not only expensive but also unsustainable,” Motlagale explains. “Our solar-powered systems offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative.”


Leadership Lessons from the Frontlines

These thriving startups are led by a new generation of entrepreneurs who are not only passionate about energy solutions but also embody inspiring leadership qualities.


Leaders in these startups have demonstrated a clear vision for the future of energy in Botswana, aligning their goals with national energy policies and global sustainability targets.


Innovation is at the core of successful energy startups in Botswana. These companies are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to provide clean, efficient, and affordable energy solutions. Embracing innovation involves continuous research and development, staying ahead of industry trends, and adapting to changing market demands.


READ ALSO: Rising Tech: 20 Urban Trailblazing Startups in Africa

Operating in a developing nation often means limited resources. However, these leaders excel at resourcefulness, finding creative solutions to overcome challenges and adapting their technologies to the local context. Many successful energy startups in Botswana prioritize the needs of their communities. They actively engage with rural populations and small businesses, ensuring their solutions are accessible and address specific challenges.


Botswana’s innovative energy startups are not just illuminating homes and businesses; they are illuminating a path toward a more sustainable future. The leadership qualities embodied by their founders, coupled with government collaboration can propel Botswana into a global leader in clean energy innovation.  The lessons learned from their journey can serve as a blueprint for other developing nations seeking to balance economic development with environmental responsibility.

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