Hudson Beare, Classroom 4
Friday, October 2, 2015 - 13:00 to 14:00
Commonwealth Professional Fellows from Kenya and Ghana.
First Speaker: Jacqueline Kimeu
Title: Gender Dimensions in Energy Poverty in Kenya and the role played by Practical Action
Energy access is not an end in itself. The ultimate objectives of universal energy access are socio-economic development; poverty alleviation; and improvement in the lives of all in society, and particularly the most vulnerable e.g. women who are currently disempowered as is amply manifested in many African nations. Studies have demonstrated that there is a co-relationship between poverty and levels of gender inequality, the link between women, education and access to electricity, the propensity of health and the use of traditional cooking fuels and indeed the time-burden placed on women in the daily endeavour to meet the energy needs of their respective households. It is within this framework that the role of women not just as consumers of energy but also as potential producers and providers of energy services presents an opportunity to address the gender gaps in energy access working precisely with the most affected categories i.e. women. Women-owned businesses are making a significant contribution to the Kenyan economy.
Their businesses account for about one-half (48 percent) of all micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which contribute around 20 percent to Kenya's GDP. Of the 462,000 jobs created annually since 2000 in Kenya, 445,000 jobs have come from the informal sector, where 85 percent of women's businesses are found. Despite their potential, women-owned businesses in Kenya (include energy related businesses) are less likely to grow, are smaller, and are twice as likely to be operating from home compared to male-owned businesses To address this scenario, Practical Action Eastern Africa has designed action to strengthen women’s capacity to effectively participate in and benefit from the energy markets as actors and beneficiaries as well as lobbying and advocating for the adoption of women empowerment approaches in delivering new targets for universal modern energy access at County and National and international levels.
Jacqueline Kimeu is an environmental scientist with over 5 years in designing and implementing projects and programmes on natural resource management and sustainable biomass energy with particular focus on gender analysis & mainstreaming, climate change adaptation and mitigation and conducting environmental impact assessment. She is experienced in enabling strategic partnerships at the County and National levels in Kenya aimed at strengthen uptake of renewable energy technologies and influencing policy. She is presently also coordinating the National Gender and Energy Network (ENERGIA-Kenya), a multi-stakeholder platform established to support gender mainstreaming in energy service delivery.
Second Speaker: Paul Mbole
Title: Energy Poverty in Kenya and contributing to Total Energy Access through the Norwegian Church Aid’s engagement in Kenya.
Energy Poverty remains a key under-laying factor that is correlated to the persistence of poverty in most developing nations and the primarily fragmented response to the challenge undermines efforts to effectively address the issues. It is with this in mind that there has been growing calls for more holistic and integrated approach that bring on board multiple stakeholders to reflect and engage on the issues and secure better coherence and complementarity through the adoption of a Total Energy Access framework.
Further, it needs to be appreciated that the energy access challenge is not only a technical challenge but, has a significant dimension that lies in the social-cultural domain. Thus of necessity, issues related to development of viable energy delivery models is critical to secure sustainable energy access. It is with this background that the Norwegian Church Aid intervention in Kenya towards enhancing energy access for vulnerable and energy poor communities is envisaged.
Paul Mbole is a Development Practitioner with over 20 years working experience in diverse developmental environments. Paul is presently engaged as a Renewable Energy / Climate Change Advisor with an International NGO i.e. Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) based out of Nairobi working specifically with partners in the NCA Kenya / Somalia Programs. He has lead the NCA engagement in Kenya in development of the Climate Change & Energy Access initiatives over the last seven (7) years with particular focus on bioenergy, solar PV and community energy services delivery models in Kenya i.e. community mini-grids.