Africa’s Energy Goals Cannot be Realized Unless Women Lead Development

Representing the continent’s premier energy event, African Energy Week both recognizes and advocates for the women shaping the direction of the industry

With International Women’s Day being celebrated across the world, Africa’s premier energy event, African Energy Week (AEW), maintains a strong position that women have to be at the forefront of the continent’s energy transformation. Africa’s energy potential is unmatched, yet development goals will not and cannot be realized unless there is equal participation and leadership.The global energy sector represents one of the most unequal sectors globally when it comes to gender inclusivity and participation. Today, merely 22% of the workforce are female, attributed to a variety of factors including gender disparity and the small number of women participating in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes. According to a 2021 study conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF), women remain underrepresented among STEM graduates, with 30% of male students graduating from STEM subjects versus only 16% of female students. Unless addressed at an educational level, the inequality seen in the energy workforce will continue.Despite efforts to increase women’s participation in the workforce across various sectors of the global economy over the past decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed a lot of this progress. According to a study released from the research firm, PWC, the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed women’s empowerment progress to 2017 levels, hence, the need to heighten empowerment efforts within the energy sector is critical, now more than ever.“Challenges that are associated with Africa’s energy growth require innovative solutions and the participation of a pool of diverse talent including women. Now is the time to ensure we have more women participating in the sector,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC), adding that “We need more women at all levels across the energy value chain, in leadership roles, in engineering and in administrative roles. For the energy revolution to be a success, it needs to be just, inclusive and equitable.”AEW 2022 and AEC continue to be strong advocates of women holding leadership and influential positions within the energy sector. The AEC is a signatory of the Equal by 30 campaign – a public commitment by public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women – and has pledged to ensure equal opportunities for women in the energy sector. The AEC has also vowed to increase females on its board of directors with the recent appointment of Grace Orife, the CEO of Adelaar Energy – a full stream oil and gas E&P consulting firm.What’s more, the recent partnership between AEW 2022 and Women in Green Hydrogen is huge testimony of the continued efforts by both AEW and the AEC to increase the participation of women in shaping the energy events. Backed by this partnership, women will represent at least 30% of participants and speakers on panels at AEW and other AEC events. This way, the AEC is committed to ensuring women are not only a part of but lead discussions on African energy.At AEW 2022 – which takes place on October 18-21, 2022 – women will lead discussions, network with key stakeholders, and be in charge of decision making and signing deals. AEW 2022 will also hold panel discussions and presentations on gender diversity in Africa’s energy sector and its importance in making energy poverty in Africa history by 2030. Having partnered with the African Petroleum Producers Organization, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, AEW 2022 is well positioned to lead dialogue on women, energy, and Africa’s energy future.

AEW 2022 is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2022 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments.For sales related inquiries please contact sales@aecweek.comFor attendance related inquiries contact registration@aecweek.comFor speaker related inquiries contact speakers@aecweek.comFor media related inquiries contact media@aecweek.com.

*Source African Energy Chamber

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