Each year Forbes Africa headhunts for resilient self-starters, innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors under the age of 30 in the categories of business, technology, creatives and sport. The nominees compete fiercely competition and are subjected to a rigorous vetting process to make it to the list of 30 finalists.
In this years edition, 28-year-old of Founder and CEO, Women in Energy and Extractives Africa (WEX Africa) Ogutu Okudo made Kenya proud. She was listed in the industry of oil and energy and was among other celebrities across Africa including Partoranking, Mr Eazi. Narrating her journey into stardom, Ogutu throws it back to 2012, when she was in a conference discussing environmental sustainability and the strategic role women play, at a time when communities were protesting the negligence in operations by oil companies in Nigeria.
“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 & Extractives Africa that initially began as Women in Oil and Gas East Africa (WIOGEA) [now known as WEX],” she said.
Today, WEX Africa is recognised as a social enterprise bridging the gender gap in the oil, gas, mining and alternative energy sectors in Africa. Okudo has been recognised internationally and has received many awards.
In 2018, president Uhuru Kenyatta recognised her as one of the young female Kenyan trailblazers, being awarded the Under 30 Women in Energy East Africa (2018) and, the Kenya Upstream Oil and Gas Woman of the Year in 2019. She accompanied President Kenyatta as part of the Kenyan delegation to the United Nations General Assembly last year, where she addressed the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She plans to set base across East Africa by the end of the year.