In a concerted effort to tackle gender inequality in Nigeria’s energy sector and advance clean energy solutions, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Power Africa unveiled the “Growing Green Jobs for Women in Nigeria” initiative on September 26. This groundbreaking initiative seeks to empower approximately 500 women and youth with the skills and opportunities needed to secure employment in Nigeria’s burgeoning energy industry.
Historically, women have been underrepresented in energy-related professions in Nigeria, with limited access to leadership or decision-making positions. Recent data from the Powering Jobs Census 2022 paints a stark picture, revealing a notable disparity in the distribution of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) roles (8 percent) compared to non-STEM positions (64 percent) within the Nigerian workforce.
In response to these disparities and in alignment with Nigeria’s sustainability objectives, Power Africa introduced the “Growing Green Jobs for Women in Nigeria” initiative. This comprehensive program offers women and youth across Nigeria access to a wide array of blended learning opportunities and resources essential for thriving in the competitive energy sector. These resources encompass professional and technical skills training in areas such as solar installation, project management, and communication skills. Additionally, the initiative provides employability clinics, job fairs, job shadowing experiences, and mentorship programs.
Susan Oranye, USAID/Nigeria’s Economic Program Management Specialist, underscored the importance of this initiative in the context of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan. She highlighted that Nigeria aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 while lifting 100 million Nigerians out of energy poverty by significantly expanding clean energy generation. This ambitious transition is projected to generate 420,000 jobs within the power sector by 2060, creating an opportunity for women to take on increasingly significant roles in Nigeria’s traditionally male-dominated power industry.
The “Growing Green Jobs for Women” initiative in Nigeria stands as a transformative endeavor, positioning women and marginalized groups at the core of the country’s clean energy transition. By improving access to financial resources and dismantling gender-related barriers, the initiative strives to foster a culture of gender inclusivity within the energy sector. Moreover, it aligns with Nigeria’s commitment to shift away from fossil fuels, contributing to efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change.