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A good effort, but more must be done: ESMAP
by Robyn L
Africa / US Energy Ministerial Conference & Women in Energy

Durban, South Africa •• Dec. 12, 2000 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• The 12 December, Day Two of the US-Africa Energy Conference focussed on the financing of energy initiatives. Ms Dominique Lallement, Manager of the Energy Sector of the World Bank spoke about the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).

ESMAP provides solutions for developing countries as they implement and devise energy policies and services - they provide guidance in these issues (ESMAP relies on the World Bank and public and private donors). ESMAP's main goal is to alleviate poverty and convert underdeveloped countries from traditional to modern energy use methods. Their main challenge is to create sustainable and genderized energy services, realizing that the users must be involved and their projects must be community based.

ESMAP's support of gender in energy can be expressed in three phases:
• documenting gender in energy - making sure that their policies are effective
• pilot projects are in operation to test this new gender approach
• outreach programs and networking with other gender-related efforts

The lessons learnt from ESMAP's numerous outreach programs include the fact that the fastest delivery of energy services was evident when men and women work together. Investors were only interested when guarantees were given and community based and intergrated programmes proved more successful and sustainable than outsider's energy enterprises.

However, in conclusion Ms Lallement believes that although these programmes are an improvement, they are still mdest efforts in the face of the poverty much of the world faces. She believes that there is a need to expand, and to network and link with sister organizations such as Winrock and the like.

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A good effort, but more must be done: ESMAP
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