Training Rural Women on Assembly, Installation, Maintenance and Repair of Solar Systems for Cooking and Lighting in Nigeria

Author(s): Chinenye Anekwe
Final project
Year of publication:
Women's Empowerment
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Kirstín Flygenring


More than half of the population lack access to energy in Nigeria. Those who do have power, mostly in urban centres, face up to 10 hours of blackouts a day, and energy poverty rural areas is almost absolute. People in rural communities live below the poverty level and solve their energy needs using cheap fuels such as candles, paraffin, firewood, and kerosene, all of which can negatively impact health. Because of traditional gender roles, women and girls spend productive hours fetching firewood for cooking and heating their houses, with others produce paraffin for lighting their homes. They also spend more time in polluted, indoor environments cooking and taking care of their families. In Nigeria, several women-led organizations, including Solar Sister, have been actively involved in combating the energy reality of rural women by training 1,500 women entrepreneurs to distribute clean energy products (solar lights and improved cook stoves). The import and distribution of renewable energy products has not been without challenges. First, most of the solar lanterns and small home systems are quite expensive. Second, some of these products are not well suited for the Nigerian weather, so they do not last, and there is usually only one-year warranty on the products. Currently no experts exist in the communities to repair faulty products. This project seeks to address these issues by training women to maintain and repair solar-powered cooking and lighting units. By so doing, it addressed the lack of energy in rural Uganda and increases women’s income potential.