Women-led energy projects in West Africa to receive financial support through the ECOWAS Women’s Business Fund

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), with support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), established the ECOWAS Women’s Business Fund to help alleviate financial barriers to the development and implementation of women-led business initiatives in the energy sector.

Working with the energy ministries in the Member States, ECREEE will identify women groups and associations active in the gender and energy field for financial support in energy projects. The women groups and associations that will be selected will go through a process of screening based on a set of selection criteria that looks at past and ongoing gender and energy projects; participation in development activities; partnership building and networking strength; and commercial viability. Successful participants will either be supported to up-scale ongoing energy projects or will be given technical assistance to design a new project.

It is envisaged that through this activity women entrepreneurs will contribute towards addressing the energy challenges faced in the region as well as gain valuable skills that will empower them economically.

The ECOWAS Women’s Business Fund is one of the five initiatives of the ECOWAS Programme on Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access (ECOW-GEN). The programme was established against the background that women’s potential, in the ECOWAS region, as producers and suppliers of energy services is under-utilized and that empowering women to make significant contributions in the implementation of the adopted regional renewable energy and energy efficiency policies is necessary for the achievement of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) goals in West Africa. Moreover, the programme is founded upon the principles of the ECOWAS Gender Policy which emphasizes the “need to develop policies and programmes to provide alternative energy sources which would contribute to women’s health and also alleviate their time burden”.

For more information, please contact Ms Monica Maduekwe at mmaduekwe@ecreee.org