In an effort to promote women participation in renewable energy sector, 50 women in Ngamiland have received training from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The pilot workshop was held by UNDP in partnership with the Department of Energy. The women received training in areas such as solar installations, assembling, maintenance and repairs.
This maiden workshop is part of their funded projects in the areas of Climate Change and Environment, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth and inclusive and Democratic Governance and the aim is to have similar workshop in other parts of Botswana.
Johnson Maiketso, from UNDP explained: ‘’this training aims to promote conservation of natural resources in Botswana. Through these training we want to promote sustainable livelihoods. it’s good to adopt solar energy because Botswana has a lot of solar potential which is cheaper compared to non-renewable sources.
Kefilwe Mokotedi said ‘’ One of UNDP target groups is empowering women and youth and the vulnerable sector of the community. So, this training was initially made exclusively for women but we realized that the need for this training is cross cutting like you will see all men in attendance who are part of the cooperatives together with women. Our motto is when you empower women you empower the community.’’
The motive of this workshop was to achieve green and prosperous nation was motivated by the knowledge that some of the communities are located in rural areas away from the electricity grid despite their electricity needs. ‘’They need to cook, light; they need electricity for their businesses and so forth ‘’ Mokotedi noted.
Mokoted further explained: ‘’In a lot of these areas, you will find that people need solar lights to fend off elephants. The cost of electricity is very high. But what are the entry levels especially for people operating small businesses. So solar was therefore identifies as one of energy access points which could benefit the communities.
James Molenga, an energy engineer from the Department of Energy said training helps his department in advancing its mandate of promoting energy access in the country and promoting uptake of cleaner energies.
Molenga said the training was motivated by fact that majority of participants lacked knowledge about solar energy and how it worked.
Therefor the training drilled participants and provided them with technical skills necessary for the installation and maintenance of solar panels as well as budgeting and accounting to empower women socially and economically.