South African female participate at the 2nd Edition of the Women Energize Women Conference

The second edition of the Women Energize Women Conference was held in Munich on 15 June 2023 during the “Smarter-E Europe fair”, Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry. The Conference was jointly organised by the Bilateral Energy Partnerships (EP) at GIZ, the Global Women Network (GWNET), and the Bundesverband Eneruerbare Energie e.V. (BEE) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action (BMWK).

The annual Women Energize Women Conference is the highlight of a campaign that aims to empower, motivate, inform, inspire, and connect women working in the energy sector across the world. It does so by offering interactive on-site, hybrid and online events, and online via social media to help foster awareness and opportunities for a gender equitable energy transition.

This year’s Conference hosted discussion groups, workshops and other innovative formats focusing on topics around financing the energy transition and investing in women. With female participants invited from across the globe and an exclusively female panel of speakers, this allowed for a platform for women and allies to connect, their ideas to gain more visibility on an international stage, and a space to engage in the just energy transition dialogue amongst themselves. This year's programme also saw our largest cohort yet – bringing together women working in the energy transition from Algeria, Brazil, Chile, China, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Japan and Vietnam.

As the South African-German Energy Partnership  Secretariat in Pretoria, we nominated and accompanied two women representatives who had an opportunity to take part in the study tour.

  1. Ms. Aurélie Kalenga, a broadcast journalist from Channel Africa and the Communications Manager at African Climate Reality Project, formed part of the 13-member female cohort of energy journalists from various EP countries who participated in the Media Fellowship study tour. Their comprehensive 5-day programme included excursions to a hydropower and biogas plant, a city tour, the Smarter-E Europe fair, and the Women Energize Women Conference as well as a side event to share experiences from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
  2. Ms. Mvumikazi Vimbani, an energy policy expert from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMRE), joined 12 other female participants from the EP countries who are part of the Mentorship Programme jointly organised with the GWNET. Their 5-day programme was also packed with a Women Leadership workshop, participation at the Women Energize Women Conference and visits to the Smarter-E Europe Fair where they explored exhibitions ranging from solar PV and energy storage to e-mobility and battery recycling. They also took part in a guided tour on solar PV and grid integration of solar, attended a presentation on “Global Solar Development”, and had a networking dinner with the Media Fellows and other colleagues.

Reflecting on the South African experience, Ms. Karabo Masekwameng, the Communication and Knowledge Management Advisor at said, “I was energised and inspired to be part of the discussions with women from far and near who are catalysts for advancing gender equality and energy journalism globally. I took a lot home on this year’s theme and solutions discussed on financing the energy transition and investing in women, which mainly addresses the issues surrounding the inherent discrimination women face in accessing start-ups funding, capital, loans, and the gender pay gap. The visit to the E-Smarter exhibition was an experience and learning exercise too”.

Should you want to learn more from the discussions held during the #womenenergize conference, all the speeches and panel presentations are now available on YouTube: