An Analysis of the Role of Women in Curbing Energy Poverty in Nigeria

Adama A. Abdullahi

Abstract


Despite Nigeria’s abundance of fossil and renewable energy resources, Nigerians still experience acute energy poverty; they either lack access to modern energy sources or have to cope with inadequate supply and poor quality. Close to 95 million people are fully reliant on traditional woodstoves for cooking.  Poor access to energy is directly affecting livelihoods, lowering quality of life and hurting the economy. Poor Energy Access is the root of energy poverty, it leads to drudgery, greater health risks, severely undermines health, inhibits education, limits livelihood opportunities, and reduces the chances for the poor to rise out of poverty, ultimately diminishing the world’s chances to successfully achieve the SDGs by 2030. Even though global efforts are headed in the right direction to end energy poverty, the rate of interventions is far behind the population growth rate and calls for dramatic accelerations in mobilizing resources to increase access to renewable energy alternatives.

This study explores and emphasises that women are not only a special interest group in using renewable energy to alleviate energy poverty in Nigeria; they are the mainstream users and often producers of energy, it has become glaring that women are the fastest growing cohort of entrepreneurs and business owners in many developing countries especially Nigeria.  Without their involvement, renewable energy projects risk being inappropriate and failing. Energy researchers who will leave women out of energy research and analysis will be failing to understand a large part of energy consumption and production all over the world. Women are a key resource in the energy service delivery process though underutilized. They are primarily viewed only as energy consumers even while it is the women that experience energy poverty much more severely than men. The result shows that there is great opportunity for collaboration with women on community energy projects that can contribute to ending energy poverty in Nigeria. Also there is opportunity in development that is yet to be harnessed in women’s entrepreneurship & potential impacts for the household and agricultural energy sector in Nigeria because evidently financial liberation of women has a greater impact on the community than any other demographic.

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