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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.


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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