The Graça Machel Trust (GMT), in partnership with Sasol-Mozambique and the Foundation for Community Development / Fundação para o Desenvolvimento da Comunidade (FDC), today launched the Women in Energy Conference Series under the theme “Laying the Foundation for an enabling environment for Women in Energy”. The Conference will bring together key stakeholders in Africa’s Energy and Power Ecosystem to deliver curated and directed content on developments in Mozambique and Africa’s energy and power sector. It will also explore women’s plight in energy and invite stakeholders to support the conference series, recommend solutions to factors identified as structural barriers towards an inclusive energy and power sector.
“Mozambique is about to become a major energy hub in Southern Africa, with a range of ambitious projects planned to meet the region’s growing energy demand. To ensure that this development is inclusive, it is vital to ensure that women, youth and persons with disabilities are given access to the sector as entrepreneurs, professionals, service providers, and investors. Sasol’s support for the GMT Energy Conference Series will help make this a reality, creating a more diverse and equitable energy system for the region.” – HE Graça Machel, Founder, GMT and FDC.
The GMT Energy Conference will be held annually in March, coinciding with International Women’s Day (March 8th), with the first edition scheduled for March 2024. The annual conferences will discuss and determine solutions around six thematic areas; access to markets, finance, technology, skills development, networks, and credible market information. This initiative seeks to ensure inclusion and transparency in the energy sector in the region.
Speakers for the inaugural Conference include HE Mrs Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust and FDC, Honourable Minister Carlos Zacarias, Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME) for Mozambique, Ms Priscillah Mabelane, Executive Vice President of Sasol, Dr Diogo Milagre Executive Board Member Fundação para o Desenvolvimento da Comunidade (FDC), as well as experts from key economic sectors including energy, finance and women entrepreneurs.
Access to markets is a critical challenge for women in the energy sector, who often face significant barriers to entry. Through the Women in Energy Conferences Series, participants will be able to identify and address barriers and create a more level playing field for women entrepreneurs and investors. Additionally, by focusing on access to finance, technology, and skills, the conferences will help build the capacity of women-led businesses, enabling them to compete more effectively in the energy sector and contribute to developing inclusive energy systems in Africa.
“The conferences will be tailored to empower women to make informed decisions regarding the energy sector. Participants can choose an area of focus, access credible market information, and align themselves with relevant actors in the energy ecosystem. By attending these conferences, women can organise themselves to participate effectively and sustainably in the energy sector” – Ms Shiphra Chisha, GMT Director of programmes.