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Durban Press Conference Notes
by Prudence M
Africa / US Energy Ministerial Conference & Women in Energy

ICC, Durban, South Africa •• Dec. 15, 2000 •• SolarQuest® iNet News Service •• The Minister of Minerals and Energy, South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's brief summary of the conference:

"During the week, the conference has covered quite a lot of issues. With our Women in Energy Conference, we spoke about issues that have a huge impact on women, that women are consumers and users of different energy implements, but they are excluded from the forefront of decision-making and involvement. We concluded that this was an issue that had to be addresed and eliminated. Women in Africa still bear the heavy burden of labour of fetching wood and this highlighted the risks that women take. They are also continuously still using traditional biomass which is debilititating to their health and their children's health.

"We went very deep in the issue of over-exploitation of biomass which impacts on the environment; there were several recommendations made to women in energy. Different countries agreed to review their policies, to find if they are gender-sensitive. The ministers commited themselves to address these issues in their countries. The U.S commited themselves to expose women to decision-making in the energy sector. The World Bank also commited itself to be part of the implementation of the proposed projects.

"Our next meeting will be in Morocco where there will be a reviewing the extent of how far the countries have gone with progress."

This conference has represented 33 countries.

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