To help connect women clean energy entrepreneurs and enable more women to promote clean energy, the US Department of State launched the wPOWER Hub in 2013. Based at the University of Nairobi, the wPOWER Hub is collaborating with partners including the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, CARE International and Solar Sister with the aim of helping 8,000 women across Africa become entrepreneurs by 2018, providing funding and facilitating knowledge-sharing. wPOWER’s director, Wanjira Mathai, says they have already reached nearly 4,000 women.
SDG 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, and 15 all have to do with preserving the environment and putting measures in place to combat Climate change. COP21 was one of the most anticipated events of 2015, and it ended with a high as, after much negotiation, an agreement was reached by member states with targets to drastically cut down on carbon and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Wanjira Mathai, Director, wPOWER Hub, Wangari Maathai Institute & Chair, the Green Belt Movement and daughter of Late Prof Wangari Maathai (first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize) was one of the delegates at COP21 as Head of the Green Belt Movement delegation, and so we discussed amongst other things, her takeaways from that conference, her mother’s legacy, and her work to take renewable energy technologies to the grassroots in Africa.
A group of about 50 women in Othaya, Nyeri County have been trained on sustainable clean energy, thanks to a new initiative by wPOWER Hub, Wangari Maathai Institute.
According to Prof Kiama Gitahi, Director Wangari Maathai Institute, while speaking during the three- day training programme on sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship held at Gatugi township recently, the training was meant to empower women on clean energy issues.
Gitahi urged participants to safeguard their environment and strive to unlock their potential as sustainable natural resource managers.
“These series of trainings form part of wPOWER Hub activities towards the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewable (“wPOWER”) project that was launched by the US State Department in January 2013,” Gitahi said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta attended and presided over the official opening ceremony of the 2016 Nairobi Innovation Week, held at the University of Nairobi’s main campus, to engage policy makers on the growth and support of the innovation ecosystem in Kenya.He assessed as inspiring the efforts of the wPOWER Hub in recognising and addressing the critical importance of increasing clean energy access, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change.
Speaking during his visit on Thursday, 16th June 2016, His Excellency the Ambassador to the US, Robert Godec said that the US Government will continue to support the wPOWER Project to ensure that women clean energy entrepreneurs take part in the clean energy value chain. He praised the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute in addressing environmental, health and economic challenges facing grassroots women in rural Kenya.