Senin, 19 Desember 2011


Story: Zainabu Issah

The Ministry of Energy has pledged to collaborate with the Gender and Energy Network to organise capacity-building workshops in support of efforts to mainstream gender concerns into energy projects in the country.

The programme is aimed at building greater awareness among governments and the international community about the importance of gender issues in energy planning and policies, to empower women to discharge responsibilities assigned to them as custodians of energy resources.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Professor Thomas Akabzaa, stated this in a speech read on his behalf at a workshop on gender audit survey report on the energy sector in the country organised by ENERGIA, an International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy Network.

Prof Akabzaa said women are capable of making changes for the better if they are given the necessary empowerment.

“It will be in the interest of Africa if the education of women is taken seriously and pursued to the fullest since women are much more associated with the primary use of fuel in Africa,” he said.

He said although Africa is rich in energy resources that can be exploited in a sustainable manner for the benefit of its people, it is saddled with the high rate of illiteracy, especially among women in the rural areas.

“ Introducing women to renewable sources of energy and educating them on the use of renewable sources of fuel would go a long way to ensure sustainable energy in Africa,” he explained.

He also said one of the objectives of the ministry is to increase access to modern energy services in rural communities to improve the living standards of the poor majority, who are women.

“The rural electrification programme, petroleum distribution improvement programme, the renewable energy development programme, among others, are efforts of the ministry to reduce the burden of women,” he added.

Prof. Akabazaa, however, called for collaboration which would include the manufacturing of ancillary components for renewable energy systems to create jobs and alleviate poverty.

The Director for Public Investment Division of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mrs Magdaline Apenteng, who was the chairperson for the workshop, said undertaking the gender audit report was important in establishing the quantity and quality of best use of available energy to establish its efficency and effectiveness of activities which impact the lives of users.

She added that both males and females were equal stakeholders in the use of energy but benefit differently, leading to different social and economic outcomes.

She was however optimistic that the key recommendations from the audit report and future ones would lead to the identification of gender-related gaps and issues and thus provide the basis for the more detailed action plan for gender desk activities within the various entities.

She also called for the report to be replicated in several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the Ministries of Finance and Women and Children’s Affairs.

The Ghana Network Coordinator for ENERGIA Africa, Dr Sabina Anokye Mensah, in her address said although women spent long hours everyday collecting fuel wood, agricultural residues and dung,70 per cent of the world’s poor are women.

She explained further that the audit would help identify gaps in energy policies, make gender and energy issues visible to wide audience and also identify linkages between gender and energy in sustainable development.

She said this would help promote gender planning, awareness and mainstreaming in energy-related organisations to develop long-term gender-sensitive polices and programmes and also help people to understand the role of women in the informal sector and their contribution to the economy.

“The potential benefits arising form the use of modern energy technologies in this sector cannot be overlooked,”she added.

Dr Mensah reveled that some past audit findings showed that females mostly involved in fuel collection in rural villages spend hours a day on the average and the commercial biomass activities such as charcoal and fuelwood trading were activities engaged in by males.

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar