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African Renewable Energy Conference Focuses on Gender

1 July 2011: The third International Conference of the African Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA), held on the theme “Renewable Energy and Gender,” aimed to provide a platform for participants to consult about the policies, technologies and financial mechanisms needed to promote renewable energy deployment in the African region, with a focus on the linkages between energy and gender.

The conference, referred to as “Power Kick for Africa 2011,” took place from 29 June-1 July 2011, in Abuja, Nigeria, and was organized by AREA, in conjunction with the World Future Council, the Heinrich Böll Foundation Nigeria, the Energy Commission of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

The overall objective of the conference was to help fill the gap between policy and best practice. During the conference, participants considered the role of gender as a main determinant of energy access, use and opportunities, as well as of control over all energy resources. Highlighting that "women should be at the forefront of the energy revolution," Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister, South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry, underlined the need for "a change in energy production paradigm." Participants also underlined the need for on-the-ground action and implementation as well as sustainable policies and legislation.

The conference also featured a solar-powered public screening of the Women's Football World Cup in Abuja. The screening aimed to combine the theoretical discourse of the conference with a demonstration of renewable energy application in an urban context. [Conference Website]