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Rwanda to involve more women in renewable energy for 100% electrification

Renewable Energy

Rwanda to involve more women in renewable energy for 100% electrification

Women are charting a path for themselves in the renewable energy industry. More and more women engineers in the sector are creating innovative products; showing that the clean, renewable energy market has grown beyond gender.

In light of this, Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Claver Gatete, stated that increasing women’s participation in the renewable energy market will help Rwanda achieve its energy transformation and 100% electrification goals.

The Minister made the remarks during an online press conference hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which announced the release of a new report on renewable energy employment trends for 2020.

As a center of excellence for information and innovation, a global voice for renewables, a network hub, and a source of guidance and support for countries, IRENA plays a key role in the energy transformation.

The Director-General of IRENA, Francesco La Camera commented on the findings of Renewable Energy and Jobs in an annual review of the 2021 report. In his words: “Women accounted for one-third of all jobs, better than the conventional sector but it is not enough. For the energy transition to be an available one, it needs to be just and inclusive.”

Rwanda aims to attain 100 percent energy availability by 2031, according to the minister, and enhancing women’s involvement and role is critical to accomplishing this goal.

Gatete said, “It’s a significant challenge. Right now, we’re at 66 percent electrification, and it’s been a long trip from 1% in 1994.”

He believes that the absence of qualified female applicants for professions such as engineers has hampered women’s engagement in the energy sector.

In addition, Gatete stated that there were few women in science and technology. However, the country is seeing an increase in female participation in the electrical engineering field, as well as enrolment.

“The government has launched an initiative to ensure that women are well situated, with mechanisms including a written program and additional funding being devoted toward the roadmap’s implementation.”

While acknowledging the importance of public-private partnerships in boosting access to power in recent decades, he stated that the same technique must be utilized in order to achieve the goal of renewables accounting for 60% of total electricity in the energy mix by 2030.

According to Gatete, Rwanda now gets 90 percent of its electricity from private-sector-developed plants. The private sector owns 100% of the off-grid and solar mini-grids installed in Rwanda.

Nevertheless, the minister stated that the private sector and individual businesses in Rwanda must “consider gender mainstreaming” in order to promote a fair and inclusive energy transformation.

The minister also spoke on the need for regional alliances in maintaining energy security and emission reductions.

Renewable energy, he added, is becoming increasingly vital to the country. The expansion of Rwanda’s generation portfolio, as well as transmission and distribution, is creating a lot of jobs, which is helping the country’s economy to recover.

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