New initiative to bolster women’s involvement in the energy sector

Energy 4 Impact is scheduled to officially launch a new programme that seeks to boost women’s involvement in the renewable energy value chain in East Africa.

Funding for the two-year Women Integration into Renewable Energy (WIRE) Value Chains programme was secured in early September 2016. It seeks to integrate 400 women in rural Kenya and Tanzania into the renewable energy supply chain by providing them with business and technology training and mentorship, and supporting them to access financing and market opportunities.

Evidence show that integrating women into every level of the value chain can lead to more effective clean energy initiatives. As women are more than passive users of energy, with proper capacity building they can be empowered to expand access to renewable energy products and services, thereby creating jobs and reducing poverty.

Funded by the US Department of State the programme is part of the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER) launched by the US Department of State in January 2013 to empower women clean energy entrepreneurs across East Africa, Nigeria and India to deliver clean energy access. The new programme will collaborate with wPOWER to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions and the degradation of natural resources from the use of dirty cooking and lighting fuels including firewood and kerosene.

The initiative is expected to provide 396,000 people with access to clean cooking and solar lighting products in Kenya and Tanzania, and create 400 jobs.

It will be implemented in the Lake Zone Regions in Tanzania and in several counties in Kenya.

We will leverage our experience and resources in the two countries to strengthen the capacity of some of our existing clients, with a view to expanding their product range and enabling them to diversify their revenues

– says Energy 4 Impact Programme Manager Godfrey Sanga.

In addition, Energy 4 Impact will also work with wPOWER Partners in order to support the expansion of the wPOWER network of women clean energy entrepreneurs. In Kenya, it will work with the Green Belt Movement, which serves as the wPOWER Hub, to identify some of the Movement’s women entrepreneurs that are capable of successfully participating in the clean cooking and off-grid lighting value chain. Similar collaborative efforts will be pursued in Tanzania with the other wPOWER Partners including CARE International andSolar Sister.