Gilda Monjane: Women empowerment through solar energy
Gilda Monjane is a name that does not go unnoticed in the energy sector Responsible for the “Loja de Energia” project, for which she won international awards, she is a Mozambican entrepreneur who intends to take clean energy to rural areas and at the same time to empower women.
Loja de Energia is a project which intends to take renewable energies close to the citizens of most remote rural areas of Mozambique that don’t have access to energy.
The idea came from her master thesis in rural areas, where she realized that people not connected to the power grid didn’t have any shop to buy energy or a solar kit. She decided to develop a distribution model which takes the shop to rural areas, giving an explanation, to whoever buys and offering guarantees and installation.
The shops are spread all over the country and Gilda says that often when she goes to villages for awareness actions she ends up directly installing the solar system since the community leaders are already aware of what they want. These systems avoid for example that people from that community walk long distances to charge their cell phones.
As for financing of the solar panels, Gilda tries to adapt the payment, sometimes the inhabitants in the community help each other, other times they pay in one instalment. Recently there is the possibility to access to local micro-credits that help to buy it. Presently she is trying to access to local development funds, because she considers they are a good opportunity to enable the population to have a solar kit.
Until now she didn’t have any financial support, other than the SID award she won in 2015, worth five thousand dollars, which she used to make new initiatives for other entrepreneurs, because she aims to create a network of entrepreneurs.
Despite not having public financing all the activities are coordinated with the Government. With the money she earns she helps other women to open their own shops and become independent.
In recognition of her work, Gilda was recently invited to participate at COP 23, at the Green Innovation Workshop, to share her successful experience.
About climate change and energy, Gilda considers that if we don’t include women, we won’t be able to win the battle.
Check the full interview to Gilda here (Portuguese only)
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