Inefficient energy killings on 600,000 women, children annually

About 600,000 women and children die in Africa every year due to the use of inefficient energy sources.

And it is a wake-up call to governments and development partners to take urgent action and end the deaths, said Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission (AUC) during a recent webinar said Empowering Women in the Energy Sector. in Africa.

“It is really tragic that we are in the 21st century and that there are more than 800 000 Africans who do not have access to clean fuel and depend on charcoal and wood for the cooking and heating needs, most of whom are women,” she said.the webinar organized by the Energy Regulators Association of East Africa.

Energy value chains

“It must, of course, be added to more than 600 million Africans who do not have access to electricity. It must change and must change very quickly,” she said.

By empowering women in the energy value chains, they can significantly improve their income-generating opportunities and reduce their poverty and the households.

It can also increase their families’ food security, along with promoting their social and economic well-being, said dr. Zeid noted.

The commissioner said the women were wasting hours collecting and using the inefficient fuel, time that would otherwise have been spent on more productive economic activities.

Efficient equipment

“It is important to note that most SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are owned by women,” she said. ‘This means that if they have access to modern and sustainable energy services, they will be able to use modern and efficient equipment. to run their businesses and thereby increase their revenue.

“Therefore, it is important that empowerment initiatives for women include the provision of modern energy services and technology, in addition to ensuring effective participation and leadership of women in the energy sector,” she added.

She noted that cultural barriers and gender stereotypes have driven women away from courses related to energy.

Custody of men

“Women avoid building expertise in the energy chain’s value chain, because knowledge, science and engineering in this sector are traditionally seen as retaining men,” she said.

She called on governments and development partners to offer girls’ scholarships and scholarships as incentives to high use of energy-related courses.

“Women need to be encouraged in large numbers to build up their skills in science, technology and engineering. Create awareness that the energy sector is not a conservation of men,” she said.

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