By wPOWER Hub Communications :
The wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute today attended and participated at the ‘Accelerating Clean Energy in Africa Workshop ‘at Desmond Tutu Conference Center in Nairobi. The workshop was organized by the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) in partnership with The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) and the Department of International Development (DfID).
The major focus of the workshop was to share knowledge gained by key stakeholders in the clean energy access space in East Africa and to discuss ways of influencing policies and practices of government agencies in clean energy access in the household sector.
Speaking during the workshop, Prof Kiama Gitahi, Director, Wangari Maathai Institute emphasized the need to create a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to sustainable development through establishment of curriculum that is aimed at developing strategic, consensual, and inclusive solutions to renewable energy and environmental management.‘Universities must pull resources within their various departments, to provide solutions to Clean Energy ‘said Prof.Kiama.
The Energy Resource Institute (TERI) with the support of the Department of International Development (DfID) launched a project on “Appropriate technologies and delivery models to scale up the use of clean cooking and lighting solutions for poor households in Africa” in August 2011.
The project activities were focused in Kenya and Ethiopia as key implementation countries in East Africa.
Speaking during the forum, Lydia Muchiri of Practical Action said that Gender imbalances in Energy Access in Africa do exist, and the impacts of this can be seen among women and children who suffer from respiratory diseases that arise from cooking with open fires.Ms Muchiri said that ‘Women can also be providers of clean energy technologies and not just users’.
In Sub Saharan Africa, more than 72% of urban and 98% of rural households use fuel wood for energy and kerosene for lighting. In Kenya alone, 1.6-2.4 million tons of wood charcoal are consumed annually, and 82% of urban and 34% of rural households depend on charcoal for cooking, respectively. This pattern of consumption is not expected to slow down as urban population growth, poverty and unemployment continue to persist.
The wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute,University of Nairobi is building an evidence base on women, energy access and climate solutions,holding train the trainer workshops,facilitating African and Indian women entrepreneur and leadership exchanges to build a network of women climate leaders, and build public awareness on the critical role of women in Clean Energy.