Presentation of the African Women in energy Development Initiative-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown-durban-2023


Energy Development is a concept that focuses on finding sustainable, alternative, conventional and renewable ways to acquire sources of energy. This is often done through natural resources or through the reuse and recovery of energy that would otherwise be wasted. The power and energy sector has a significant gender disparity and the energy development sector seeks to reduce that gap, by integrating more women into the power and energy sector. This integration seeks to create more opportunities and enable participation for African women in energy development.

The African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP) and Power Africa are some of the bodies created to accelerate and include more women in the power and energy sector. The AWEaP aim is to eliminate energy poverty in Africa and believes that women’s economic participation in the power and energy sector can help in that endeavour. While Power Africa aims to empower women by increasing their participation in the power and energy sector. They believe that women can come up with new innovative ideas to end energy poverty and increase energy access in Africa. The following article will be on the presentation of the African women in energy development.

African women in energy development

Global statistics on African women in energy development are often inconsistent and hard to find and the data often represented often needs to be revised. It is undisputed that the energy industry is still male-dominated, with unequal opportunities for women to advance to higher positions. Below is a list of African women who have made an impact in energy development. 

Presentation of the African Women in energy Development Initiative-pretoria-johannesburg-captown

1. Bethina Dlamini

Bethina Dlamini is one of the women who has paved her way into the power and energy sector, with the intention to pave ways for other women to be involved in this sector as well. She advocates for African women and youth to have spaces in the energy sector. She engages with global stakeholders to help get rid of barriers, that hold back African women and the youth’s active participation in the power and energy sector.

Bethina is the founder and president of the AWEaP.  African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP) is a nonprofit organisation founded to encourage the participation of African women entrepreneurs in the power and energy industries. The business was established in 2018, and it went public in 2019. They have chapters in 10 African nations. AWEaP was founded to accelerate women’s participation in the energy and power industries as entrepreneurs and value-adding participants in the energy ecosystem. They aim to end energy poverty through the increased participation of women in the energy industry.

Betheina believes that it is her responsibility to seek out chances for collaboration with stakeholders in Africa’s energy and power ecosystem to pinpoint viable business prospects for women throughout the length and breadth of the energy and power value chain.

2. Ismene Ahamide Zounmennou

Ismène Ahamide Zounmenou is the founder and director of Ismast Energy LLC in Benin. The company specialises in renewable energy goods. Ismène attended the Women’s Energy Entrepreneurship training, and as a result, she made significant management changes that helped her company expand. These changes included getting the contract to install energy-efficient street lighting on a government-funded major road works project and conducting energy-efficiency audits of factories and industrial buildings. As part of its Off-Grid Clean Energy Facility, Ismène has also partnered with the French multinational corporation Engie to construct a significant $16 million off-grid electrification project that is being co-financed by the MCC agreement.

3. Rekik Bekele

Rekik Bekele was born and raised in the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. She is the founder and CEO of Green Secne Energy PLC. After graduating she worked as an engineer, in some deep rural areas, installing Solar power. One of her first Job assignments was in a hospital in Qoddaa installing a solar system. The hospital had no electricity at all and nurses were delivering babies using touches from their phones, hoping their batteries didn’t run out. After the installation of the solar power, Rekik remembers the community celebrating throughout the night. This spurred her to start her own solar company, despite facing many challenges and lacking the support that she needed. 

She works hand-in-hand with Power Africa Off-grid Project. The Power Africa Off-grid Project promotes activities, policies and programmes aimed to reduce gender inequality in the power and energy industry. The program aims to dispel harmful perceptions about women who work in the off-grid industry, which frequently prevent them from entering the rapidly growing energy market. Power Africa gives technical assistance to organisations like Bekele’s Green Scene Energy PLC that are seeking to expand access to off-grid energy. In particular, the programme helps Bekele define and explain her business concept and offers grant writing support. Bekele’s accomplishments will encourage more women and girls to work in the off-grid energy sector.

Presentation of the African Women in energy Development Initiative-pretoria-johannesburg-capetown

4. Gwaliwa Mashaka

Gwaliwa Mashaka is a data and software engineer at the Tanzania energy sector. She studied computer engineering at the University of Dar es Salaam. She is also a 2019 graduate of the Young African Leader Initiative and Power Africa. During her studies, she contracted an ear infection, which caused hearing loss, but she never gave up on her studies. She now advocates for persons with disabilities in the energy sector. Once she completed her studies, she developed an innovative software tool used for the mining, gas and oil sector. The tool interpreted magnetic anomalies caused by ore. This innovation earned her a scholarship to study remote sensing for pipeline monitoring.

She didn’t let her disability set her back, instead, she used it as an opportunity to inspire others with disabilities, through creating opportunities for them. She did this by launching a social enterprise, called Employable Africa, this enterprise helps people with disabilities access meaningful employment.

5. Camille Andre-Bataille

Camille Andre-Bataille is the developer and successful operator of 12 PV-powered mini-grids, since 2013. She is also the head of ANKA Madagascar. About 76% of the rural population in Madagascar has no access to electricity and ANKA Madagascar has made it its priority to reduce that number. They have provided more than 800 direct connections to the rural population. 

The Madagascar off-grid power sector faces its challenges. These mainly concern the legal and political environment and the availability of grant and loan funding. Despite the challenges that the country faced with their off-grid power, ANKA won a national tender in 2018 to provide and operate mini-grids in Southern Madagascar to at least 50 villages. They started the project in December 2019, where ANKA aimed to distribute, produce and sell electricity to the surrounding communities in rural Southern Madagascar. The emphasis was on productive applications, particularly small-scale manufacturing and agricultural processing, to contribute value locally and support the rise in purchasing power. An estimated 11,000 residential connections will impact over 52,000 people’s lives over the course of the following seven years.

6. Aichatou Ali Mahamane

Aichatou Ali Mahamane is a representative of Oolu Solar in Niger and creating her own path in the emerging and growing off-grid energy sector. Oolu Solar has its headquarters in Senegal and is the only foreign entity to provide pay-as-you-go electricity in Niger. It is also the fastest-growing off-grid solar company in West Africa. Aichatou Ali Mahamane is in charge of developing business operations in underserved rural areas in Niger as the country representative for Oolu Solar. She also facilitates relationships with non-governmental organisations and works with local government organisations. Mahamane and her team are working hard to show that the PAYG business model, which has catalysed millions of first-time power customers in Sub-Saharan Africa, can achieve benefits in Niger as well.  

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Presentation of the African women in energy development
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Presentation of the African women in energy development
The idea of "energy development" is to identify sustainable, unconventional, conventional, and renewable ways to obtain energy supplies. This is frequently accomplished using natural resources or by recycling and recovering energy that would otherwise be lost. There is a sizable gender gap in the power and energy sector, and the energy development sector attempts to close it by bringing more women into the industry. With this integration, African women will have greater opportunity to participate in the development of the energy sector.
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