Helping Develop a Gender Assessment Directive in West Africa

three women wearing safety vests and helmets standing in front of wind turbinesThe Clean Energy Solutions Center partnered with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Sullivan and Cromwell LLC and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Power Africa program to develop the Directive on Gender Assessments in Energy Projects. This directive provides a legal framework for the 15 ECOWAS member states to implement actions established in the ECOWAS Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access policy. This Directive is designed to assure that stakeholders in the energy sector conduct gender assessments in the planning and execution phases of energy infrastructure projects. Prior to drafting the Directive, Solutions Center experts conducted research to understand the needs of the region. This research led to a background study titled Developing a Legal Instrument for Gender Assessment in Energy Infrastructure Planning and Development within ECOWAS. This study analyzed gender-related issues associated with energy infrastructure development and the existing energy regulatory framework in the ECOWAS region. This study laid the groundwork for creating and adopting the legal instrument for conducting gender assessments of energy infrastructure projects. The Directive was validated by all 15 Member States on June 28, 2017, following a three-day workshop in Accra, Ghana. A blog post from Sustainable Energy for All offers unique insights into the Solutions Center’s work with the ECOWAS region and the benefits of gender equality and inclusivity.

Impact of Assistance

Considering gender equality and inclusivity when planning and implementing energy infrastructure projects will help the ECOWAS region create more job opportunities for local populations in the energy sector and potentially achieve significant economic growth and energy security in the region.