Recommendations of the Workshop “Women Entrepreneurs and Sustainable Energy in Africa” Incorporated in the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) Declaration

More than 76 participants from more than 26 countries participated in the workshop
More than 76 participants from more than 26 countries participated in the workshop

A Workshop on “Women Entrepreneurs and Sustainable Energy in Africa” was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Libreville, Gabon on 13-14 June 2017 under the auspices of the sixteenth African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN 16). The theme of this workshop was “Unlocking Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs in Sustainable Energy: Towards Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and AU Agenda 2063”. This was one of the few regional workshops that served as a platform for regional networking among various women entrepreneurs, development partners, government and non-government organizations and civil societies in the energy sector.

The workshop was hosted by the Government of Gabon and organized by UN Environment in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Icelandic International Development Agency (MFA-ICEIDA), United Nations University-Gender Equality Studies and Trainings Programme (UNU-GEST), UN Women and the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). The Workshop brought together more than 100 delegates from more than 20 countries that included representatives from governments, non-government organizations, civil societies, financiers, women entrepreneurs, multi-lateral agencies, private sectors, and Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The main objective of this workshop was to develop an action framework to outline different approaches for women entrepreneurs to (i) develop and strengthen a clear and coherent enabling gender responsive policies; (ii) access finance and markets in energy sector, (ii) build technical and business skills and know-how as well as technical competencies in sustainable energy technologies; (iii) utilize existing distribution networks and gain access to start-up and working capital.

An action framework was developed through identification of various solution action plans to overcome the main barriers and challenges that hinder the establishment, growth and development of women entrepreneurs in the energy sector in Africa. In order to achieve the above objectives, the workshop was organized in terms of three plenary sessions and three working group discussions under the following main themes:

• Theme 1: Environmentally sustainable and gender responsive energy policies

• Theme 2: Access to finance and market for women energy entrepreneurs across the value chain

• Theme 3: Capacity building, skills and empowerment.

The outcomes of the workshop were incorporated into the 2017 AMCEN outcome document (Libreville Declaration) and a forthcoming UN Environment led project on gender and sustainable energy to accelerate Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) in Africa and, in particular, at national level. UNU-GEST is proud to have been able to participate in this remarkable event and is very pleased with its results.

You can read the final outcome document of the workshop here.