Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in East Africa

USAID-LBNL project promoting Gender Equality through the Empower East Africa program highlighted at COP 26

The USAID-LBNL project “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in East Africa”, whose objective is to increase the inclusion of women in electrification programs and advance their role as productive agents of change through the use of energy efficient appliances, was highlighted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at COP26 in the USAID event “Our Climate Future is Female; Women and Girls Leading Climate Action”.

Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE, highlighted the new program in remarks delivered virtually to announce a partnership between USAID and DOE to advance women’s economic empowerment and climate outcomes implemented by two DOE labs (NREL and LBNL).  The program with NREL seeks to integrate gender equity into the Global Power System Transformation, while the partnership with LBNL was launched as part of the Empower East Africa program to identify key enablers for income-generation activities that can allow women to develop or create new or expand on existing businesses, leveraging improved access to energy sources and appliances.

The East Africa program is supported by the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Division at USAID.  As part of the initial phase of the project, LBNL will conduct community engagement activities, surveys and field measurements to identify economic activities where improved access to electricity for women can effectively support business development. Then LBNL will provide training for small business owners on how to achieve savings by improving energy efficiency and identifying financing and credit schemes to acquire energy efficient equipment.