Gender equality at centre of Digital Energy Festival for Africa

As the contribution of women to the energy sector has increased significantly in the last 10 years, the focus on how energy access is changing women’s lives across the continent is one of the cornerstones of the Digital Energy Festival for Africa, which opens on Tuesday 20 October and runs until 26 November.

The festival will give a platform to female entrepreneurs and focus on gender as an economic enabler for African communities and individuals seeking equality.

“Throughout the festival, we will learn from incredible leaders that have risen to powerful positions, not because of their gender, but because they’re the best leaders of our time. They’re already inspiring so many other women and we have seen that reflected across the festival ” especially in the AFSIA Solar Awards which has received a majority of entries from women-led and owned African businesses.” ” Shiddika Mohamed, group director, EnergyNet, organisers of Africa Energy Forum.

The Digital Energy Festival will see four of Clarion Events’ leading energy brands Africa Energy ForumAfrican Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa and the Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly and the leading energy journal ESI Africa jointly host six weeks of compelling content.

“Over the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of connecting with highly skilled women in the various power and energy fields, from geothermal engineers to the CEOs of private and public sector companies. The common denominator that always appears is the importance of having family support and industry mentors along your career path. Therefore, I’m delighted that ESI Africa is part of the Digital Energy Festival, and we will feature fireside chats with women who are mentors in their own right and we will showcase our GenderLens series of conversations.” ” Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, editor, ESI Africa.

Young women must be deliberate

  • “Post-COVID-19 pandemic the electricity supply industry has the opportunity to recover better from coronavirus and focus on three key areas that can deliver faster and greater results. First, embrace new business models. Second, support and engage the off-grid sector. Third, prioritise and invest in green infrastructure that will help achieve faster progress on SDG7 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.”
    *ESI Africa Issue 4-2020.

    ” This is according to AEF 2020 Chairperson, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. Learn more from Ms Ogunbiyi during an exclusive fireside chat on Wednesday, 21 October, Africa Energy Forum.
  • “Young women starting out in careers in the power and industry sector must be ready to work twice as hard and twice as long. This is still relatively a male-dominated sector even though it is changing in the renewable energy field.

    However, there is still a long way to go to reach gender parity in terms of size, opportunities, or even pay scale. So, young women must be deliberate with the choices they make when they enter the sector. They must be innovative, proactive, and resilient and must leverage on any opportunity to grow that comes their way.”    
    *ESI Africa, July 20, 2020.

      ” This is the opinion of another well-known trailblazer in the African
energy sector, Ifeoma Malo, CEO of Clean Tech Hub and the Energy
Innovation Center in Abuja. She is part of African Utility Week &
POWERGEN Africa’s Women in Energy session on Monday, 23 November.

Highlights of Digital Energy Festival sessions where the focus is on gender challenges in the sector include:

Africa Energy Forum:

  • Fireside chat with Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All ” 21 October 
  • Energy&HER series: A series of gender-focused conversations exploring extraordinary female entrepreneurs and the contributions they are making to the sector:
    • A business case for gender smart investing ” 22 October
    • AWEDI hosted Energy&HER Panel Discussion ” 27 October
    • REA hosted Energy&HER Panel Discussion ” 29 October
    • Power Africa hosted Digital Dialogue: GBV and Electricity: What’s light got to do with it? ” 3 November
    • AfDB & ALSF hosted Energy&HER Digital Dialogue ” 5 November
    • Malawi Fruits hosted Energy&HER Case Study: Creating a circular economy ” 12 November

African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa:

  • “Women in Leadership” panel of CEOs sharing advice and discussing the challenges on their journey to C-level ” 23 November

Oil & Gas Council:

  • Fireside chat: Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer and Company Secretary, Oando ” 3 November
  • Fireside chat: Fathima Hussain, Managing Director, Oil & Gas Corporate Finance, Standard Chartered Bank ” 5 November

ESI Africa:

  • Fireside chat with Kristina Skierka, CEO, Power for All ” 3 November
  • Fireside chat with Nicola Lazenby, programme director, Energy Catalyst ” 11 November
  • GenderLens series of conversations ” throughout

More trailblazing women featured during the Digital Energy Festival for Africa include:

Africa Energy Forum sessions:
      ”  Linda Munyengeterwa, Regional Infrastructure Industry Director: Middle East & Africa, IFC
      ”  Rachel More-Oshodi, Deputy Vice President Commercial Sales & Specialist, Africa, Total
      ”  Tariye Turner Gbadegesin, Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment
      ”  Liz Lloyd, Chief Impact Officer, CDC
      ”  Tas Anvaripour, CEO, Neo Themis
      ”  Laurence Mulliez, Chairman, Globeleq

Oil & Gas Council sessions:
     ” Oxana Bristowe, founder and MD, Oxana Bristowe
     ” Oghor Okhai-Akhigbe, Senior Legal Counsel, The African Legal Support Facility (hosted by AfDB)
    ” Amalia Olivera-Riley, Head of Exploration, Tullow Oil
    ” Chichi Emenike, Head, Gas Ventures, Neconde Energy Limited
    ” Deirdre O’Donnell, Managing Director, Working Smart

African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa sessions:
à‚ à‚  à‚ ” Carol Rosenlund, Head of Africa, International Centre for Hydropower
à‚  à‚ à‚ ” Folake Soetan, Ag. CEO, Ikeja Electric Plc
à‚  à‚ à‚ ” Mercy Wairua, In-house counsel, Mota Engil

ESI Africa sessions:
à‚  à‚ à‚ ” Jessica Stephens, COO, AMDA
à‚  à‚ à‚ ” Wendy Poulton, Secretary-General, SANEA

Digital Energy Festival
The following sessions are still available to watch on demand as part of theà‚ Digital Energy Festival for Africa:

   ” African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa sessions, (now Enlit Africa) click here ” FREE access
   ” ESI Africa sessions, click here ” FREE access
   ” Oil & Gas Council sessionsclick here

The Digital Energy Festival for Africa in 2020 was hosted jointly by four of Clarion Events’ leading energy brands Africa Energy ForumAfrican Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa (now Enlit Africa) and the Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly and the leading energy journal ESI Africa and sister publication of Power Engineering International, providing six weeks of compelling content.

Clarion Energy
The UK-based Clarion Events Group’s Clarion Energy Series runs over 40 events that cover the oil, gas, power and energy sectors, making it one of the group’s largest portfolios.

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