Towards gender and renewable energy innovations

SANF 21 no 50
The nexus between energy and gender is critical in advancing the uptake of renewable energy in Africa and the rest of the global community.

In this regard, it is important for policymakers and energy experts to mainstream gender in all renewable energy initiatives, as well as share experiences.

This is in light of the fact that most renewable energy initiatives tend to overlook gender issues and assume that all energy challenges and solutions impact men and women in a similar way.

For example, women face numerous challenges in accessing renewable energy products and technologies because of availability and the prohibitive start-up cost of installing such equipment.

As a result, they lose appreciation of renewable energy technologies, thus affecting the levels and rate at which countries embrace and increase uptake of renewables.

Furthermore, lack of access of renewable energy products and technologies force many women to walk long distances to collect firewood, which is usually heavy, compromising their health and wellbeing.

It is against this background that the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC) is organizing a virtual conference where stakeholders can share experiences of gender and renewable energy innovations.

The two-day conference scheduled for 10-11 November aims to provide an opportunity for stakeholders in the renewable energy sector to discuss success stories, innovations, experiences, challenges, lessons learned and how to carry them forward.

The sharing of such information is critical because when gender is mainstreamed in energy development, the increased uptake of renewable energy initiatives and technologies have the capacity to address and improve the lives of women.

According to the draft agenda, the keynote address to the “Virtual Conference on Sharing Experiences of Gender and Renewable Energy Innovations” will be delivered by the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa, Dr Nobuhle Nkabane.

Other keynote addresses will be done by the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), the East African Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (EACREEE), as well as Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

SACREEE is responsible for spearheading the promotion of renewable energy development in southern Africa, while EACREEE focusses on east Africa.

ADA is an important partner in east and southern Africa as it funds and supports numerous energy and renewable energy projects in the region.

The SARDC – organizers of this conference — is a regional knowledge resource centre that focuses on policy issues in southern Africa and undertakes research that informs development.

In addition to these keynote addresses, a number of presentations will be made by partners and various organizations on some of the work they are doing on gender and renewable energy innovations.

Various topics will form the main discussions and these include the renewable energy value chain — both the demand side and supply side — as well as infrastructure and financing and energy planning and management.

These important discussions will be accessible to participants in three SADC official languages of English, French and Portuguese and participants are welcomed to join the conference using the link below.

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