Masdar Completes Inaugural Course in Rwanda to Empower Women to Tackle Renewable Energy Access in Off-Grid Communities
Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform today completed its first field-based course in Rwanda to teach young women in rural off-grid communities to harness the potential of clean energy solutions, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Launched in the Gatsibo district of Rwanda, the course, titled “Rural Energy Access: Designing and implementing inclusive community energy systems,” is the inaugural offering of WiSER Cares, a multidisciplinary initiative launched this year to engage WiSER Pioneers in on-the-ground learning experiences that promote sustainable community development. WiSER Pioneers is a year-long program, hosted annually since 2018, that offers women aged 25 to 35 access to bespoke educational workshops and global networking opportunities to inspire sustainability leadership.
Fourteen young women, including nine WiSER Pioneers and five Rwandan professionals, completed the six-day WiSER Cares course, comprised of a series of lectures and hands-on projects led by global experts in renewable energy and sustainable development, with a focus on four core disciplines: 1) energy systems technology and service models; 2) energy access business models and financing; 3) community inclusion, social change and human development; and 4) climate adaptation.
“We are proud to offer the WiSER Cares Rural Energy Access course as part of Masdar’s long-running effort to equip young women with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead their communities and the world in building a more sustainable future,” said Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Masdar’s Executive Director of Brand & Strategic Initiatives, and WiSER Program Director.
“Through a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes development of practical skills, strong technical fundamentals and realistic business models, WiSER Cares aims to facilitate productive cultural exchange and inspire participants to work together to achieve SDG 7 by accelerating the clean energy transition in rural off-grid communities,” added Dr. Fawwaz.
Experts leading the course included Co-Executive Director of Energy Action Partners in Malaysia, Ayu Abdullah; Off-Grid Technical Advisor, Energy Action Partners in Rwanda, Ivan Asiimwe; Co-Founder and Team Leader of Love at Hands in Rwanda, Erica Matasi Gateka; and Co-Director of Energy Action Partners and CEO of ClearSky Power, Boston, Dr. Scott Kennedy.
The WiSER platform was officially launched by Masdar and the Zayed Sustainability Prize on the sidelines of the 70th United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 with the goal of inspiring women to play an active role in addressing global sustainability challenges.