In addition to supporting women entrepreneurs through our economic empowerment programmes, we also raise awareness around the socio-economic benefits of integrating women into energy value-chains. Our advocacy work makes the case for gender inclusion in development strategies, energy policies and energy access projects. This advocacy approach involves several strands of activity:
- Carrying out research and using evidence from our projects to influence national policies and strategies.
- Building coalitions of partners with common interests and drawing from a pool of multi-sector expertise to achieve shared objectives and amplify our voice.
- Engaging the private sector – technology suppliers, micro-finance institutions and SMEs – to highlight opportunities to either work with or extend their services to women entrepreneurs.
- Conducting media campaigns to increase public awareness and boost interest around issues of energy access, gender, livelihoods and sustainability.
The results of our advocacy in Senegal provide a clear example of the efficacy of our approach.
We are leading a coalition of 53 influential campaigners to promote the role of girls and women within the energy sector amongst other economic areas.
We helped influence the Ministry of Energy’s decision to place gender at the forefront of their long-term strategy and action plan to improve access to energy, which include a focus on the electrification of rural areas and the expansion of productive uses of energy, both areas of development that benefit women in particular.
We are also advocating for increased investment in renewable energy. The President of Senegal has invited our coalition, amongst other civil society organisations, to participate in discussions about how the wealth from the country’s oil and gas resources should be distributed. A crucial point of our campaign is to urge policymakers to reinvest the income derived from fossil fuel into renewable energy to ensure lasting social and environmental progress.
We have launched the Energy 4 Growth Hub the first Francophone online portal of information, knowledge and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs, SMEs in the energy and productive use of energy sector, public sector, NGOs and civil society organisation.