by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE momentous Digital Energy Festival for Africa will focus on the role of energy access in changing women’s lives across the continent.
The festival runs from Tuesday, October 20, until November 26, giving a platform to female entrepreneurs and focus on gender as an economic enabler for African communities and individuals seeking equality.
“Throughout the festival we will learn from incredible leaders that have risen to powerful positions, not because of their gender, but because they’re the best leaders of our time,” said Shiddika Mohamed, group director, EnergyNet, organisers of Africa Energy Forum.
“They’re already inspiring so many other women and we have seen that reflected across the festival – especially in the AFSIA Solar Awards which has received a majority of entries from women-led and owned African businesses.”
AFSIA is the Africa Solar Industry Association.
The Digital Energy Festival will see four of Clarion Events’ leading energy brands.
Africa Energy Forum, African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa and the Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly and the leading energy journal ESI Africa jointly host six weeks of compelling content.
Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl, editor, ESI Africa, highlighted the importance of having family support and industry mentors along women’s career paths.
“Therefore, I’m delighted that ESI Africa is part of the Digital Energy Festival. We will feature fireside chats with women who are mentors in their own right and we will showcase our GenderLens series of conversations,” she said.
Damilola Ogunbiyi, Chief Executive Officer and United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All, said young women starting out in careers in the power and industry sector must be ready to work twice as hard and twice as long.
She said this remained relatively a male-dominated sector even though it was changing in the renewable energy field.
“However, there is still a long way to go to reach gender parity in terms of size, opportunities, or even pay scale,” Ogunbiyi said.
She is also the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) 2020 chairperson.
Among other female executive to feature at the Digital Energy Festival for Africa are Ayotola Jagun, Fathima Hussain, Kristina Skierka, Nicola Lazenby, Linda Munyengeterwa, Rachel More-Oshodi, Tariye Turner Gbadegesin and Liz Lloyd.
Others are Tas Anvaripour, Laurence Mulliez, Oxana Bristowe, Oghor Okhai-Akhigbe, Amalia Olivera, Chichi Emenike, Deirdre O’Donnell, Carol Rosenlund, Folake Soetan, Mercy Wairua, Jessica Stephens and Wendy Poulton.
– CAJ News