Women inclusion vital to 100% electrification in Rwanda

Ensuring more women participate in the renewable energy market will help Rwanda to achieve its energy transition and 100% electrification goals, according to the Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete.

Gatete was speaking during an online press conference in which the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) launched its new report on employment trends within the renewables sector in 2020.

Commenting on the findings of the Renewable Energy and Jobs – annual review 2021 report, Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, said in 2020 “women accounted for one-third of all jobs, better than the conventional sector but it is not enough. For the energy transition to be an achievable one, it needs to be just and inclusive.”

Gatete added that Rwanda is targeting to achieve 100% electricity access by 2030, and increasing the participation and role of women is vital to achieving the goal.

Gatete, said: “It’s a big challenge, currently we are at 66% of electrification and it has been a long journey from 1% in 1994.”

He said the participation of women in the energy sector has been limited by the lack of skilled female candidates to fill roles including engineers.

Gatete said: “There were not many in science and technology. However, we are seeing more females being involved in the electrical engineering segment and enrolment is increasing.

“The government has embarked on an initiative to make sure women are well placed and the mechanisms include a written programme and that more funds are being directed towards the implementation of the roadmap.”