Hivos Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Renewable Energy

(Photo by Tamara Kaunda for our partner IIED.)

 ... but at the same time stay true to their values

In the spirit of partnership, as Renew’N’Able Malawi’s (RENAMA) Advocacy and Communications Officer for Green and Inclusive Energy (GIE) project, (which is being implemented with support from HIVOS International), had a joint radio program with Youth and Net Counselling’s radio presenter, Jonas Kachikho, on YONECO FM.

The two organizations, together with three others, Community Energy Malawi (CEM), Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) and National Association of Business Women (NABW) form a Malawi partnership in GIE.

4,000 female entrepreneurs bring renewable energy to over 2 million people

How do you get sustainable energy solutions for more than 2 million people in the most remote areas of Africa and Asia? And how do you make sure these solutions are really used? The answer is as brilliant as it is simple: appeal to the power of women. Since March 2016, the ENERGIA programme has been hosted by Hivos, and the results speak volumes. So Xenia Wassenbergh of Hivos’ People Unlimited Post sat down with two of the motors behind ENERGIA to find out more.

My father is from Nigeria. In 1967, a terrible civil war broke out in his region. Biafra wanted to proclaim it independence, to which the Nigerian state reacted with bloody slaughter and systematic starvation. Millions of Biafrans died, and images of malnourished children shocked the world.

The National Association of Business Women (NABW) held a meeting to introduce the Green and Inclusive Energy project to the Mchinji District Executive Council in Malawi .

Forty-two stakeholders from government departments and non-governmental organisations participated in the meeting.

NABW is one of Hivos Southern Africa’s partners under the Green and Inclusive Energy programme in Malawi. The Green and Inclusive Energy is a five-year strategic partnership with the Dutch government, launched at the beginning of 2016 to help influence the uptake of renewable energy.

Cities will dominate the landscape of the future. UN projections indicate that 75 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. Africa, in particular, will change from a continent of states to a continent of cities.

Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) conducted nine roadshows in Zomba and Machinga districts in Malawi as part of a mass awareness campaign to promote the use of clean and sustainable energy. With support from Hivos Southern Africa, YONECO is implementing a project called: "Stimulating Citizen and Public Engagement in Green and Inclusive Energy for Sustainable Development."

More than 90 per cent of the population in Malawi depends on biomass source of energy, only 10 per cent has access to the national grid power system covered by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM). This negatively influences several development sectors including health, education and economy, and hugely affects the environment.

The Chitipa District Health Office (DHO) in Malawi is excited with the Green Inclusive Energy (GIE) project which Community Energy Malawi (CEM) is implementing in the district. The DHO lamented at the lack of technical backstopping on solar PV and other renewable energy systems installed at health centres in the district. 

“We have several partners who support us with solar installations and usually 2 or 3 months down the line, the systems breakown because of lack of professional maintenance”, said Dr Bandawe, Chitipa’s DHO.