The yearly Women in Energy conference, organised by the Africa Energy Indaba, will bring together Africa’s leading women in the energy sector for its third iteration on Monday, February 20 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
The Africa Energy Indaba was the first energy conference on the continent to launch a specialised event for the promotion and empowerment of women in the energy sector and the theme of the 2017 one-day conference is ‘Developing African women leaders to create our energy future’.
Research indicates that overcoming gender inequality and gender-related legal restrictions would increase annual gross domestic product growth in sub-Saharan Africa by 0.75%. Women in Energy MD Liz Hart, commented, “it is important for women to play a bigger role in the workplace in Africa, where women play a disproportionately active role as breadwinners and caretakers of the future generations on the continent.
“If more women were represented in the continent’s energy sectors – which are responsible for providing electricity access to improve the quality and standard of living – then many more people would have access to quality education and healthcare.”
Global research shows that empowering women in the workplace makes economic sense. According to Omnicom Group executive VP Janet Riccio, “Women’s leadership is more than important in today’s world: it’s imperative.” She adds that, whether it is in the public or private sectors, organisations that are led by inclusive leadership teams make better decisions and deliver better results. “The qualities that are required to lead in the twenty-first century include the ability to connect, collaborate, empathise, and communicate — all qualities that tend to be ‘female’ in nature. Women in leadership roles position organisations in a way that make them fit for the future.”
The Africa Energy Indaba’s Women in Energy conference is designed to aid the increase in leadership and development of women involved in the African energy sectors. The event comprises a number of keynote addresses by leading African women as well as a number of panel sessions. The event provides a platform for women (and men who are involved in empowering women in the workplace) to network, share their knowledge, discuss achievements and encourage the advancement of women across all sectors of the energy industry.
Through its vast network of collaborative relationships with various ministries such as the Department of Energy and other key stakeholder organisations, Women in Energy provides delegates with access to networks that are committed to seeing the energy sector benefit from more female representation.
Hart says that Africa is the continent of opportunity for the serious energy investor. “With vast natural energy resources ranging from coal, oil, gas, hydro, solar and wind to geothermal, there is ample choice for the discerning entrepreneur.”
Lack of access to electricity means that there is an opportunity for regional governments, energy businesses, organisations and investors to unlock electricity access to the millions of people who do not have power. She adds that the Africa Energy Indaba is the continent’s premier energy conference and exhibition: bringing together leading African and global energy players to unlock energy and business opportunities across the African continent.
The indaba has strategic partnerships with the World Energy Council, the South African National Energy Association and the Africa Union’s planning, coordinating and technical body, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development agency.