In recognition of the need to support strategies that will promote and enable equal participation of women in the energy value chain, the Women in Energy Network (WIEN) in partnership with the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) have concluded plans to host International Women in Energy Symposium.

The Virtual Symposium with a sub-theme: “Light Up Africa” is scheduled to hold on Saturday the 13th of March 2021 from 9am to 3pm.

Speaking during a press conference on Friday, the President of Women in Energy Network (WIEN), Ms Funmi Ogbue said that the symposium is aimed at bringing together Women in Energy across Africa. Adding that event will yield initiatives, to extend the footprint of women in Energy to new frontiers and increase women’s talent contribution to Light up Africa.

Ogbue noted that the event is in alignment with the 2021 International Women’s Day theme – “Choose to Challenge”. According to WIEN’s President, the Symposium looks to encourage women across Africa to choose to challenge gender bias and inequality; to take a position in driving the energy transition and to celebrate the achievements of women driven successes in the energy sector.

“To Celebrate IWD, in partnership with REAN we aim to bring together the women in energy across Africa to collaborate on a S.M.A.R.T gender inclusion action plan, signing a charter to commit to the action items within a certain timeline.

“This event presents another opportunity for further actualization of the WIEN vision, which is to be the leading Network that promotes the participation and advancement of Women in leadership across the energy value chain in support of National Development,” Ogbue said. 

Also speaking, REAN’s Executive Secretary, Ms. Lande Abudu, said: “we are delighted to be co-hosting the Women in Energy Symposium. There has never been a more critical time to amplify discussions that will enhance gender inclusion in the energy sector.

“The Symposium joins a growing list of activities that REAN is involved in to encourage the participation of women in the energy sector. The link between gender equality and reduced energy poverty is something we have long recognized, and we are certain that this event will deliver positive outcomes.”

The symposium is the second of its kind hosted by WIEN with confirmed speakers which include Olasimbo Sojinrin – Country Manager Solar Sisters; Chike Nwosu- MD/CEO Waltersmith; Usman Yusuf- COO Gas and Power NNPC; Engr Tony Ogbuigwe – Managing Consultant Pejad Group; and Tari Akhibi- GM HR, WalterSmith.

Last year’s edition had high profile speakers, including Mr Olamide Moses, CoS/STA to Minister of State for Petroleum; Engr. Auwalu Saraki, DG Department of Petroleum Resources; Ms. Omolola Ani, Drilling Manager, Exxon Mobil; Elo Olaniyan, Commercial and NOV Manager, SPDC; Ms. Judith Mbonu, GM Procurement, ExxonMobil; Ms Patricia Opene-Odili, Contract Manager Exxon Mobil and Antony Ellis, GM contracting and procurement, Shell.

Previous sponsors also include: MRS Oil and Gas Ltd Nigeria Plc, Deep Blue Energy Services Ltd, Jake Riley Ltd, Energy Training Centre, Ms. Charlotte Essiet and Dr. Felicia Agubata.

This year, the symposium promises to host seasoned speakers in similar pedigree, drawn from the renewable energy space, government agencies, academia, as well as oil and energy companies with sustainable business models on energy transition.

Activities lined up ahead of the symposium includes: Supernova Girl Initiative: Supernova Girl is a WIEN Initiative to encourage and motivate young girls to study related subjects and aspire to come into the energy industry. This will be carried out through school visits by the organisers 

The Light up Africa with Women Pledge: Leveraging on the 2021 Global IWD theme, the organisers will encourage CEOs of key companies and government officials in Nigeria to do a photo pledge supporting the IWD theme and post on their Social Media handles using #LightUpAfrica, #ChooseToChallenge hashtags.

Stakeholders will be asked to choose from a couple of key themes presented by the organisers to make Public commitments to drive positive change and monitor progress towards gender equality in the energy industry and a gender equal Africa.

Winning with Women Award (WIWA): The Winning with Women Award is an Employer programme to recognize and reward companies, and individuals who champion workplace policies and programmes that help women succeed and thrive.

The organisers are hereby calling on companies to self-nominate or be nominated for this award. For enquiries, award nominations and sponsorship, please contact the organisers via [email protected] and [email protected].

By Peace Obi

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