Global Affairs Canada thanks ECREEE for the invitation to participate in the ECOWAS Regional Validation Workshop looking at Business Opportunities for Women in a Changing Energy Value Chain in West Africa. For Canada, the workshop was an important opportunity to underline our commitment to promoting women’s leadership in Africa.
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy puts women and girls at the forefront of our development efforts. Canada’s feminist vision of international development aims to support inclusive growth in developing countries by promoting the economic empowerment and leadership of women and girls as a means of eradicating poverty and to bring about a world where men and women enjoy the same rights, can access the same resources, share unpaid and care work fairly, and have productive employment and decent work.
Key to achieving Canada’s commitments is to promote women’s entrepreneurship. This involves promoting greater financial inclusion for women, and equal access to capital, markets, digital technology and business development services, and supporting technical and vocational training for women.
At the same time, Canada’s feminist international assistance policy also prioritizes supporting developing countries’ efforts to transition to low carbon, environmentally sustainable and climate resilient economies and societies. This involves the promotion of renewable energy as a clean and affordable source of energy for Africa’s growing energy needs.
In this context, the Government of Canada announced, as part of a G7 commitment at the Climate Change Conference of Paris (COP21), a contribution of $150 million in support of the objectives of the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) to help increase African’s energy access and curb the effects of climate change. AREI is an African-led continental framework, which aims to accelerate access to clean, appropriate and affordable energy using renewable energy systems. The commitment will be implemented through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) under a program entitled the Canada-IFC Renewable Energy Program for Africa. A proponent wishing to apply for IFC financing, including funding from the Canada-IFC Renewable Energy Program for Africa, should contact IFC directly through IFC local country offices, located throughout Africa.
Canada applauds efforts to promote a leadership role for women in the renewable energy sector in Africa. As the principal consumers of energy at the household level, women can play a critical role in the energy value chain, including at a leadership level in the emerging and innovative renewables sector.
To that end, Canada congratulates ECREE for a very successful workshop and in particular for bringing together women entrepreneurs in the energy sector from all over West Africa –including anglophone, francophone and Lusophony women. Coming from a wide range of roles in the energy sector, the participants shared their deep knowledge and expertise, underlining both the common challenges and opportunities they face as well as the diversity of the region. This was a unique and important learning opportunity to promote women entrepreneurs.
It is therefore a pleasure to wish ECREE the very best with its work and to applaud the efforts of women entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector in West Africa.
Director General / Directeur général
Pan-Africa Bureau / Direction générale panafricaine
Global Affairs Canada / Affaires mondiales Canada