All posts tagged: University of Nairobi

Wangari Maathai’s Legacy: The official Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony

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The wPOWER Hub team, led by the Director, Wanjira Mathai today joined H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta in making history by laying the foundation stone at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies ‘Green Campus’, in a colourful ceremony that was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences(CAVS), Upper Kabete Campus, University of Nairobi.

The ‘Green Campus’ will host the wPOWER Hub, and continue to play an important role in championing evidence-based policy-making and forging strong working relationships with knowledge institutions through action learning processes which will help mitigate risk in the energy sector innovation.
The Wangari Maathai Institute has been instrumental in supporting the wPOWER Hub to continue its focus on making the case for the role of women in clean energy entrepreneurship.
In his Speech, Hon. Kenyatta paid a glowing tribute to the late Prof. Wangari Maathai for her relentless work and passion to care for the environment. “I am encouraged to learn that this Institute is already playing a critical role in reducing conflicts in communities by involving women in green energy technology, and in environmental conservation,” said the President.

The Institute, that is set to be completed mid next year is designed to give an expression of the vision of Wangari Maathai for democratic space, sustainable and accountable management and cultures of peace. The Institute aims to create a culture of peace through transformational leadership in environmental governance.
The cost of construction of phase I of the WMI is at KES 600m and is supported by the government of Kenya, the African Union through African Development Bank and the UoN. The President reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support the project up to its completion.

Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies will train students from the whole African continent on environmental issues. The campus will as well play a key role in shaping democracy and peace building initiatives.

The ceremony was well represented in attendance by representatives from the Government of Kenya, University of Nairobi, Green Belt Movement and well wishers.

Wangari Maathai was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”.

DorothyWangari Maathai’s Legacy: The official Laying of the Foundation Stone Ceremony
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H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta Applauds wPOWER Hub’s Progress at the 2016 Nairobi Innovation Week

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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.

The President was drawn to the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences’ (CAVS) stand which hosted exhibitions from the Wangari Maathai Institute and clean cooking and lighting innovation technologies from the wPOWER  Hub. The President familiarized with the different technologies and observed as they were presented at the exhibition, learned about existing global energy problems and wPOWER Hub’s intervention.

The President’s visit came at a critical time when approximately 70% of Kenyans neither have electricity nor access to alternative sources of energy. About the same number rely on traditional fuels, such as fuelwood, charcoal, dung and agricultural residues for cooking and heating. Speaking during the presidential visit, wPOWER  Hub Project Officer Simon Kiragu explained how the wPOWER Hub initiative was participating in the socio economic empowerment of grassroots women in clean energy solutions and expressed hope that as a result of the exhibition and forum, which has drawn a huge volume of clean energy stakeholders and practitioners, an innovative and sustainable energy action plan will be drawn.

The Project Officer stated that the wPOWER  Hub initiative complemented the government’s efforts to enhance global energy security, drive economic growth, bring life-changing energy services to grassroots women  and increase ambition in combating climate change.

President Uhuru assessed as inspiring the efforts of the wPOWER  Hub in recognizing and addressing the critical importance of increasing clean energy access, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving resilience in the face of climate change.

DorothyH.E President Uhuru Kenyatta Applauds wPOWER Hub’s Progress at the 2016 Nairobi Innovation Week
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The US Ambassador, H.E. Robert Godec visits the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute

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By Tindi Sitati / wPOWER Hub News

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Robert F. Godec, today visited the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, University of Nairobi and was received by hosts, the Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof Peter Mbithi, the Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), Prof Kiama Gitahi and the wPOWER Hub Director Wanjira Mathai.

The visit started with an interactive presentation, by Wanjira Mathai, the wPOWER Hub Director, who described the global energy scenario and emphasised the role of the wPOWER Hub in promoting the critical role of women in clean energy solutions to climate change. ‘ Only 30% of Kenyans have access to electricity and 70 % of the population uses kerosene and candles to light their nights’ said Wanjira Mathai .

Ambassador Godec praised the efforts of the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute in addressing environmental, health and economic challenges facing grassroots women in rural Kenya. “ It is great that the wPOWER initiative is bringing clean energy technologies to the communities” said the Ambassador.

Following a wide-ranging discussion on partnership working and innovation, Ambassador Godec visited the clean energy exhibition at the Hub, which provides information on the costs associated with various clean energy technologies, their availability, the fuels they use, and the distributors who supply them. The exhibit has been displayed at trade fairs, exhibitions, and public meetings to raise awareness and create public visibility of clean energy alternatives.

Ambassador Godec visited the green campus site, that will soon be home for the Wangari Maathai Institute. He planted a tree at the Green Belt Movement (GBM) initiated peace park,situated  at the green campus site, to honor victims and survivors of the Garrisa University terrorist attack in Kenya.

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     From left ( Director wPOWER Hub, Wanjira Mathai, Principal CAVS, Prof Kiama Gitahi, US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof Peter Mbithi

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From Right ( Vice Chancellor UoN, Prof Peter Mbithi, US Ambassador Robert Godec, wPOWER Hub Director Wanjira Mathai, wPOWER Hub Partnerships Director, Linda Davis, Green Belt Movement Executive Director, Aisha Karanja, Wangari Maathai Institute Director, Prof Henry Mutembei, Green Belt Movement Programs Manager, Charles Mwangi

 

DorothyThe US Ambassador, H.E. Robert Godec visits the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute
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Wangari Maathai Institute hosts Environmental Partnership Launch

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By Tindi Sitati / wPOWER Hub News

May 27th, 2016

The Global Environmental Education Partnership Africa (GEEP) was launched at the University of Nairobi courtesy of the Wangari Maathai Institute, 27th May, at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS), underscoring the Institute’s credentials as a global front-runner in environmental education.

Initiated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration and the North American Association for Environmental Education, the partnership was praised by University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi and the Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Prof. Kiama Gitahi who were both on hand for the launch ceremony.

According to the Vice Chancellor, the program paves the way for expanded collaborations and the Universities’ increased influence on the global community in this key area.

The Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP) brings together leaders from countries around the world to leverage the power of environmental education to create a healthier environment for all.

The initiative highlights the Wangari Maathai Institute’s commitment to sharing its successful experiences with the rest of the world and seeking an expanded global presence.

Other leaders present during the ceremony were, Jane Nishida, Acting Assistant Administrator United States Environmental Protection Agency, Mahesh Pradhan, United Nations Environmental Program, Ginger Potter, Senior Education Specialist, Judy Braus, Executive Director, North American Association for Environmental Education, Dr. Ayub Macharia Director at National Environment Agency in Kenya among other guests.

From left ( Mahesh Pradhan, Jane Nishida, Prof Henry Mutembei, Prof Peter Mbithi, Ginger Potter, Judy Braus, Prof Kiama Gitahi)

From left ( Mahesh Pradhan, Jane Nishida, Prof. Henry Mutembei, Prof. Peter Mbithi, Ginger Potter, Judy Braus, Prof. Kiama Gitahi)

DorothyWangari Maathai Institute hosts Environmental Partnership Launch
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Sustainable Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Training: Machakos County

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By Tindi Sitati / wPOWER Hub News

April. 7, 2016
MACHAKOS COUNTY – Jackline Mwende had always wanted to be a successful business woman, now married with children her dream is still alive.

The Kaiwa based house wife received an invitation to the “Sustainable Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Training” by the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, University of Nairobi and was offered a free, three day training course. Jackline signed up, and was one of 54 women to proudly graduate Friday, 1st April 2016, after gaining skills on clean energy entrepreneurship.

“I would like to use this as a stepping stone,” Jackline, 35, of Machakos County, said after earning her certificate. She developed an interest in briquette making and now dreams of working to make renewable energy more affordable and accessible to all. “I hope to have a long-term career in it.”

Jackline and 53 other women celebrated their accomplishment, cheered on by wPOWER Hub staff and facilitators, during the closing ceremony at the Africa Brotherhood Church (ABC) in Kathiani, Machakos County.

The wPOWER Hub, at the Wangari Maathai Institute will now place these women at the wPOWER Hub Network, a group of women clean energy entrepreneurs trained by the wPOWER Hub. The goal, at the end, is for the women to develop the capacity to catalyze change, inspire, empower, transform and become champions of sustainable clean energy.

“This is such an important program for us,” Prof Kiama Gitahi, the Director, Wangari Maathai Institute, told the graduates. “We are so proud of all of you. We’re excited to see how your entrepreneurship journey will progress.”

 

 

DorothySustainable Clean Energy Entrepreneurship Training: Machakos County
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wPOWER Hub promotes clean energy technologies at the Nairobi Innovation Week

wPOWER Hub participated in the first ever event that recognises and celebrates innovators and their inventions in Kenya – The Nairobi Innovation Week.The three day event was organised by the University of Nairobi on August 5th -7th, 2015.

The focus of the Nairobi Innovation week,was to bring together all innovation-minded persons to showcase distinct technology-related ideas and products, and/or present papers leading to exhaustive discussions by all aiming to yield practical solutions to the pertinent problems in Africa.

The Hub was exhibiting clean energy technology innovations from various distributors across Africa.

IMG_1873wPOWER Hub Academic Director,Prof.Kiama Gitahi(centre) holding a Solar lantern.

wPOWER Hub staff present at the event engaged crowds in clean energy conversations,challenged many people’s assumptions and prompted new questions- all helping to co-create and shape the clean and renewable energy agenda in Kenya.

The event comprised keynote speeches in plenary sessions, policy discussions, research paper and case study presentations, round-table discussions as well as exhibitions of inventions and innovations by individual innovators, start-ups and organisations.

IMG_1828-001wPOWER Hub Project Officer Simon Kiragu(left),explains the use of new and improved clean cookstoves.

Themed ‘Innovate and Prosper’, the Nairobi Innovation Week was mainly designed to provide a national platform for showcasing and recognising the relevant outstanding innovations dotting the Kenyan landscape, while fanning policy discussions on disruptive and productive discoveries.

Kenyans in rural areas are embracing alternative clean energy innovations as the hope of getting electricity fades away due to the high cost.

wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute is working together with the Green Belt Movement, MacArthur Foundation, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, CARE International, Solar Sister, Women for Women International and the Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) India, to empower women energy entrepreneurs across Africa and India.

 

 

DorothywPOWER Hub promotes clean energy technologies at the Nairobi Innovation Week
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wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute Promotes the Role of Women in Africa, in Clean Energy Solutions

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New Delhi| April 16th 2015

By wPOWER Hub Communications : The wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, University of Nairobi, led an African Delegation, comprising 24 members from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania to attend and participate at the wPOWER Global Partnership Forum 2015, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on April 16th – 17th.

The forum, jointly organized by The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) was held to create dialogue on the pivotal role played by women in last‐mile distribution of clean energy technologies.

Ms. Wanjira Mathai, Director of the wPOWER Hub, & Chair of the Green Belt Movement (GBM) spoke during the opening plenary and participated in a panel discussion on Leveraging Women’s Leadership & Networks for Inclusive & Sustainable Development. Prof. Kiama Gitahi, Director of the Wangari Maathai Institute, led discussions on – Forging Partnerships and the Role of Institutional stakeholders in strengthening women entrepreneurs, their capacities and networks through multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Other speakers who participated in the forum included Mr. John Beed (USAID Mission Director, India), Ms. Varshajoshi (I.A.S, Joint Secretary (MNRE) Government of India), Ms. Randi Davis (Director, Gender Team, UNDP), Ms. Prema Gopalan (Director, SSP), Ms. Sudha Setty (Country Representative in India for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves) and grassroots women entrepreneurs from Africa and India.

Key Highlights: Day 1

The forum begun with dialogues, deliberations, sharing of experiences and perspectives from high-level experts ranging from policy makers, corporates to grass root clean energy women entrepreneurs on women empowerment, entrepreneurship and reaching clean energy solutions. The delegation also witnessed the Launch of the wPOWER: Connecting the dots – Resource Guide, a knowledge product highlighting the interactive and key elements of the wPOWER project.

1Launch of the wPOWER: Connecting the dots, resource guide. Extreme right, MS Wanjira Mathai, Director wPOWER Hub, Ms. Randi Davis, Director, Gender team, UNDP, Mr., John Beed, Mission Director, USAID India, Ms Varsha Joshi, Joint Secretary Govt of India, Ms.Prema Gopalan, Executive Director Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) and Ms.Trishala Dangre, Sakhi, wPOWER India

 

Grass root women entrepreneurs from both India and Africa shared their entrepreneurship experiences and insights from their respective fields of operation.

22nd to left Mary Onoja, Care Nigeria, Lillian Muchungi, Green Belt Movement, and inset grass root women entrepreneurs.

 

Key Highlights: Day 2

The second day of the forum, saw key issues being discussed, among them, creation of partnerships among technology developers, the private sector and women entrepreneurs. Leading in the panelist was the Director, Wangari Maathai Institute, Prof.Kiama Gitahi who emphasized the need to bridge the access and awareness gap for clean energy

, solutions through forging partnerships with key institutions and technology developers.

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2nd from left, Prof Kiama Gitahi, Director, Wangari Maathai Institute, Right, Mr.Gautam Morey, CEO Sofomo Embeded Solutions, Left, Atul Mittal.

Prof.Kiama emphasized the need to collaborate and make investments in last mile women networks.

Speaking during the final session of the forum, wPOWER Hub director Wanjira Mathai discussed strategies to advance and scale up the grass roots women’s networks as demonstrated through the wPOWER initiative. Insights of how women networks can effectively be engaged in creating inclusive and sustainable development agenda were also shared.

4Left, Lillian Muchungi, Community Mobilization officer, Green Belt Movement, Godavari Dange, President, Sakhi Federation, Renuka Kumar, MS Wanjira Mathai, Director wPOWER Hub, Chetna Sinha, Founder, Mann Deshi Foundation, MS Randi Davis, Director Gender Team, UNDP, Newyork

 The final session brought both national and international representatives of women’s movements to highlight and share their insights on the potential role of women in inclusive and sustainable development.

The closing plenary session saw the high level representatives from Government of India, USAID India, UNDP India and the Kenya Representatives, agreeing unanimously on the wPOWER global agenda to catalyze the “women in renewable energy” movement through innovative market-based partnership models, affordable innovations and improved access to technology, finance and markets.

The Department of State, together with parallel support from the MacArthur Foundation, financed the creation of a wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace & Environmental Studies (WMI), founded by the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

wPOWER aims to empower more than 8,000 women clean energy entrepreneurs across East Africa, Nigeria and India who will deliver clean energy access to more than 3.5 million people over the next three years.

Click here for the wPOWER Global Partnership Report

 

 

 

DorothywPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute Promotes the Role of Women in Africa, in Clean Energy Solutions
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