NNPC COO, Waltersmith MD, others to Speak at WIEN/REAN’s International Women in Energy Symposium

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By Ikenna Omeje

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) — Gas and Power of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Usman Yusuf, as well as  the Managing Director of Waltersmith, Chikezie Nwosu, have confirmed to speak at the forthcoming International Women in Energy Symposium to be co-hosted by The Women In Energy Network and Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN), scheduled to hold on Saturday March 13, 2021.

The Symposium, which will hold 9:00am — 3:00pm on the scheduled date, will also have as speakers, Country Manager Solar Sisters, Olasimbo Sojinrin; Managing Consultant Pejad Group, Engr Tony Ogbuigwe; General Manager Human Resources — Waltersmith, Tari Akhibi; Founder/CEO Sosai Technologies, Habiba Ali and the Chief Commercial Officer at Mixta Africa (an ARM Group), Rolake Akinkugbe-Filani, the organizers of the Symposium diclosed at a press conference on Friday.

The Symposium, which will hold virtually, is sub-themed: Light Up Africa and aims to bring together Women in Energy across Africa. The event will yield initiatives, to extend the footprint of women in Energy to new frontiers and increase womens talent contribution to Light up Africa.

In alignment with the 2021 global International Womens Day theme – Choose to Challenge” the Symposium looks to encourage women across Africa to choose to challenge gender bias and inequality, to take a position in driving the energy transition and to celebrate the achievements of women driven successes in the energy sector.

Speaking at the press conference, the  President of WIEN, Ms.  Funmi Ogbue and REANs Executive Secretary, Ms. Lande Abudu, listed three activities lined up ahead of the symposium. They  include: Supernova girl Initiative, The Light up Africa with women Pledge and Winning with Women Award (WIWA).

According to them, Supernova girl is a WIEN Initiative to encourage and motivate young girls to study related subjects and aspire to come into the energy industry. This, they say, will be carried out through school visits.

Leveraging on the 2021 Global IWD theme, they  said they will use  The Light up Africa with women Pledge, to encourage CEOs of key companies and government officials in Nigeria to do a photo pledge supporting the IWD theme and post on their Social Media handles using #LightUpAfrica, #ChooseToChallenge hashtags. Also, stakeholders will be asked to choose from a couple of key themes presented by the organisers to make Public commitments to drive positive change and monitor progress towards gender equality in the energy industry and a gender equal Africa.

Similarly, they said that the Winning with Women Award is an Employer programme to recognize and reward companies, and individuals who champion workplace policies and programmes that help women succeed and thrive and called on companies to self-nominate or be nominated for this award. 

Explaining further the aim for Supernova girl Initiative, Ogbue  said it was aimed at encouraging girls in secondary schools to embrace STEM subjects, so as to take up carrers in them, noting that while art related disciplines are good, STEM related disciplines are also important and girls should be encouraged to embrace them.

She also said that the Supernova girl Initiative is targeted at demystifying STEM disciplines by projecting role models in the fields that  girls in secondary schools can emulate, just the same way it is in art related disciplines.

Responding to a question on whether issues around clean cooking energy will feature at the Symposium, Abudu said that they will make arrangement for an expert in the area of clean cooking energy to be part of the panelists.

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