African Women in Energy and Power

(AWEaP) presents the AWEaP Just Energy Transition (JET) Skills Development Programme.

Sustainable-goals

In the heart of Africa’s energy transformation lies a profound opportunity to uplift millions from the shadows of energy poverty and drive sustainable development across the continent. With over 600 million Africans still lacking access to electricity, the energy deficit remains a pressing challenge, hindering economic growth and stifling human potential. However, Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources, coupled with its rich reserves of critical minerals, offer a beacon of hope for a brighter, greener future.

The African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP) stands at the forefront of this transformative journey, spearheading the Just Energy Transition Skills Development Programme to empower individuals and communities to navigate this pivotal moment in history. Our programme embodies the ethos of equity, inclusivity, and sustainable growth, aiming to bridge the energy gap while fostering socio-economic development and environmental stewardship. Through strategic partnerships, innovative financing models, and a commitment to justice, AWEaP seeks to unlock Africa’s energy potential and pave the way for a more prosperous and equitable future for all.

Our JET Programme is structured so that programmes can be tailored for

Operators, managers and leaders in electricity utilities – to build capacity for business innovation for the Just Energy Transition, micro–economy resuscitation and advance inclusivity through preferential procurement policy reform

Entrepreneurs – to understand emerging value chains and identify areas of entry, business diversification or expansion

Community Leaders – to understand the evolving policy and how it impacts their communities and to participate in Social Safeguarding programmes for infrastructure development

Unemployed youth, women and persons with disability – to identify potential employment opportunities and gain skills to participate in emerging value chains

We partner with several other suitable academic institutions, including TVET colleges, to design programmes for our target candidates.

We create memorable experiences during the delivery of our programmes, enabling candidates to build life-long working relationships.

Our programmes promote peer learning, where candidates are teachers, coaches and learners.

We want students following questions:
  • Electricity and Energy utilities

    1. What is the Just Energy Transition?
    2. How does this apply to my environment?
    3. How can I design a JET strategy for my organisation?
    4. What benefit would the JET strategy accrue for my organisation?
    5. How can I use JET to stimulate micro-economies in my jurisdiction?
    6. How can I use JET to achieve our organisational Socio-Economic Development goals, especially:
    - Gender mainstreamed procurement plans and budgets
    - Youth mainstreamed procurement plans and budgets
    - Persons with disability mainstreamed procurement plans and budgets?
    7. How can I facilitate operational change to align with my organisation’s JET ambitions?

  • Entrepreneurs

    1. What is the Just Energy Transition?
    2. What policy drives energy transition in South Africa, and how does this influence market opportunities?
    3. Which value chains will be disrupted by the transition?
    4. What are the entrepreneurial opportunities?
    5. What is energy trading and wheeling?
    6. How can I participate as an entrepreneur?
    7. How do I participate in South Africa’s renewable energy programme as a first-time player?
    7. What financing instruments are available for entrepreneur who want to participate and grow in South Africa’s Energy Transition ecosystem?

  • Communities

    1. What is the Just Energy Transition?
    2. How does this apply to my environment?
    3. How can I design a JET strategy for my community?
    4. What policies drive energy transition in South Africa, and how will this affect my community?
    5. How can I participate in the country’s energy transition discourse?
    6. What benefit would the JET strategy accrue for my community?
    7. How the JET stimulates economic activity in my community?
    8. How can I use the country’s JET to secure jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for our community focusing on:
    - Women
    - Unemployed persons
    - Persons living with disability
    9. How can I facilitate community engagement on South Africa’s energy transition?

Click here

to learn about the programmes 
AWEaP JET Programmes

African continent’s position on Just Energy Transition

Access to energy currently stands low in Africa compared to other regions, with more than 600 million Africans living without electricity services while 900 million lack access to clean cooking facilities. The African Common Position encourages striking a balance between ensuring access to electricity to catalysing the much-needed socio-economic growth in Africa and smoothly transitioning towards an energy system based on renewable and clean energy sources matching the ambitions of Agenda 2063.

Led by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with other pan-African institutions, the Common Position stipulates that Africa will continue to deploy all forms of its abundant energy resources, including renewable and non-renewable energy, to address energy demand. Natural gas, green and low-carbon hydrogen, and nuclear energy will, therefore, be expected to play a crucial role in expanding modern energy access in the short to medium term while enhancing the uptake of renewables in the long term for a low-carbon and climate-resilient trajectory.

"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."

Carlos Fernandez Alvarez

- Acting Head of gas, coal and power at the International Energy Agency

In the intricate web of climate justice, two principles stand out: moral justice and distributive justice. Moral justice dictates that polluters bear the responsibility to mitigate their environmental impact, while distributive justice demands equity in the allocation of carbon emissions.

These principles are paramount for Africa as it navigates its energy transition. With abundant carbon sinks and a pressing need for energy access, Africa stands at a critical juncture. It must avoid the mistakes of the past, where energy sources were extracted by other countries, damaging the environment. Africa must chart a sustainable path forward, where value addition and local beneficiation are at the core of any extractive industry.

“We do not have energy. We need energy before we can start transitioning. The question is how do we get our energy in a way that we do not rapidly use up the carbon headroom that we have and go to the level of those that are creating the problems that we need to catch with moral justice, distributive justice, or criminal justice.”

Kevin Urama

- Acting Chief Economist and Vice-President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

At the heart of this transition lies education—the key to unlocking the potential of women, youth, and persons with disabilities. Through our programme, we aim to empower women, youth, persons with disabilities and community leaders with knowledge of energy value chains, encompassing renewable and non-renewable sources, JET policies and emerging entrepreneurial opportunities.

By articulating the benefits of energy transition for entrepreneurs, professionals, and communities alike, we pave the way for Africa’s more just and sustainable future.


Just Energy Transition in SOUTH AFRICA

The Just Energy Transition in South Africa is a multifaceted and challenging endeavour, characterised by the need to overcome chronic electricity shortages while transitioning from a coal-dependent energy system towards a greener economy. Situated within a low-growth, high-inequality, middle-income economy and a young constitutional democracy, South Africa faces complex political and economic dynamics in its pursuit of energy transition.

Despite these challenges, South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Programme (JETP) stands out as a remarkable initiative, representing the first country-owned climate finance deal of such magnitude. Spearheaded by ambitious investment plans to green the economy, the JETP secured partnerships with key international players, including the European Union, Germany, France, the UK, and the US. This collaboration resulted in a substantial offer of $8.5 billion in grants, concessional loans, and guarantees to support South Africa’s transition efforts.

Central to the JETP is the recognition of electricity’s critical role in development, driving a concerted effort to resolve the country’s energy crisis through the deployment of renewable energy sources. Initiatives such as the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) have seen rapid expansion, with significant private sector investment in renewable energy projects. Furthermore, regulatory reforms and relaxation of licensing requirements have created a conducive environment for renewable energy development, fostering economic growth, job creation, and environmental sustainability.

Looking ahead, South Africa’s Just Energy Transition presents immense opportunities for economic development, employment creation, and social transformation. The burgeoning renewable energy market, both domestically and globally, offers avenues for industrial value chain development, leveraging the country’s manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, initiatives like the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM) articulate a vision for unlocking the industrial and inclusive development of renewable energy value chains, positioning South Africa as a key player in the global energy transition.

As South Africa navigates its Just Energy Transition, strategic partnerships, innovative policies, and inclusive approaches will be essential in realising a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous energy future for all.

It is primary for South Africa to ensure base-load security to sustain economic growth and meet the needs of its population. While transitioning towards renewable energy sources, the country must prioritise the development of reliable base-load power generation to maintain grid stability and energy security. Simultaneously, opening up value chains for inclusive participation by all stakeholders is essential to foster economic empowerment and ensure that the benefits of the energy transition are equitably distributed. By prioritising base-load security and inclusive participation, South Africa can build a resilient and sustainable energy ecosystem that drives economic development and enhances the well-being of its citizens.

The AWEaP Just Energy Transition Skills Development Programme is a pivotal platform for entrepreneurs, community leaders, and utility officials to gain comprehensive insights into the dynamic landscape of South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Programme.

Through this program, participants delve deep into the evolving policies, initiatives, and strategies driving the country’s energy transition journey. Entrepreneurs can explore emerging opportunities within renewable energy value chains while community leaders gain a nuanced understanding of how energy policies impact their communities and learn to participate in social safeguarding programs for infrastructure development.

Similarly, utility officials acquire essential skills for navigating business innovation, fostering micro-economy resuscitation, and advancing inclusivity through preferential procurement policy reform.

By engaging with the AWEaP Just Energy Transition Skills Development Programme, participants have the knowledge, tools, and networks necessary to contribute meaningfully to South Africa’s energy transition efforts and shape a more sustainable and equitable energy future for all.


Programme's Advisory Board

In the complex and nuanced environment of South Africa’s energy landscape, it’s paramount for AWEaP to be guided by a cohort of experienced advisors. Hence, an Advisory Board comprising industry experts has been formed.

These individuals bring forth a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insights from their extensive careers in the energy sector. Their collective expertise not only lends credibility to the AWEaP programme but also serves as a compass, steering its interventions in alignment with industry best practices and emerging trends.

The Advisory Board plays a pivotal role in providing strategic guidance, reviewing programme content, and ensuring its relevance and effectiveness in addressing the evolving challenges and opportunities within the energy transition domain.

With their invaluable guidance, AWEaP can navigate the complexities of the energy sector landscape with confidence, driving impactful change and fostering sustainable growth for all stakeholders involved. Who is the advisory board

Ms Bertha Dlamini

Founding President – African Women in Energy and Power (AWEaP)

Ms Jayshree Pershad

Association of Municipal Electricity Utilities – South Africa (AMEU)

Ms Jean Madzongwe

Transaction advisor: Southern African Power Pool (14 member utilities representing 13 countries in Southern Africa (SAPP)

Ms. Sy Gourah

Former President: South African Institute of Electrical Engineers SAIEE

Ms. Dorcas Moloi

Senior Manager: Office of Group Executive HR – Eskom

Ms. Lethabo Manamela

SANEDI: CFO

Ms. Leila Mahomed-Weideman

Sustainable Energy Markets, City of Cape Town
Head of JET Programmes – AMEU

Mr Nhlanhla Ngidi

Head of Electricity and Energy, South African Local Government Association (SALGA)

Dr Silas Mulaudzi

Specialist Engineer: Energy Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) South Africa

Mr. Happy Khambule

Environment and Energy Manager, Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)

Ms Jo Dean

Representing Business Unity South Africa (BUSA)

Ms Boitumelo Molete

COSATU Social Development Policy Coordinator

Ms Mandy Rambharos

Environmental Defense Fund
Just Energy Transition Specialist

Ms. Hilary Campbell

Energy Specialist

Ms. Baba-Tamana Gqubule

Development Economist,  Just Energy Transition Projects Management Unit (JET PMU), The Presidency, South Africa

Dr. Vikesh Rajpaul

General Manager: Eskom Just Energy Transition Office


Academic Partners

Academic partners play a crucial role in the AWEaP Just Energy Transition Skills Development Programme, contributing their expertise, resources, and networks to enhance the program’s quality and effectiveness. These partners typically include universities or academic institutions renowned for their research, teaching, and engagement in energy-related fields. Their involvement adds academic rigour to the program content, ensuring participants receive up-to-date knowledge and insights grounded in research and scholarly inquiry.

 

The role of academic partners encompasses several key aspects:

Curriculum Development: Academic partners collaborate with AWEaP to design and develop the curriculum for the program. Drawing on their subject matter expertise and research findings, they help structure the content to cover relevant topics, theories, and practical applications in the field of energy transition.

Delivery of Lectures and Workshops: Academic partners may contribute to the delivery of lectures, workshops, or training sessions within the program. They bring depth and clarity to complex topics, sharing their expertise through presentations, case studies, and interactive discussions with participants.

Access to Resources: Academic partners provide access to research materials, databases, and other resources that enrich the learning experience for participants. This may include academic journals, reports, online databases, and specialised software tools relevant to energy transition studies.

Mentoring and Guidance: Academic partners may offer mentorship and guidance to participants, providing academic support, career advice, and opportunities for further learning or research. They serve as valuable mentors, helping participants navigate challenges and pursue their goals in the energy sector.

AWEaP to be guided by a cohort of experienced advisors. Hence, an Advisory Board comprising industry experts has been formed.

These individuals bring forth a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insights from their extensive careers in the energy sector. Their collective expertise not only lends credibility to the AWEaP programme but also serves as a compass, steering its interventions in alignment with industry best practices and emerging trends.

The Advisory Board plays a pivotal role in providing strategic guidance, reviewing programme content, and ensuring its relevance and effectiveness in addressing the evolving challenges and opportunities within the energy transition domain.

With their invaluable guidance, AWEaP can navigate the complexities of the energy sector landscape with confidence, driving impactful change and fostering sustainable growth for all stakeholders involved. Who is the advisory board

Wits Business School African (AELC)
Wits

AWEaP signed an MOU with Wits Business School African Energy Leadership Centre (AELC). The centre will deliver the academic element of the utility programme. The Centre was conceptualised by industry visionaries who saw the need to respond to the shortage of skills in a sector undergoing rapid disruption. While Africa has vast, untapped energy potential and some of the fastest economic growth rates in the world, its further development is constrained by a lack of energy supply, with brownouts and blackouts regularly strangling productivity in even its most developed economies. The Center will work with AWEaP to deliver and evolve the academic programme to meet South Africa and Africa’s Just Energy Transition Skills Development needs, especially for the utility market.

University Pretoria

AWEaP is proud to announce its collaborative partnership with the University of Pretoria to deliver its entrepreneur and community leader programmes. This partnership underscores AWEaP's commitment to academic excellence and ensures that participants receive high-quality education and training tailored to the evolving needs of the energy sector. Leveraging the University of Pretoria's renowned expertise in energy studies, research, and education, AWEaP will offer participants access to cutting-edge curriculum, industry insights, and academic resources. Through this collaboration, AWEaP aims to empower entrepreneurs and community leaders with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to drive positive change and innovation in the energy transition landscape. Together with the University of Pretoria, AWEaP looks forward to equipping participants with the tools and confidence to lead sustainable and inclusive energy initiatives in their communities and beyond.

Click here

to learn about AWEaP’s JET Skills Development
Pilot Programme 2022

ENDORSING PARTNERS

AMEU
Eskom
UN Women South Africa
SANEDI
Busa
Mpumalanga Green Cluster Agency
EW Seta