Energy Empower East Africa is a woman-focused demand-side program that seeks to unlock the benefits of modern energy access for women, highlighting the crucial role of women in driving Productive Use of Electricity (PUE) initiatives.
During program implementation, EEEA identified critical gaps and constraints that inhibit women from leveraging on energy efficient and productive use technologies.
To address this, EEEA entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding with the local association Uganda Women in Trade and Manufacture (UWTM) to establish a dedicated EE and PUE chapter for women entrepreneurs. This local chapter will provide access to essential services such as:
- business support,
- financial inclusion,
- capacity building,
- business development services,
- regular interactions and information sharing on EE, PUE and energy management.
Presently, approximately 60 women have expressed interest in joining the association, with the application process currently underway. As part of their efforts, the Berkeley Lab team and USAID conducted a site visit to a maize milling business, gaining valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges surrounding the efficient and productive use of electricity in such ventures. Self-help groups and networks can act as a bridge between women entrepreneurs and other stakeholders, and can also work as platforms that promote solidarity among women, bringing them together on:
- issues of financing,
- business development support,
- policy advocacy,
- access to markets,
- gender parity and gender justice,
- and efficient and productive equipment to grow their businesses.