For Judith Mugeta, the journey started with a workshop given by Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency. At the training session, she learned about the cost and time savings of biogas, as well as the health and environmental benefits of moving away from charcoal and wood fires to cook for her family. With this information, she was able to develop a business plan, secure a loan, and not only install a biogas pipeline into her kitchen, but also become a local entrepreneur, creating new business opportunities for her family and community. This video tells Judith’s story.
The training Judith participated in is one of the results of a World Bank program that works with governments in six African countries to incorporate gender issues into energy sector development. The program, funded by ESMAP through the Africa Renewable Energy Access Program (AFREA), supports capacity building in Senegal, Mali, Benin, Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia. Customized for the needs of each country, the program is designed to help governments identify how men and women use and access energy differently, and to identify ways to improve women’s access to energy services.
In Tanzania, the World Bank worked with the Rural Energy Agency to conduct an internal assessment of organizational structure and policies, to help ensure that women were getting equal access to energy services and programs. As a result, the agency has developed guidelines on how to take gender into consideration in training and projects, and developed tools and indicators to help staff and project developers think about women’s needs and access when it comes to energy. The agency has now identified gender as a priority area, and is developing a 5-year plan to increase outreach to women—so that stories like Judith’s become the new norm.