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African Women for Energy Transition panelists share insights on industry challenges, business opportunities

L-R: Rosario Osobase, Head of Commercial, Tenaris Nigeria; Grace Orife, CEO Adelaar Energy; Gina Lagunes ,Head, German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office; Sharon Kaburuk, Advisor, Capacity Development & Private Sector Collaboration at the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) during the African Women For The Energy Transition event held in Lagos lasr weekend.

With the targeted objective aimed at accelerating the dialogue on energy transition and specifically encourage female inclusion in Nigeria, the German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office financed by the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the partnership between Women in Green Hydrogen Network and the African Energy Chamber last week Friday held a networking brunch on ‘African Women for the Energy Transition’.

The historic inaugural networking brunch held at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja welcomed a diverse range of industry stakeholders in the renewable energy sector including women in early-mid level, businesswomen and energy sector female veterans that shared their insights on energy transition and challenges faced as well as business opportunities. 

During the event, a goodwill message was shared by Ruchi Soni, programme manager at SEforALL an organization that leads the initiative on results-based financing and universal energy facility.

Keynote speaker for the event, Rita Okoroafor, a former principal reservoir engineer and currently at Stanford University, introduced the hydrogen processes and emphasized, that “diversity improves the bottom line adding that, there is no just transition where we do not include the voice of women”. 

The keynote speaker strongly urged African woman to take hold of opportunities in academia, while understanding the business and commercial activities of the global energy transition. It was an all-women panel broken into two sessions with the first session addressing the energy security and Nigeria’s preparedness for it. 

While Grace Orife, chief executive officer at Adelaar Energy shared insights on commercial impact of the acclaimed Decade of Gas and necessary financing for the energy transition, Rosario Osobase, head of commercial at Tenaris Nigeria dived into the complexities of exporting and how Nigeria can identify global strengths. On her part, the head, German-Nigerian

Hydrogen Office; Gina Lagunes explained why this moment in the nation’s economic life was appropriate for Nigeria as a fossil fuel exporting country to explore green hydrogen in a sustainable manner ahead of global energy security. 

The session was moderated by Sharon Kaburuk, advisor, capacity development & private sector collaboration at the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP)- an initiative implemented with the technical assistance programme co-funded by the European Union and the German federal ministry for economic co-operation and development (BMZ) and executed by GIZ in collaboration with the Nigeria’s ministry of power.

With the importance of job creation ahead of the energy transition; the second session addressed the businesses and opportunities. 

During the second session moderated by Zafirah Sulaiman, advisor, enabling invironment for RE and EE investment at NESP, one of the panel discussants; Sandra Chukwudozie, chief executive officer, Salpha Energy, recently announced as Forbes Africa 30 under-30 trailblazers for 2022, described her work as a mission towards ending energy poverty. 

Present at the panel who dwelled on other salient issues as well as number of legal instruments as it relates to the energy sector was a lawyer and partner at ENR Advisory, Jumoke Fajemirokun who has handled complex commercial transactions within the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors. 

Another panelist Jocelyn Nwaokenneya, chief finance officer at  Ladol reflected on the logistic, cargo and freight transportation and the diverse prospects for Nigeria to widen its borders. 

Following the successful conclusion of the first networking brunch, organisers of the German-Nigerian Hydrogen Office say, it will continue through various capacity building engagements towards highlighting the need for diversity and inclusion on dialogues on green hydrogen towards a low carbon future. 

Over the years, traditional fossil fuel exporting countries have continued to seek how to leverage the change in demand patterns that are being brought about by the energy transition and as a momentum to decarbonize their economies. 

While considering this future economy, green hydrogen and its derivatives have been identified to be fuels of the future towards securing economic stability for fossil fuel exporting countries and pathways to their net-zero targets.

L-R: Jocelyn Nwaokenneya CFO, Ladol, Jumoke Fajemirokun, lawyer and Partner at ENR Advisory; Sandra Chukwudozie, CEO Salpha Energy; Zafirah Sulaiman, Advisor, Enabling Environment for RE and EE investment at NESP during the African Women For The Energy Transition event held in Lagos lasr weekend.

The Women in Green Hydrogen Network is a network of passionate women working in the green hydrogen sector. The vision is to increase the visibility and amplify the voices of women working in green hydrogen. The network provides a platform to connect, empower and change for women, led by women.

Women make up about 50 percent of the global population. However, the percentage of women working in the energy sector across the decades on average fluctuates around 30 percent. 

According to IRENA, the energy transition is a pathway toward transformation of the global energy sector from fossil-based to zero- carbon by the second half of this century. 

In this transition, green hydrogen utilization is expected to play a vital role towards de-carbonization of the sector especially in hard to abate industries. 

It has been identified that green hydrogen which requires vast renewable energy would prompt African countries to increase production for usage and export, especially to European countries over the near decades.

According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the energy transition is a pathway toward transformation of the global energy sector from fossil to low carbon fuels by the second half of this century. 

It has been identified that green hydrogen which requires renewable energy would prompt African countries in the emerging global hydrogen market especially to Europe in the near decades.

For the transition to be successful, reports have shown that over 18 million jobs must be created and to ensure sustainability and inclusion. Over 50 percent of the global population are females, but only 32 percent of women are working in the renewable energy sector according to data provided by the Women in Green Hydrogen.


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