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Energy Partnership

AEEP Energy Talks – Empowered Actors of Change: A Successful African-European Energy Transition Depends on Women

Knowledge Facilitation Thriving Political Dialogue

On April 28, 2021 (14.00-15.45 CET), the webinar series “AEEP Energy Talks” continues and this time convenes African and European experts to discuss the indispensable role of women as changemakers in the energy transition. 

The energy sector in Africa and Europe is experiencing a radical transition, moving from conventional energy sources to renewables and aiming to achieve access to energy for all by 2030. This change shall be designed as inclusive as possible, leaving no one behind, and offers opportunities to empower women by creating inclusive societies.

Even so, obstacles remain. Firstly, women in Africa are especially challenged by energy poverty, often working from home in informal settings, using a lot of time to collect firewood or money to buy fuel while being exposed to air pollution from unclean cooking appliances. Secondly, although the renewable energy sector offers the chance to create new jobs, estimates show that right now, in Africa, only one fifth of energy employees are women. Thirdly, and especially important during COVID-19 times, women represent a high share of employees in the health and care sector fighting the pandemic on the frontline where energy access is a prerequisite for quality services. Therefore, energy is essential to empower women’s’ livelihoods and ensure a just and equal development of societies.

To highlight and address these issues, the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) is partnering with the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) for the fourth “AEEP Energy Talks” to discuss “Empowered Actors of Change: A Successful African-European Energy Transition Depends on Women”. Initiatives such as the African Network of Women in Infrastructure will be presented to promote gender-responsive planning and implementation of African infrastructure projects. Furthermore, experiences of implementing gender policies in the energy sectors are highlighted through examples from West Africa. The webinar will also hear from female business leaders who sell energy appliances and services for last-mile distribution and understand the particular challenges women face during the current social distancing measures.

After opening remarks from the African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Commission (EC), the event will have keynote speeches from Ms Christine Lins, Co-founder of GWNET and Ms Sheila Oparaocha, International Coordinator and Program Manager of the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. The panel discussion will also have insights from Ms Sharon Yeti, CEO and co-founder of Powerlive Zimbabwe and Mr Bah F M Saho, Acting Executive Director, ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

The webinar is moderated by Ms Davina Ngei, Communications Manager at GWNET.

The full draft agenda may be downloaded here.

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The AEEP is supported by its Steering Group: