Addressing the opportunities and barriers for women in the renewable heating and cooling sector in SOLTRAIN+ countries

Submitted by Selma Festus
Published 2 months ago

On November 22, 2023, the Gender Managers (GMs) from the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), Namibia Energy Institute (NEI), Solar Industries Association Botswana (SIAB), and Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) - Selma Festus, Fenni Shidhika, Karen Gibson, and Monica Spork-Dur, respectively - co-hosted the inaugural Gender & Diversity (G&D) hybrid event at the Safari Mercure Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia.

The Gender & Diversity Side Event group picture with Hon. Kornelia Shilunga, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Namibia

The workshop highlighted the gender and diversity work package within the SOLTRAIN+ initiative, focusing on value chains and opportunities in the renewable heating and cooling (RHC) sector. Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, the Executive Director of SACREEE, inaugurated the event. Karen Gibson provided an overview of the G&D work package, emphasizing SOLTRAIN+'s potential opportunities and advocating for increased strategic partnerships through the gender multiplier implementation structure.

Honourable Kornelia K. Shilunga, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy in Namibia, inspired attendees by reflecting on the significance of women in energy, the challenges faced in female participation in politics, and celebrated the recent achievement of an inclusive 50/50 gender balance in Namibia's political landscape. She emphasized that to bring about substantial and sustainable change in male-dominated sectors like energy, women should actively engage in politics, as it's a platform pivotal in influencing decision-making processes.

The Gender Managers - Fenni Shidhika, Tawha Peter, Asteria Markus, and entrepreneur Bernadette Simana - shared empowering stories of their journeys to success, aiming to encourage women to venture into the RHC sector while advancing their careers.

Bhakani Ntuli, the GM of the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), offered insights into the RHC value chain in South Africa, while Jenipher Chigerwe, GM from the National University of Science & Technology (NUST) in Zimbabwe, facilitated the workshop with grace and humour.

Mentorship opportunities were emphasized by Irene Giner-Reichl from the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET). Kornelia Iipinge-Silishebo from SACREEE presented on training opportunities for small-to-medium enterprises within the SADC Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship Support Facility.

In closing remarks, Wolfgang Gruber-Glatzl, SOLTRAIN+ Project Manager (AEE INTEC), encouraged collaboration among companies, non-governmental organizations, industry associations, financial institutions, international donors, academic and research institutes, and all stakeholders in the renewable energy sector. He urged them to unite and strive not only for increased female participation in the energy sector but also for their representation in key decision-making positions.

7th SOLTRAIN+ Conference concluded in Namibia

7th SOLTRAIN+ Conference concluded in Namibia

The SOLTRAIN+ project, which commenced in January 2023, heralds four more years of innovative developments in S…

2 months ago

Selma Festus

Recent training activity in Namibia and Zimbabwe

Recent training activity in Namibia and Zimbabwe

Energy security and access remain significant challenges within the Southern African Development Community (SADC). T…

2 months ago

Fenni Shidhika and Samson Mhlanga

Addressing the opportunities and barriers for women in the renewable heating and cooling sector in SOLTRAIN+ countries

Addressing the opportunities and barriers for women in the renewable heating and cooling sector in SOLTRAIN+ countries

On November 22, 2023, the Gender Managers (GMs) from the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SAC…

2 months ago

Selma Festus

SOLTRAIN and ERC host a successful renewable energy campaign in Maputsoe

SOLTRAIN and ERC host a successful renewable energy campaign in Maputsoe

The Renewable Energy Awareness Campaign recently orchestrated by the Energy Research Centre (ERC) in collaboration w…

2 months ago

NUL ERC

SOLTRAIN+ exhibits at at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show 2023

SOLTRAIN+ exhibits at at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show 2023

The annual Zimbabwe Agricultural Show is the premier event organized by the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society for the na…

4 months ago

Hilton Chingosho & Samson Mhlanga

Girls in STEM Career Guidance at Masotsha High School, Bulawayo

Girls in STEM Career Guidance at Masotsha High School, Bulawayo

The GIRLS IN STEM career guidance event was organized by Elevate Trust Zimbabwe, with a specific focus on empowering…

4 months ago

Samson Mhlanga, Destine Mashava and Albert Mnkandla

NEI Exhibits the SOLTRAIN+ Project at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair and at the NUST Post-Graduate Open Day

NEI Exhibits the SOLTRAIN+ Project at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair and at the NUST Post-Graduate Open Day

The Namibia Energy Institute (NEI) showcased its activities, including the Southern African Renewable Heating and Co…

4 months ago

Joseph Shigwedha

Secure Your Spot - Pre-Register for the 7th SOLTRAIN Conference!

Secure Your Spot - Pre-Register for the 7th SOLTRAIN Conference!

We're thrilled to announce that pre-registration is now open for the upcoming 7th SOLTRAIN Conference! Don't…

4 months ago

Wolfgang w.gruber-glatzl@aee.at

SOLTRAIN+ Gender & Diversity Management - Side Event alongside the SOLTRAIN+ Conference taking place 22 – 23 November 2023, Safari Hotel, Windhoek, Namibia

SOLTRAIN+ Gender & Diversity Management - Side Event alongside the SOLTRAIN+ Conference taking place 22 – 23 November 2023, Safari Hotel, Windhoek, Namibia

During the SOLTRAIN+ project, special attention is given to 'Women in Energy.' Aligned with national sustain…

4 months ago

Karen Gibson, Selma Festus, Monika Spörk-Dür

Four more years of SOLTRAIN with expanded scope of SOLTRAIN+

Four more years of SOLTRAIN with expanded scope of SOLTRAIN+

The SOLTRAIN+ project, which began in January 2023, promises four more years of exciting new developments in the fie…

7 months, 1 week ago

Wolfgang Gruber-Glatzl