The VEF Virtual Series “Empowering Women and Youth to Accelerate the Clean Energy Transition”, on January 12-13, invited women and young leaders to discuss how we can ensure a clean energy transition that is just and leaves no one behind.
For this year’s first virtual VEF session, we were excited to see our Global Citizen Scholar (2019) Samuel Kofi Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow (2019) Horia Sardarzada participate in the January Edition, focused on gender, youth and equity.
After introductory remarks, the session diverged into four Breakout Sessions on different themes. The session “Enabling Environment for Youth,” featured Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Kofi Afadu Co-founder of Light my World International, an NGO that is working to promote access to clean energy solutions to off-grid communities in Ghana. The session also featured Israel Faleye – MYSOLARBID LTD, Jichen Liu Clear Plate®, Pontsho Moletsane – GCIP South Africa 2017 Youth Winner, Esther Wanza – SDG7 Youth Constituency, Tracey Crowe – SeforAll, Anurag Maloo – Seedstars Asia-Pacific , and David Out – Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Global Citizen Scholar Samuel commented how including youth is a prerequisite to a successful clean energy transition. He also highlighted that there is a need for youth to take action and that their actions should be taken seriously by decision-makers. “It is time for the youth to take action. The youth of today and the world will benefit or suffer from our actions and in-actions. Let’s take action in solving problems and connecting them with our passions, creating a sustainable and equitable world for all.”
Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada, who is currently serving as Director-General of Early Childhood Care and Education ECCE/Kindergartens at Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Afghanistan, participated in the Breakout Session “Enabling Environment for Women,” alongside Sheila Oparaocha – ENERGIA/Hivos, Abir El Saadi – Ministry of Trade and Industry Egypt, Kerry Max – Global Affairs Canada, Kavita Sinha – Green Climate Fund, Marta Luca- SNAM, Jasmin Haider – Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology, and Reuben James Barrete – Male Champions of Change.Horia pointed to gender norms, social and cultural practices, the lack of financial funds, and limited access to networks and partnerships as the main challenges women entrepreneurs face in equally leading, contributing to and benefiting from the clean energy transition.
“Through the platform Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE) we started to provide input, access to information for female fresh graduates who want to invest in green energy or do partnerships. We provided them with access to information, training, advocacy, where they could meet with financial organizations.”Horia Sardarzada is founder of the organization Women’s Initiatives for Sustainable Energy (WISE), which is aiming to economically empower women in Afghanistan to invest in clean energy sector.
To watch a recap of the session, visit VEF Virtual Series
For more information about the VEF, visit VIENNA ENERGY FORUM