Sustainable Energy

Workshop with 30 Afghan Women
Today, a ten-day workshop by the Women Initiative for Sustainable Energy (WISE) ended in Delhi, India. 30 female Afghans learned how to start a business in the sustainable energy sector. The German programme for institutional development in the Afghan energy sector (IDEA) implemented the workshop together with the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW). The Afghan-German Cooperation funded the activity at a total cost of about AFN 12 million.

The closing event brought together various political actors and private company representatives – including women. National and regional experts illustrated key concepts of entrepreneurship to the audience. Further, representatives from the Afghan private sector spoke about their experiences in setting up a business using renewable energy sources. High-profile officials such as the deputy minister of MEW’s energy directorate, Mr Mohammad Gul Khulmi, attended the event.

The Afghan Renewable Energy Union’s (AREU) CEO, Mr Kabul Khan Tadbir, highlighted, “Women are important electricity users and therefore play a vital role in the country’s development. AREU aims at building a supportive network and enhancing market opportunities for female entrepreneurs. I would like to express my gratitude to WISE. The initiative paved the way for women to play a more prominent role in the sustainable energy sector.”

During the workshop, 30 female participants learnt how to improve their management skills and develop individual action plans for starting a business. They are now able to create and implement innovative business models in sustainable energy. In future, their businesses could play a vital role in creating jobs and facilitating Afghanistan’s sustainable development.

An additional training session by WISE will enable the attendees to act as multipliers, passing on their new experiences and knowledge to other women. Emphasising WISE’s importance for Afghanistan’s development, one participant said, “Such initiatives empower women to contribute significantly to this country’s development.” Another woman added, “WISE motivated me to start a business.”

On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Institutional Development for Energy in Afghanistan (IDEA) programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. IDEA aims at enabling Afghan society to access energy from renewable sources to boost economic growth, to reduce poverty and protect the environment. IDEA cooperates with the Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) to implement various activities, creating general conditions for a reliable electricity supply. For example, since 2015, IDEA has organised 21 conferences and workshops for private and public stakeholders on renewable energy, energy awareness and energy efficiency. At the same time, it has organised related job-specific training courses for almost 430 Afghans from the public and private energy sectors.