Sam Alemayehu


100 of the World’s Brightest under 40 have been invited to shape an inclusive and sustainable Future: one hundred of the world’s most promising artists, business leaders, public servants, technologists and social entrepreneurs have been asked to join the World Economic Forum. They are joining a community and five-year program that will challenge them to think beyond their field of expertise and be more impactful leaders. They were nominated because of their groundbreaking work, creative approaches to problems and ability to build bridges across cultures and between business, government and civil society.


Ethiopian Samuel Alemayehu is an engineering graduate of Stanford University and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He is the founder of three successful tech ventures based in California and is the Managing Director of Cambridge Industries Ltd, the company behind innovative renewable energy projects in emerging markets. Among them is the Reppie waste-to-energy project in Addis Ababa.  Cambridge, together with its technology suppliers, has worked with the Ethiopian government and a consortium of international companies to transform the city’s approach to waste.


Samuel Alemayehu says the Reppie plant will has a generation capacity of 185GWh and will dispose of roughly 80% of its rubbish – that’s 1,400 tons of waste every day. “We turn one of Africa’s most challenging social problems, the management of waste, into a source of new wealth”. Work that began on Reppie at the end of 2014 is almost completed and the plant will become operational before the end of the year.


The Cambridge Group is currently working to develop privately owned renewable energy projects throughout the continent, with a focus on wind, solar and waste-to-energy. Mr. Alemayehu is currently exploring the group’s manufacturing ambitions for self-contained “small renewable generators” designed in the United States but assembled in East Africa.


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