Global Citizen Scholar Samuel Afadu & Global Citizen Fellow Horia Sardarzada at VEF

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 FaleyeMYSOLARBID LTD, Jichen Liu Clear Plate®, Pontsho Moletsane – GCIP South Africa 2017 Youth Winner, Esther Wanza – SDG7 Youth Constituency, Tracey CroweSeforAll, Anurag MalooSeedstars Asia-Pacific , and David OutRural 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 OparaochaENERGIA/Hivos, Abir El SaadiMinistry of Trade and Industry Egypt, Kerry MaxGlobal Affairs Canada, Kavita SinhaGreen 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. 

Credits: https://twitter.com/ForumVienna/status/1350056114260504576

 

To watch a recap of the session, visit VEF Virtual Series

For more information about the VEF, visit VIENNA ENERGY FORUM

CEO Froehler Moderates Food Systems Panel at VEF

On November 4, 2020, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler moderated a breakout session during the “Priorities at the Farm Level” session of the Vienna Energy Forum “Food Systems Track” online series. This year the sessions serve as a platform to discuss pathways to better align the energy transition with the food systems transformation, focusing on opportunities in developing countries.

The “Enablers for Progress” discussion welcomed: Fiona Hoffman-Harland – Shell Foundation, Manssor Ahmad – Agribusiness Impact Investment of The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of UK, Camile Andre Bataille – ANKA Madagascar, Joseph Kienzle – FAO, and Lowell Randel – Global Cold Chain Alliance. 

The session (starting at 1:47:10) focused on the enablers for food systems transitions, especially for enabling opportunities when considering #farm-level priorities. The panelists discussed what is needed as a helping hand for smallholder farmers and how to effectively involve women and youth in food system processes. 

Joseph Kienzle – FAO, emphasized: “We need transportation, access to modern technology, and capacity building incentive packages. We need to make the private sector understand what smallholder farmers need.”

 

On how to integrate and reach women and youth on these opportunities, Lowell Randel – Global Cold Chain Alliance recommended that “We really have to pay close attention and provide them with training on, farm and the value of the cold chain. It is educating the youth and women that is critical to keep the cold chain and extend product life”.

Fiona Hoffman-Harland – Shell Foundation called for a need to focus on the entrepreneurial side of women, reasoning that “We must address social barriers and not just provide women tailored products. Women spend more money on their families than their businesses. Both men and women struggle with time poverty. But women struggle more than men with subsidized time, child-care, which go hand in hand with social norms.”

Credit: https://twitter.com/ForumVienna/status/1325786918026682368
Credit: https://twitter.com/ForumVienna/status/1325786918026682368
 

To conclude the session CEO Monika Froehler put together a list of recommendations to provide opportunities for smallholder farmers, she continued: “The full chain value approach needs to be taken into consideration. The three-legged-stool is key; we need training, technology, and finance.”