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US fund supports women in energy

In East Africa, over 400 women living in rural Tanzania and Kenya seeking to participate within the renewable energy space will soon become beneficiaries of a US fund through a two-year entrepreneurial programme.

Energy 4 Impact, a non-profit organisation working with local businesses to extend access to energy in Africa, has been awarded the funds to implement through a two-year programme, which will provide business and technology training and mentorship.

In addition, it will provide support for the group to access financing and market opportunities.

“The US Department of State the programme is part of the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER), launched by the US Department of State in January 2013 to empower women clean energy entrepreneurs across East Africa, Nigeria and India to deliver clean energy access,” Energy 4 Impact said in statement.

US fund to support women in energy

According to a statement released by the NGO, funding for the two-year Women Integration into Renewable Energy (WIRE) Value Chains programme was secured in early September 2016.

Energy 4 Impact programme manager Godfrey Sanga said: “We will leverage our experience and resources in the two countries to strengthen the capacity of some of our existing clients, with a view to expanding their product range and enabling them to diversify their revenues.”

According to the NGO, they “will also work with wPOWER Partners in order to support the expansion of the wPOWER network of women clean energy entrepreneurs.

“In Kenya, it will work with the Green Belt Movement, which serves as the wPOWER Hub, to identify some of the [Green Belt] Movement’s women entrepreneurs that are capable of successfully participating in the clean cooking and off-grid lighting value chain.

“Similar collaborative efforts will be pursued in Tanzania with the other wPOWER Partners including CARE International and Solar Sister.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.