Female engineers empowered with new skills on energy systems
CESET project in collaboration with Mzuzu University, organized a vocational training targeting female technicians from various fields of energy. The training was funded by the ESRC Impact Accelerator Account as part of the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Seal project, which aims to address the unequal power relations experienced by people on the grounds of gender, ability, location, ethnicity and language and agency when accessing energy resources.
Malawi has a smaller number of trained female technicians who are actively involved in clean energy system installations that contribute to a just energy transition. Speaking during the opening ceremony event, Dean of the faculty of Science and Innovation, Dr Artz Luwanda, emphasized the importance of encouraging the participation of female workforce if energy access, justice and gender are to be achieved in Malawi. He further alleged the need of diversifying in the electricity generation to address the current electricity crisis being faced by Malawi due to the impacts of climate change by adopting other clean energy options such as wind and geothermal power just to mention a few. A group of 20 female engineers have been trained in designing, sizing and installation of clean energy systems. The 10 days vocational training was also designed to address the skills gap required in the energy sector by imparting the participants with new skills in renewable energy sector.
"I have been longing and dreaming of knowing how to design, size and install solar PV systems but I had never had a chance of getting attached or involved in any training but thanks to CESET project for coming up with this beneficial initiative’’ , said Miss Martha Phiri one of the participants.
She dreams of opening her own Solar installation company in Lilongwe. In her closing remarks representing the participants, Miss Elizabeth acknowledged that the training has been so beneficial to them, both theory and practical and they will be going home as well-trained energy engineers ready to contribute to energy transitions in Malawi through the promotion of clean energy options.
TCRET, Test and Training Center for Renewable Energy Technologies under the department of Energy Systems at Mzuzu University in collaboration with the CESET project were the ones training the female participants. This was a holistic learning method which focused on solar PV, wind Energy and hydro power systems. The trainees were entitled to receive a certificate which is also a requirement to obtain a MERA installation permit of grade E. The training was fully funded by CESET project which is a 3-year project exploring how community energy systems can contribute to a just energy transition in Africa.