Powering change: collaboration drives gender equality and social inclusion in Mozambique

Exciting progress is underway in Mozambique as the government collaborates with SNV and CESET to operationalise the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Seal (GESIS). This groundbreaking initiative aims to create a more inclusive and gender-sensitive regulatory framework in the off-grid energy sub-sector, reducing inequalities in access to energy and the benefits of the energy transition.

Recently, a significant milestone was achieved during a pivotal meeting held on April 19th in Maputo, organised by SNV, as part of the BRILHO programme. This gathering brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including the National Statistics Institute (INE), the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME), the Energy Regulatory Authority (ARENE), Electricity of Mozambique (EDM), the National Energy Fund (FUNAE), Community Energy Systems and Sustainable Energy Transitions (CESET), and the WIN programme. The purpose was to collectively explore different data collection and reporting pathways under the GESIS indicators framework.

Representatives from various ministries, including Health, Agriculture, and Gender, focused their discussions on analysing the overview of the GESIS indicators framework. They also examined how the reporting system could be structured to ensure effective data collection, monitoring, and reporting of human development indicators resulting from energy operators' interventions at both institutional and community levels.

Olimpio Zavale, from INE, emphasised the importance of institutional coordination for efficient data collection, as INE has access to various sources of information through its units. However, Zavale also highlighted the need for alignment between the GESIS indicators framework and the National Statistics System, stressing that implementation should contribute to gathering more evidence on gender equality and social inclusion standards in Mozambique's energy sector.

Javier Ayala, the Energy Sector Leader at SNV, expressed how the BRILHO programme has worked collaboratively with ARENE and MIREME to establish an enabling environment for energy access in off-grid areas. He described the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Seal as an innovative initiative developed under BRILHO's leadership, aiming to promote gender equality and social inclusion standards within Mozambique's energy sector.

Ayala further stated that the purpose of the meeting was to evaluate the effectiveness of the GESIS indicators framework and ensure its alignment with the National Statistics System, thus facilitating the flow of information for monitoring and impact evaluation processes.

Vanesa Broto, representing CESET, shared insights on the implementation of a multi-country project in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Mozambique, specifically focusing on the off-grid sub-sector. Their project aims to facilitate the transition to renewable energies, taking into consideration gender equality, social inclusion standards, and the unique local context.

Moving forward, concrete actions will be taken to ensure the reporting of gender equality and social inclusion indicators within Mozambique's energy sector. With generous financial support from the UK and Sweden, GESIS is being developed under the leadership of the BRILHO programme in collaboration with MIREME, ARENE, FUNAE, EDM, CESET, and WIN. Its primary objectives are to stimulate the economic growth of energy operators by promoting gender equality and social inclusion standards while ensuring that the social impacts generated in communities through access to energy are accurately reflected in national statistics.

This collaborative effort represents a significant stride toward a more inclusive and equitable energy sector in Mozambique, demonstrating the country's commitment to sustainable development and harnessing the power of gender equality and social inclusion for a brighter future.