African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP) initiative. A programme designed to accelerate African women entrepreneurs’ participation in the Power and Energy sector.
AWEaP is premisedon the conviction that to eradicate energy poverty on the African continent, Africa needs commercially viable, multi-stakeholder driven initiatives that will ensure the meaningful economic participation of women.
Women have a powerful legacy of navigating the African business terrain with its complex challenges; they have successfully operated sustainable informal enterprises. These should be supportedand scaled-up to create businesses of meaningful scale within the formal sector.
Their track record for cross-border trade has proved that they are both courageous and innovative in finding solutions to address local socio-economic challenges.
Access to electricity presents a huge challenge for the African continent; it also presents an unparalleled opportunity for transformative change for women.
AWEaP provides the platform for multiple stakeholders to collaborate to achievethe following SDGs:
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Energy poverty has a gender bias. Women constitute a considerable part of the 600 million people without access to clean energy. Through a collaborative effort, men and women in Africa can work together to create an inclusive Energy and Power sector where all stakeholders benefit.
In addition to the responsibility for energy management within their household, the responsibility for investing in their children’s’ education falls squarely on their shoulders, as does the responsibility for taking care for the sick and elderly. It is these women who will drive innovation and create solutions to address access to clean energy.
- Accelerate women entrepreneurs’ participation in the Energy Power sector
- Enable access to market
- Remove barriers for financing
- Promote and secure cross-bordertrading
- Provide credible market information
- Create platforms for networking and coaching.
AWEaP is one of 3 initiatives created to support women and youth participation in the energy and power sector on the continent.
Utilities are preparing for a digital future and to meet growing demand:
- Adopting automation across the entire value chain
- Tapping into the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Machine-to-Machine (M2M) or Cloud Computing
- Data analytics – dealing with unprecedented quantities and complexities of data
- Business application modernisation
- Driven by new regulations, market structures, and renewable energy sources, the smart grid is changing the way electricity is generated, distributed, managed, and consumed; creating new value chains and ecosystems
- IoT technology can give utilities more control over operations and enable them to improve upon what already exists by upgrading power quality and security
- Smart Grid: will be driven largely by the Internet of Things in action
It is clear that there are plenty of opportunities for women to learn about, organise themselves and participate meaning fully in the energy sector. This requires multiple stakeholders to work together to support interested and capable women entrepreneurs.
- Enrolling 100 women entrepreneurs annually, from 22 African markets, onto a vocational accelerator entrepreneurship course for Energy and Power in Africa. As part of the accelerator, detailed assessments of their business and financial needs will be undertaken,and they will be pairedwith the relevant financing instruments in their market and beyond.
- Creating a network of coaches for sustained growth support.
- Creating an online directory that will showcase women entrepreneurs in Energy and Power in Africa, including recording and publicising innovation for electricity in Africa by Africans.
- Showcasing their services, solutions and products at an annual international event