The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) has been awarded a grant of US$ 1 Million for its project on “Feasibility Study on Business Opportunities for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain in West Africa”. Funded by AfDB, NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, the Project aims to advance women’s role as producers and suppliers of energy services in West Africa.
From 27 February to 3 March 2017, delegates of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Infrastructure Project Preparatory Facility (IPPF) were at the ECREEE Secretariat in Praia, Cape Verde to launch the regional project on “Feasibility Study on Business Opportunities for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain in West Africa”.
The workshop to launch the project was aimed at establishing the operational framework for the successful implementation of the project, particularly as it concerns its ability to deliver on its objective of ensuring that the region meets its goal of universal energy access through the deployment of sustainable energy solutions, with women playing a more prominent role.
The AfDB-NEPAD-ECOWAS project aims to increase women participation in the energy sector through an innovative approach that transforms the green energy revolution in the sector into market opportunities targeting women entrepreneurs. According to Dana Elhassan, Senior Gender Officer with the AfDB, "This project will place West African women entrepreneurs on the map in terms of reaching universal access to energy by 2030".
On specifics, the project will focus on regional energy infrastructure development and business opportunities for 16 women businesses in 4 countries in the ECOWAS region and identify opportunities in the underfinanced small to medium business sectors in order to achieve domestic and regional roadmaps that would encourage economic growth in the ECOWAS region.
"We also want to ensure that 25% of energy-related businesses are in the hands of women. So, now is time to work on identifying women-owned businesses that we can finance", noted Mahama Kappiah, noting that identification of these businesses will begin this month so that by June 2018 the process to prepare their business plans and referral for obtaining the financing, most of them through AfDB.
Cape Verde will be a key country in the implementation of the Business Opportunities for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain project in West Africa promoted by ECREEE.
"We are talking about 16 businesses in the region and Cape Verde is one of the key countries in the process, and fortunately some of these energy projects, at least four will be directed to Cape Verde and its very active women. So now is the time for a change in Cape Verde, we always support it and we hope that in the future this country and its women will be at the forefront of our project, "said Mahama Happiah.
Source © ECREEE, Inforpress