Empowering and Powering Women

Speeches Shim

 Two female line workers in Nigeria looking up
Line workers Blessing and Opeyemi in Nigeria
Photo Credit: NPSP

Advancing the full participation of women and girls in the political, economic, and social realms of their countries is a key goal of U.S. foreign policy[i]. The White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), the first whole-of-government effort to advance global women’s economic empowerment, promotes this goal. Power Africa is proud to be awarded funding from the W-GDP to launch Women in Rwandan Energy, one of many Power Africa activities aimed at promoting women’s economic empowerment through Africa’s energy sector.

Advancing Women in the Energy Sector

Power Africa creates opportunities for women to participate as vital actors in the energy sector.  It is Power Africa’s expectation that women be represented as policy makers within national and regional governments, as executives of private sector companies, as managers within power sector utilities, as employees of generation plants and transmission and distribution systems, and as entrepreneurs within nascent energy enterprises. Power Africa promotes women’s professional advancement in the energy sector through USAID activities including but not limited to:

Women in Rwandan Energy 

Power Africa, with funding from the W-GDP, launched Women in Rwandan Energy (WIRE) in mid-2019. This network of stakeholders from across Rwanda’s energy sector includes partners  from ministries, the utility, the regulator, several universities, private companies, and development partners, all committed to increasing women’s participation in Rwanda’s energy sector. WIRE provides career awareness and technical skills training, as well as apprenticeship and mentorship opportunities that prepare women for energy sector careers and support them in their advancement. 

Young Women in African Power Leadership Training

Power Africa and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) collaborate to build the leadership skills of young women active in Africa’s energy sector. The trainings, held across Africa at YALI’s Regional Leadership Centers, couple YALI’s expertise in developing leadership skills of young Africans with Power Africa’s expertise in the energy sector.

Gender Equality in Off-Grid Energy 

Power Africa supports private sector off-grid energy companies to implement gender inclusive practices in their operations, creating opportunities for women and strengthening the companies’ business outcomes. See this Case Study from Ghana to learn more about this approach.

Women in African Power

The Women in African Power network elevates the presence and increases the participation of women in Africa’s energy sector. This program supports women’s professional advancement through networking events and skills development training.

Engendering Utilities

Engendering Utilities is a global USAID program that builds the capacity of electric utilities to integrate gender equity best practices into their operating procedures. With support from Power Africa, this program includes the participation of African utilities, which bolsters the participation of women in Africa’s energy workforce.

Participants in the Young Women in African Power Leadership Training
Participants in the Young Women in African Power Leadership Training
US Embassy in South Africa

Power Africa Interagency Partners Supporting Women in Energy

Power Africa’s U.S. government partners are working to ensure that the energy sector empowers women and responds to women's needs. Below are some of the initiatives that our partners are undertaking.

USAID EmPOWERing Women and Girls  

USADF’s Women in Energy Challenge

DFC’s Participation in the 2X Gender Lens Investing Challenge

MCC’s Gender and Social Inclusion work in the energy sector

DOE’s Participation in the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative

Stay Up to Date with Women in Energy

A collection of Power Africa’s blogs, thought pieces, resources, and profiles of women active in the sector.  

“I hope for an electricity sector with sustainable growth”: One Woman’s Success Story in the Electric Power Sector in Africa (via MCC.gov)

Strengthening East Africa’s Energy Sector through Gender Equity

Why Gender Matters

Catalyzing Professional Development for West African Women Energy Leaders

Lighting the Way to Women’s Economic Empowerment in Rural Zambia

Energizing Voices — Rekik Bekele, Founder and CEO of Green Scene Energy PLC

Energizing Voices — Gwaliwa Mashaka

Energy Sector Champions Combat Gender-Based Violence

Energizing Voices — Camille André-Bataille, CEO of ANKA Madagascar

Women in Rwandan Energy Initiative Awarded White House Funds

When Women Lead — It’s Good For Business

Energizing Voices - Aichatou Ali Mahamane, Niger Country Representative for Oolu Solar

Solar Mini Grids Boost Women’s Entrepreneurship

End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work

Exploring the Relationship between Energy Access and Gender-Based Violence

Energizing Equality in the African Energy Sector

Women in Energy Regulation

Gearing Up & Standing Out

Passion Overcomes Adversity

The Power of Mentorship

Does your organization work on gender and energy?

If so, Power Africa would like to learn about your efforts. Feel free to contact us.



  • U.S. Department of State Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment.  June 2016
  • National Security Strategy of the United States, February 2015

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