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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Nelson Mandela University’s uYilo e-Mobility Programme’s Edem Foli has been nominated as a Woman in Transport by Smarter Mobility Africa. This campaign profiles women in South Africa who have made a difference in the transport sector.


Ms Foli has been identified for her key role in supporting gender and equality representation in the electric mobility sector over the years.

As part of Women’s Month (August), Smarter Mobility Africa believes that Women in Transport deserve the spotlight. Women should be seen as strong players in the economic, social and environment aspects of our communities. Smarter Mobility Africa is unlocking Africa’s full economic, social, and environmental potential while also allowing women to be seen and heard.

Edem has been at Mandela University since January 2019 and serves as the Programme Manager for the national uYilo e-Mobility Programme, a multi-stakeholder collaborative programme focused on enabling, facilitating, and mobilising electric mobility in South Africa.

uYilo is an initiative of the Technology Innovation Agency, a public entity of the Department of Science and Innovation and is hosted within eNtsa, an engagement entity at the University.

uYilo also supports critical skills development for youth through offering internship and graduate in training opportunities to students and recent graduates at the programme’s facilities on North Campus.

UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (PACT) Project

Edem is the project lead for Mandela University’s UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transitions (PACT) Project. The University is an implementing partner on the South Africa - UK PACT programme through uYilo’s STRAPSA (Shifting the TRAnsport Paradigm for South Africa) project. These projects support the country’s transition to a low-carbon, inclusive climate-resilient economy, and society.

The STRAPSA project is a capacity building initiative to enhance key personnel within government departments and entities. In 2021 over 370 participants from national government departments and entities were trained in electric road transport and charging infrastructure through online workshops, dialogues and working knowledge reports. 

During 2022 the focus of the STRAPSA project is on building capacity, knowledge, and capability on electric road transport within local government departments and entities. The project also includes a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion aspect focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the female mobility experience and overcoming the challenges that women and marginalised and vulnerable communities face within the transport sector.

Horizon 2020 Sustainable Energy Solutions Africa (SESA) Project

Edem is also a member of the project implementation team for Mandela Uni’s Horizon 2020 Smart Energy Solutions (SESA) Project. SESA is a collaborative project between the European Union and nine African countries (Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Nigeria) to provide energy access technologies and business models that are easily replicable and generate local opportunities for economic development and social cohesion in Africa.

Through several local living labs, the project will facilitate the co-development of scalable and replicable energy access innovations, to be tested, validated, and later replicated throughout the African continent.

uYilo’s focus is on solutions that include decentralised renewables (solar photovoltaics), innovative energy storage systems including the use of second-life electric vehicle batteries, smart microgrids and semi-rural internet access.

Edem holds an MBA from Nelson Mandela University’s Business School, and a Bachelor of Social Science (Political Studies) and Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Marketing), both from the University of Cape Town.  

YouTube interview with Edem

Contact information
Ms Keziah Tommy
Coordinator: Marketing
Tel: 0415043723