Empowering Women through Clean Cooking Energy, Technology and Entrepreneurship
PRESS RELEASE: ABUJA – To commemorate International Women’s Day, women entrepreneurs with the support of Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (NACC) an affiliate of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves on Monday, March 9, 2015 organized an event to showcase how clean cooking energy, renewable energy, information technology and entrepreneurship play important roles in unleashing the potential of women for a better future.
The aim of the event is to raise awareness among the global gender community that access to clean cooking solutions, renewable energy and information technology are critical drivers of gender equality. This is necessary for achieving global gender equality goals and targets and provides significant opportunities for women’s empowerment. It also provided opportunity for all participants to learn something new, to make new partnerships and to inform our work to ensure the empowering effect of clean energy, technology and entrepreneurship –on girls and boys, men and women.
While addressing the audience, Victoria Sloan, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy said “The problems that face the world today cannot be solved without the full participation of women and only when women make progress does their country make progress too”. It is generally known that investing in women entrepreneurs will boost the economy for everyone. At a time with unstable oil prices and lack of stimuli in various sectors of the economy, innovation and entrepreneurship spearheaded by women may be the answer. At the event, women entrepreneurs from Creeds Energy and Roshan Global Ltd narrated their continuing journey as entrepreneurs.
The event themed “Make it Happen through Clean Energy, Technology and Entrepreneurship” had lead presenters from the Energy Commission of Kenya, Save The Children, WE FM, Creeds Energy, Roshan Global Ltd and NACC. Through presentation of success stories, the event encouraged, engaged and interacted with young and inspiring secondary school girls, internally displaced women, other women groups, men and all those interested in building a better future. Students of the British Nigerian Academy; the host school also presented a stage play titled The Plight of the Nigerian Woman; written, directed and acted by the students. The play highlighted the essence of respecting and empowering women and how respecting them can go a long way in ensuring they operate at optimum capacity.
Lack of access to energy, be it for cooking or for lighting, and resulting energy poverty are issues that need to be tackled today, and women are ready to play their part as innovators, entrepreneurs, policy makers and consumers! They can make it happen!
To buttress this, Hannah Kabir of Creeds Energy stated that “access to clean energy alternatives for women in communities, households and enterprises can improve livelihoods and generate sustainable income streams to lift them and their families out of energy and economic poverty. With sustainable solutions, women can become more productive by distributing their time and effort more efficiently and improving their health and well-being”.
The event highlighted how clean cook stoves can indeed alleviate the sufferings of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and lessen women’s hardship in IDP camp as well as prevent physical violence and respiratory diseases. Addressing the health related issues associated with smoke inhalation, Happy Amos of Roshan Global Ltd said “Cooking Should not kill that is why we’re passionate about making Happy Energy Saving Stoves to save lives and save money for women and we intend to make this happen!”
Ewah Eleri, National Coordinator of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves further reiterated that “Around the world today, 4 million women die of smoke from the kitchen. This is more than the number of deaths from malaria and hepatitis put together worldwide. In Nigeria, nearly 100,000 lives are lost from smoke; from something as simple and ordinary as cooking!”
The event also discussed how leveraging on technology, and IT, or Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in particular, can empower women and girls. It further highlighted how the future path to Nigeria’s development is not with oil exploitation, but with renewable and sustained energy resources.
It showcased how despite the diversity in Nigerian women's experience and identity, gender can be a unifying factor. This factor is one that will enable women to develop common strategies and action leading to their economic, social and political empowerment.
Lekan Tobe, Income Generation Team Lead, USAID/SHARE also shared ways in which they were promoting cookstoves, solar lamps and water products by training women in entrepreneurship and offering financing to enable sustainability.
The lead organizations for the event were Creeds Energy and Roshan Global Ltd that are founded and run by young women entrepreneurs. The event was hosted by the British Nigerian Academy and supported by Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves an affiliate of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Techwomen Alumni, Embassy of the U.S, Mercy Corps, Save the Children International, National Christian Pilgrims Commission and Sosai Renewable Energies Ltd.
The International Women’s Day event came to a close with Roshan Global Limited distributing clean cookstoves and solar lamps to the IDPs among the audience.
For more information
Please contact Precious Onuvae, Market Manager, Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 08063361065
About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance is working with its public, private and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves and fuels in developing countries. For more information, please visit www.cleancookstoves.org
About the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership that seeks to introduce 10 million fuel-efficient stoves to Nigerian homes and institutions by 2020. The Alliance supports policy change, better technical standards and innovative financing in the development of a national clean cookstove industry. It works with public, private, and non-profit partners to scale up access to clean cookstoves in Nigeria. For more information, please visit www.nigeriacleancooking.org