UNU-GEST at the African Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework launch

Group photo of AWEEF launch participants at the UN Nairobi Headquarters
Group photo of AWEEF launch participants at the UN Nairobi Headquarters

The UN Environment Assembly is underway in Nairobi and UNU-GEST took part in launching the African Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework (AWEEF) at the closing plenary session of the Science Policy Business Forum.

 

 

AWEEF is organized as a vehicle and platform to enable African women to play a role as agents of change, decision makers, and main stakeholders across the energy value chain. The framework is set up to address the challenges and barriers that hinder women’s economic empowerment and implementation of innovative environmental solutions in the energy sector.

 

 

Women play key roles as producers, distributors and consumers of energy in both urban and rural settings across Africa and are thus key stakeholders in the energy value chain. The AWEEF and its agenda captures how renewable energy, gender equality and economic development are interrelated. As the UN Women Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa reiterated at the event, this initiative tackles a cross-cutting issue addressing SDG 5 (Gender Equality), 7 (Clean and Affordable Energy), 13 (Climate Action), 15 (Life on Land).

 

Ghanian energy entrepreneur Ms. Vivian Meinel introducing her renewable energy solutions to President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák and UNEP Regional Director for Africa Ms. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo.

 Ghanian energy entrepreneur and AWEEF participant Ms. Vivian Meinel introducing her renewable energy solutions to President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák and UNEP Regional Director for Africa Ms. Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo

The event brought together diverse stakeholder groups, from small-scale local level entrepreneurs to energy entrepreneurs with country-wide and region-wide success stories. It brought together women entrepreneurs and financial institutions, from microfinance to commercial banking institutions. It brought together donors and regional and multilateral institutions, as well as NGOs.

AWEEF is an outcome of the workshop on Women Entrepreneurs and Sustainable Energy and decisions adopted by the Africa Ministers for Environment during the 16th African Ministerial Conference in Libreville, Gabon in June 2017. Since the Libreville statement of the African Ministers for Environment in June 2017 the framework has now been conceived and launched, the next phase of the initiative is to go from recommendation to implementation with tangible results.

The closing remarks were done with the Nairobi commitment statement on implementation of the AMCEN’s decision through African Women Energy Entrepreneurs Framework. The women entrepreneurs and participants agreed on the commitment to promote implementation of the Libreville Outcome statement of 14th June 2017 on Women Entrepreneurs and Sustainable Energy in Africa.

 

 

 

The AWEEF launch statement was delivered at the closing plenary of the Science and Policy Business Forum.

UNU-GEST Senior Researcher Dr. Pétur Waldorff, UNU-GEST affiliated Professor Dr. Joni Seager, and 2018 UNU-GEST fellow Ms. Chinenye Anekwe, Regional Business Development Manager of Solar sister Nigeria, were panellists at the launch, as well as UNU-GEST affiliated professor, Dr. Jón Geir Pétursson was present at the event.

 

 Participants included Women Entrepreneurs, African energy specialized institutions, government institutions, financiers, scientists and academics, Individuals from the private sector, business personalities, CEOs, and civil society representatives.

Ms. Chinenye Anekwe, who is a prospective UNU-GEST fellow from Nigeria, was also a panellist at the event. She is the South East/South-South Regional Business Development Manager for Solar Sister Nigeria, a social enterprise that aims at eradicating energy poverty in Africa by empowering women with economic opportunity. She will join the programme in January 2018.

 

Solar sister

UNU-GEST Senior researcher Dr. Pétur Waldorff and Solar sister Nigeria’s Chinenye Anekwe and soon to be UNU-GEST fellow were panelists at the event.