Our much-valued trustee, Sabera Kahn, has sadly died after a long struggle with Covid-19. Sabera was a wonderful, warm member of the Ashden Board. We first met Sabera when she came to London with the team from REEEP, to accept an Ashden Award for the vision and achievements of Beyond the Grid Zambia. We were immediately inspired by her cheerful and practical passion to make sustainable energy accessible to the rural poor of Sub Saharan Africa, and impressed by her strategic vision and ambition. So we were thrilled to have her join the Board in September 2020 and contribute to our work and our new strategy.
Sabera was a hands-on trustee, ready to introduce us to key contacts, advising and helping us – even when we were too greedy with her time. She was always pushing us at Ashden to think big, to be ambitious, to search out major funders to help take energy access to scale. In particular, she believed that national banks within African countries could play a bigger role in financing energy access enterprises, frustrated that African pension funds were not being invested in driving change. We loved talking with her on Zoom, and sometimes saw family members wander by – people whom we are especially thinking of now given her sudden and shocking death.
She is in our thoughts and prayers. We are grateful for all she gave to Zambia and to all those working for energy access, and we will honour her by remembering her words, ambition for change and her vision.
“My focus is always to remember that even 50+ years after Independence there is still a grandmother in a remote village in Mbala who doesn’t have electricity. Today she can communicate using a mobile phone and our ambition was if the Telecoms industry could use technology and create platforms where people in rural areas can get connectivity, why can’t we do the same for energy without investing in big infrastructure?”
– Sabera Khan
Read more about Sabera’s inspirational work with REEEP here.