The EBRD is putting women at the centre of its commitment to Egypt’s transition to a green economy with a new initiative that supports the country’s vast potential for renewable energy.
Launched at an event in Cairo today for enhancing employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for women in green energy, the programme aims to identify and address the key barriers hindering the development of the region’s renewable energy economy.
The Programme for Supporting Renewable Energy and Promoting Gender Equality in Egypt is one aspect of a joint US$ 7 million technical cooperation initiative co-funded by the EBRD and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Its aim is to enhance renewable energy integration, policies and planning to support the country in meeting its target of 20 per cent renewable energy generation by 2022 and 42 per cent by 2035.
With one of the fastest-growing populations globally, Egypt has seen a rapid increase in energy demand in recent years. To meet that need, Egypt and the EBRD have identified scaling up the country’s renewable energy capacity as a strategic priority.
As a result, the Egyptian renewable energy sector is set to create new jobs, which represents a significant opportunity for women in Egypt to expand their skills and participate in a high-value, high-growth sector.
The programme will strive to identify challenges that prevent women’s participation in the sector and potential skills mismatches, and will work with the Egyptian authorities to overcome these issues.
Since rapidly growing markets offer multiple opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive, the programme will have a specific focus on looking at the impact that new renewable energy projects can have for women-led small and medium-sized enterprises. This will include recommendations for ways to facilitate a greater number of successful women-led small businesses in the sector.
This approach is due to the EBRD and the GCF’s commitment to mainstreaming gender initiatives in their investments and projects. The GCF is the first climate finance mechanism to include considerations for gender equality in their project cycle from the start. Similarly, the EBRD adopted its first ever Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality in 2015 that mandates the promotion of policies and practices that contribute to building gender equitable and sustainable economies.
The EBRD is a leading climate finance provider in its regions, having invested nearly €30 billion in Green Economy Transition projects since 2006, with €5.2 billion invested in renewable energy.
To date, the EBRD has committed over €4.8 billion to financing 91 projects in Egypt, including 16 renewable projects, across a wide range of sectors.