Africa Energy Market: Leveraging Female Development Opportunities
Despite a slow existing social and economic development, Africa continues to attract profitable investment, especially in the promising energy market. This is because of the abundant natural resources essential to the mass production of electric batteries, wind turbines, and low-carbon technologies Africa is housing.
With a steady pace of investment opportunities in the African energy market comes economic growth. However, the opportunities could be utilized more. For instance, the informal sector of various developing economies in the world, Africa inclusive, is driven by female entrepreneurs. In fact, according to the African Development Bank, Africa has the highest percentage of women entrepreneurs in the world, with 25.9% of women starting or managing a business in sub-Saharan Africa.
Against the above development, this theme’s objective is to discuss female development opportunities ranging from women in business, energy, technology, academia, banking, and politics within and beyond the continent’s shores. Furthermore, the theme aims to share the opportunities that come with deliberate investment in girl child education. Doing so will ensure cultivating benefits of equitable social advancement while improving economic productivity and creating
opportunities for income growth.
Panel Discussion: Global Opportunities, Risks and Threats facing Industry Women in the Current Energy Trilemma (Energy Affordability, Accessibility & Sustainability)
The increase in global energy demand by more than 25% in the next decade amidst geopolitical tensions around climate change for a shift to greener energy sources brings to fore the challenges that the future holds for fossil fuel dependent economies in Africa. While fossil fuel remains the lead in the energy mix today, the gradual decline in investment portfolios, technology research and equivocal transition mantra beg the question of affordability, accessibility and sustainability of the proposed ratios skewed towards alternate sources.
It is noteworthy that industry women can leverage on their high adaptive edge which they have demonstrated in the oil and gas sphere and also cash in on various opportunities in research, innovation and technology. Bearing in mind the risks of trailing behind in terms of participation, expertise and competence and the concomitant threats of redundancy in our fast-paced industry, it is important that the adequate skillsets are developed to meet the expectations of the future.
The theme will be discussed along the following perspectives:
a) The global opportunities open to various skillsets in the transition towards alternative energy sources to achieve energy affordability, accessibility and sustainability.
b) Insight into upskilled fossil fuel exploitation to meet clean energy demands.
c) The aggressive drive for STEM in schools for effective female participation in the energy transition era.
d) The risks and threats of the new evolution and their effects on the female professional in the energy industry
Round Table Session: Recalibrating in the Post-Covid-Technology-Driven Work Regime: Work-Life Integration vs Work-Life Balance
Work is a part of life. However, no one wants work to be their entire life. Rather, most people strive to find a way to spread their time and energy to their job as well as their personal life, which includes their family, hobbies, and personal responsibilities. Typically, there are two ways to achieve that scenario—work-life balance or work-life integration.
Work-life balance is about creating clear, firm boundaries between your work and your life. It is focused on keeping life and work separate. Work-life integration, on the other hand, refers to the idea of “blending” work responsibilities and personal responsibilities. As a result of the pandemic and the coinciding shifts to remote and hybrid work, work-life integration is eclipsing work-life balance. Work-life balance no longer truly reflects the reality of post-pandemic work.
In reality, people are dealing with personal needs throughout the day, they check work emails while in bed at night, and generally blend the personal and professional aspects of their lives.
In an office setting, work-life integration focuses on the outcome and quality of work, not when or for how long the work is being done. It is about managing one’s schedule in a way that accommodates the ever-changing needs of the organization or business without forcing one to sacrifice the important things in your personal life.
To usefully achieve work-life integration, an organisation would need to consider the following:
The synergy that comes from work-life integration can lead to greater well-being, better performance at work and a sense of fulfilment. However, it may also limit one’s boundaries and recharge time. To effectively bring work-life integration into one’s life for maximum benefits to both individuals and organizations, key questions to be addressed include:
a) What are the things the workplace needs to put in place to support work-life integration?
b) What are some tech tools that individuals can use to set boundaries, track and promote productivity at home?
c) What policies currently exist in Nigeria covering remote/hybrid work at a national level? If none, is there a need have one, given the inevitable reality of flexibility in the workplace?