Africa faces a huge electricity demand challenge. Existing infrastructure is insufficient to meet current requirements, let alone the growth of the coming decades. Nonetheless, Access to energy currently stands low on the continent compared to other regions, with more than 600 million Africans living without electricity services while 900 million lack access to clean cooking facilities.

Without energy, there can be no adequate health care, sanitation, education, economic growth or job creation. Without these basic functions and services, the risk of social and political disruption increases significantly. Having safe, sustainable, and reliable energy is central to what it takes to be a healthy, caring, and peaceful society.

Women, youth, persons with disabilities, and marginalised communities bear the brunt of energy poverty on the continent.

Business as usual is proving inadequate.
Sustained collective action by the public and private sectors is one way forward.

AWEaP has created space for Africa’s Energy and Power sector to discuss gaps and inequalities and to propose critical solutions to advance a gender-just energy transition. Through this profound platform, we disclosing new worlds of entrepreneurial opportunities in Africa’s Energy and Power sector to women and youth entrepreneurs.

Our webinars bring, to the discussion, players in Africa’s energy ecosystem. We focus on practical solutions to integrate women-owned and led companies into local and global energy supply chains.

We explore key issues that hinder the full participation of women and youth in the climate and energy transition, such as access to market, technology, finance, skills development, networks, and credible market information.

We ensure that credible market information is delivered in a palatable manner to create a shared understanding and inspire directed action by women, youth, and persons with disabilities.

On inclusion, a McKinsey report stated: At the current rate of progress, it will take 151 years to close the global economic gender gaps, 29 years for executive teams to reach gender parity, and 24 years to reach ethnic diversity. That’s why what we do today is so important

During COP27, ENERGIA, UNIDO and GWNET stated that gender equality and women’s empowerment need to be supported at all levels: women entrepreneurs, women’s access to energy at the last mile, women in the workforce, as well as gender-responsive energy/climate policies and gender balance in decision-making processes.

In our webinars, we unpack in practical terms how Africa Energy and Power stakeholders can support gender equality through enterprise support and development.

Solutions to Africa’s energy sector becoming inclusive will require the leaders of the world’s largest companies and national and international policymakers in and outside the continent.

This is the reason we invite you to join our action-oriented movement.

Be part of the solution today. Global companies are finding that inclusion is helping them tap underserved markets, giving them a competitive edge. Join our movement and find ways into underserved energy markets in the continent.

Our theme for 2023 is:

Webinar Series for 2023

Our series of webinars aim to disclose new entrepreneurial worlds to women entrepreneurs.


*these dates may change, visit the website for updates

At the webinars you can expect to learn about different African energy markets, specifically you will get insights on:

Electricity Utilities:
and their vital role in the direction and realisation of electricity infrastructure and regulatory reform. Utilities play a profound role in creating a market for products, services, solutions and system for the entire electricity value chain. We invite representatives of electricity utilities to share their strategic focus, project pipelines, integration of renewable energy, gender mainstreaming policies and procurement processes.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs):
OEMs design and manufacture products, services, solutions and systems sought after by utilities and different large power users. We invite them to share trends in electricity system digitisation, decarbonisation and decentralisation.

Finance Institutions:
Access to finance is one of the most significant barriers to gaining entry into the energy and power sector, more so for women entrepreneurs without any track record. We invite finance institutions to speak of the liquidity pots that exist in each market for energy projects and how entrepreneurs can produce fundable business cases.

Independent Power Producers:
Renewable energy is revolutionising electrification and security of supply in most markets. We invite seasoned IPPs to speak on distributed generation, project development, OEM engagement, managing the procurement value chain within a project, project financing and project compliance. These insights are necessary for first time IPPs.

Industry Associations:
Building reciprocal value adding networks is fundamental to the success of any entrepreneur. We are a non-competitive platform and organisation. We collaborate with other associations to build a supportive and inclusive energy ecosystem.

Women Entrepreneurs’ Testimony:
Entrepreneurship is the capacity and willingness to develop and participate in a business venture with the intention of making a profit regardless of the financial risks involved. The role of entrepreneurship in any economy is critical, as it contributes to the socio-economic development of societies. We invite women led and owned companies to give testimony on how they are navigating the energy sector in their market.

We believe that unless women know what entrepreneurial opportunities exists in the sector, they will not be able to 1) opt to participate in the sector, 2) choose an areas of focus, 3) align themselves with the relevant actors in the ecosystem; 4) access credible market information 5) organise themselves to participate effectively and sustainably.

Invest 2h30 hours to learn about different energy sectors in Africa


24 MAY 2023

Leading Change: Women Entrepreneurs Shaping the Future of Energy in the East African Power Pool

African Union’s celebration of Africa Day on May 25th each year signifies the continent’s unity and diversity. In 2023, the African Union’s theme for Africa Day is “Africa – Opportunities in Challenging Times,” which focuses on the continent’s sustainable leadership and development. In line with this, AWEaP’s webinar will showcase women entrepreneurs in energy in East Africa. Without universal access to electricity it is not possible to secure the continent’s development and sustainability. In our quest to contribute towards the creation of an inclusive energy and power ecosystem in Africa, we will showcase entrepreneurs and organisations that are committed to gender equity in East Africa’s energy market.

Africa’s energy crisis has persisted for decades, hindering economic growth, social development, and environmental sustainability. According to Laila Bastati, Managing Director of Energy Capital and Power (2022), investing in Africa’s renewable energy sector can improve food security, reduce emissions, and drive long-term, sustainable economic growth.

In a report on group country strategy, The African Development Bank (2023) indicated that East Africa faces high unemployment, low human development index scores, and political fragility in some countries. It emphasised that the  region’s growth needed to be improved by better infrastructure connectivity in transport and electricity. Today East Africa has experienced significant economic growth, with some of the fastest-growing economies, including Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Our approach to unearth opportunities in the region and showcase progress in the Energy and Power sector, is to look at the Power Pool and its activities.

 The East African Power Pool comprises 13 nations, including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The current member utilities are; REGIDESO of Burundi, SNEL of DRC, EEHC of Egypt, EEP of Ethiopia, GECOL of Libya, KenGen of Kenya, KPLC of Kenya, KETRACO of Kenya, REG of Rwanda, SETCO of Sudan, SINELAC of DRC – Rwanda – Burundi, TANESCO of Tanzania, UETCL of Uganda, EDD of Djibouti and the newly joined SSEC of South Sudan and Electricity utilities of Somalia.

EAPP Road Map and Strategic Plan (2018-2027), the following four strategic themes have been established:

  1. Power Infrastructure Development;
  2. Development of Regional Power Market;
  3. Excellence in Operational Activities; and
  4. Learning and Growth.

The Eastern Africa region has rich energy resources (hydro, geothermal, oil, gas, etc.), a large and rapidly growing population (40% of Africa’s population in 2017) and strong economic growth (seven of the fastest growing Sub-Saharan countries). However, the region is hampered by low access to electricity services (except for Egypt and Libya), insufficient installed generation capacity, a high cost of supply, limited electricity interconnections and comparatively high electricity distribution losses. This situation is, however, changing as countries in the region have actively been implementing new power generation and transmission projects.

Despite the significant potential for electricity generation in the EAPP region, the power sector faces several challenges. One of the main challenges is the low access to electricity, particularly in rural areas.

Electricity utilities drive electricity infrastructure development, execution, operation, and maintenance.

As utilities modernise their environment and procure new products, solutions and systems, they open the market for participation by compentent value adding service providers.

More and more countries in Africa are embracing renewables as an enabler to leapfrog to sustainable energy future. This provides a plethora of entrepreneurial opportunities for women, youth and persons with disability.

Women energy entrepreneurs in the East African Power Pool have made strides in the renewable energy sector.  This webinar will showcase their achievements and programmes designed to support and accelerate inclusivity in the energy and power sector.

In the energy sector, Africa Day reminds us of the importance of empowering entrepreneurs to drive sustainable growth and development across the continent. Women, youth and persons with disability should not be left behind as Africa transitions into clean energy sources.

Our theme for 2023 is: Together, we can make inclusion in Africa’s energy and power sector a competitive edge.

Integrating women entrepreneurs in energy value chains in East Africa is crucial for achieving sustainable economic growth, reducing poverty, and increasing access to energy in the region.

In our webinars, experts share insights and market information that  empowers women entrepreneurs with credible market information on developments in Africa’s energy sector.


25 APRIL 2023

Advancing the SADC electricity system for regional energy security in collaboration with the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP)

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) is the most advanced power pool on the continent. Members of the  power pool continue to lead the curve in electricity trading and wheeling, enabling SADC countries to build strong  collaborative relationships that contribute towards regional energy security.

Energy security is central to socioeconomic development and prosperity. It is equally important for the planned  transition to clean sources of energy which will advance universal access to electricity and sustainability for the  region. In 2022, Mr Carlos Fernandez Alvarez, the acting head of gas, coal and power at the International Energy  Agency said:

“Everyone is keeping their climate targets, but it’s true that when you face the dilemma to keep the lights on or  decrease carbon emissions, the choice is to keep the lights on.”1.

The region’s energy landscape has shifted dramatically in recent decades. There is a rapid increase in the  integration of renewable energy sources, growth in independent power producers, and the introduction of  various technologies that seek to improve grid management, security, and stability.

Today more than ever, members of the power pool are compelled to carefully consider how electricity trading can  be strengthened to ensure domestic energy security and to support the long-term modernisation of the regional  electricity grid for efficient operational management.

These dynamics are propelling the velocity of change, and necessitating closer links with subject matter experts, energy economists, OEMs and new players entering the region’s energy market.

Our theme for 2023 is: Together we can make inclusion in Africa’s energy and power sector a competitive edge.

This month, SAPP has partnered with us and its members will showcase their progress in the following areas:

  • Integration of renewable energy sources;
  • Boosting efficient energy trading;
  • Grid modernisation, stability and security;
  • Creating an inclusive domestic and regional energy market

This webinar will also highlight future opportunities and developments in the region.


23 MARCH 2023

Celebrating Women breaking barriers in the energy and power sector in the Southern African Power Pool

International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8th, is an opportunity to recognise the accomplishments of women in a broad spectrum of industries, including the energy sector. From oil and gas exploration to developing renewable energy technologies, women have made significant contributions to the energy industry.

However, women remain underrepresented in the energy sector, particularly in leadership positions and as entrepreneurs across multiple value chains. To date, women in the industry face a variety of challenges, including discrimination and bias, a lack of access to the market, finance, technology, networks, and in some cases skills development.

Governments are introducing enabling policies to unlock these barriers, but more work remains to be done.

As we continue to celebrate women during this International Women’s month, it is critical to recognise women’s contributions to the energy sector.

Our theme for 2023 is: Together we can make inclusion in Africa’s energy and power sector a competitive edge.

This month, we continue to highlight women entrepreneurs from the  Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). These are women making a difference in their respective countries across the energy value chain. We are going to put a spotlight on the following countries: Mozambique, Angola, Lesotho, Eswatini, Tanzania, and Malawi.

Integrating women entrepreneurs in energy value chains in Africa is crucial for achieving sustainable economic growth, reducing poverty, and increasing access to energy.

Our series of webinars aim to empower women entrepreneurs with credible market information on developments in Africa’s energy sector.

This webinar will highlight the barriers overcome by extraordinary women. It will also highlight market prospects as well as the advice of the industry’s most powerful executives.

The webinar will be available in both Portuguese and English. 

You can select your preferred language by selecting  the Language Interpretation toggle button on the webinar platform



Bridging gender disparities within the energy sector


As countries pursue energy security, how can they use this as an opportunity to bridge gender disparities? 

In the February webinar, we examine the energy markets of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, and Botswana with an emphasis on eliminating gender disparities in the energy industry.

Some insights from these markets:

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the world’s eleventh-largest nation. Only 19 percent of the 108 million people in the DRC have access to electricity, according to the World Bank, with roughly 41 percent living in urban areas and 1 percent in rural ones, despite millions of dollars in donor money. By soliciting development financing and requiring electrical firms to supply power to the public in addition to mining companies, the government is attempting to increase the number of power connections. However, efforts to promote inclusive economic growth are hampered by the country’s large gender discrepancies in the labour market outcomes. But the DRC’s government has begun a programme to improve the energy industry with the goal of expanding the hydroelectric industry and utilising the power of the many rivers in the Congo Basin. These policy aims can definitely be incorporated into multi-sector jobs, economic transformation and increase women’s educational attainment and skills, interventions could provide adolescent girls with life skills and livelihoods training, which increase the likelihood of participants engaging in income generating activities, staying in school, and having increased savings and control of their money.


Namibia wants to dominate the market for green hydrogen and related goods including synfuel, ammonia, and eventually green steel. The Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) plans to construct six renewable energy generating projects to keep the nation’s lights on. These projects, many of which are already well under way, are meant to strengthen and ensure Namibia’s supply security of power. Despite the country’s substantial progress towards gender equality, there is still a wide difference. In order to inform energy strategies, Namibia’s policy demands for more data that is sensitive to gender relations at the household level. As a result, the participation of women in the energy industry is still quite low, making it one of the most unequal industries not only in the country but in the world.


The majority of Botswana’s thermal energy capacity is generated by coal-fired power stations, with a few modest diesel generators in rural areas.  More than half of Botswana’s energy needs are met by imports from Zambia and South Africa. The nation is planning on using a number of electricity-generating initiatives, including the largely untapped potential of solar energy. The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has recently launched a gender mainstreaming process with the aim of ensuring that gender is considered during planning and implementation of energy projects and programmes. Many elements in the energy sector are still indifferent to gender concerns, despite some policy-level efforts, such as the Draft National Energy Policy, which calls for the inclusion and consideration of gender disparities in energy planning.

This webinar will examine these markets’ strategies for reducing gender disparities in the energy industry. Additionally, it will highlight market prospects as well as the opinions of the most influential executives in the sector.

The webinar will be available in both French and English. 

You can select your preferred language by selecting  the Language Interpretation toggle button on the webinar platform



Turning an energy crisis into an opportunity for inclusivity


In this webinar, we look at 3 markets that are currently plagued by load shedding. We explore how entrepreneurs can turn this crisis into opportunities.

South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are currently facing persistent load shedding.


Power utility Eskom will implemented sustained stage 2 and 3 load shedding in South Africa. In a recent media report the utility stated:

The recovery of generation performance will not happen within a short space of time, the execution of the recovery plan requires that power stations are given space and headroom to execute the recovery plan this requires either adding additional capacity to create space to do proper maintenance without firefighting or create some predictability by implementing a permanent stage 2 or 3 for the next two years in order to give sufficient space for maintenance while giving the country a level of predictability or consistency to plan the livelihoods better. Shuttling from one stage to another within a short space of time is not good for the business community.”

Load shedding has huge negative effects on both households and businesses. It increases the cost of doing business and disrupts people’s livelihoods.

“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”― Albert Einstein

This webinar will explore how entrepreneurs in these markets can turn this energy crisis into opportunities.

It will also showcase how some entrepreneurs are ahead of the curve and are already serving different customers with solutions that enable them to survive load shedding.


In January 2023, Zambia began experiencing rotational load shedding as a result of a planned generator outage at Maamba Coal Thermal Power Plant for routine maintenance and a drastic reduction of water for electricity generation at the Kariba North Bank.


In Zimbabwe the country’s largest generation station, the 1,050 MW Kariba hydropower plant, has throttled generation. Recently, Kariba has had to throttle generation to a maximum of 300 MW due to low water levels. The aging coal power plants break down quite often, leaving a large deficit. The electricity utility in this country has to implement load-shedding.

Register to learn about both markets