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AfDB calls for higher representation of women in Africa’s power sector

Women represent only 20 percent of employees in the sector.

Image: Vanessa Moungar – Twitter

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), together with the French Development Agency, Association of Power Utilities of Africa and African Network of Centers of Excellence (ANCEE), organized the Promoting Gender Equality in the African Power Sector summit at AfDB’s headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Fifty human resource directors, 50 power utility companies, eight directors from ANCEE and 25 African countries came together to highlight the need for more women employees in the power sector.

“Diversity is not only nice to have, there is a business case for it. We strongly believe that, both in the public and private sector, we must have leadership bodies that reflect the societies they live in, for better, more sustainable, long term results,” said the Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society Department at the AfDB, Vanessa Moungar.

The three-day seminar saw participants highlight best practices and awareness about the interlinkages between gender and the power sector. The participants discussed plans to enforce gender reform in the sector and new policy, focusing on the inclusion of female employees and regulations that ensure gender-equal access to energy services.

Other concerns stressed the importance of developing a more cooperative approach to promoting gender equality in the workplace. This would involve improving career prospects for women and increasing their chances of being employed in managerial positions.

The AfDB’s Vice President for Power, energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Amadou Hott said: “We expect women to not only be minor workers in the power sector but leaders, policy makers, renewable energy entrepreneurs, utility managers, employers of power plants and distribution systems, executives of private sector partners, and customers of electricity services.”

The seminar is part of AfDB’s ongoing commitment to strengthen its engagement with partner institutions to achieve gender equality.