WePlanet Africa organised a continental essay competition for university students on nuclear energy to help revv up debate on transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources as part of the efforts to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change.  

The competition sought to start a conversation on and encourage innovative thinking regarding the role of nuclear energy in Africa’s future and her efforts to attain SDG #7 on access to clean and affordable energy and SDG #9 to promote sustainable industrialisation. 

A total of 128 students from 60 universities in 13 countries from across Africa participated. Here are the profiles of the top 5 winners. 

We have since picked winners and attached is a press release for the same and background/support details for your action and consideration for publication. 

1. Mike Felix Okoth Ochieng

Mike Felix Okoth Ochieng’, the winner of WePlanet Africa nuclear essay writing competition (2023), was born and raised in Huruma Estate, Nairobi. He lived with his aunt in Kisumu County for a moment before heading off to boarding school. He is 23.


He went to Huruma Primary School in Nairobi up until class 7 when he transferred to Ndori RC Primary School in Kisumu County. Thereafter, he joined Kisumu School for his secondary education.


The second born in a family of five, Mike is a man of many talents. He is an award winning script writer, published author and film producer. In 2021, he produced the best film at the Foxton Film Awards 2021.

2. Connor Dalen [2nd Position]

At 19, Connor Dalen is the youngest of the 5 winners. He describes himself as an only child with significant life aspirations. “I am young but a touch too ambitious. Still, I believe that I must aim high and that, with sufficient commitment, I can accomplish my goals,” he says.

For his primary education, Dalen went to Radford House – where he skipped a grade. Although he wasn’t particularly strong at sports, he did well in general knowledge, history and the natural sciences.

He proceeded to Lonehill Academy for his secondary education partly because it offered the Cambridge curriculum, allowing him to study abroad if necessary. 

3. Chiahanam Joseph (3rd Position)

3. Joseph

Born in a remote village in the South Eastern Part of Nigeria, the 23-year-old Chiahanam remembers little luxury growing up – an aspect that shaped his philosophy later in life – living within one’s means. 

The 5th year student of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nigeria started school at 3 at St. Paul’s Nursery and Primary School in Enugu, Nigeria. At the age of six, he began primary education in the same school where he graduated top of the class in 2012. 

He attended Federal Government College Enugu for his Junior and Senior secondary education and topped at both levels. 

4. Kiggala Jessy Sean (4th Position)


The fourth year student of Bachelor of Petroleum Geoscience and Production at Uganda’s Makerere University came in 4th in the recently concluded nuclear essay writing competition.


Kiggala, 23, was born and raised in Kampala in Uganda to Mr Kimbugwe Davis and Ms Namukasa Florence as a middle child. 


He started his early schooling at City Parents Primary School in Kampala before proceeding for his O’ Level at Makerere College School where he received 5 awards in leadership and academics.

5. Sandra Afwande (5th Position)


Sandra Afwande, 23, was the only woman among the 5 finalists. The first born of two children, Sandra was born in Vihiga County in western part of Kenya where she spent most of her childhood. She was raised by her aunt while her mum eked a living in Nairobi.

She was a sickly child and spent considerable time in hospitals. At 4, she was diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia. “This is why I always aspired to be a doctor, specifically a haematologist because I have experienced first-hand the challenges people with blood disorders experience in their life,” Sandra says. 

Sandra is an avid reader – from books to articles on the Internet. She also finds therapy in traveling and sightseeing.