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Women’s Day 2022: Ignite Power’s all-women team electrified 60 Health Clinics in Sierra Leone

Women empowerment was a leading objective in the project formation, along with the vital target of clean electrification and maternal health

This project is a great example of the amazing potential of the solar sector to disrupt women's lives all over Africa, not just at home, but in the field, making a tremendous impact”
— Angela Homsi, Co-founder of Ignite Power

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE, March 7, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- This week (on Tuesday, March 8th), the world will celebrate International Women's Day (IWD). This year, the UN’s theme for IWD is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”, aiming to recognize the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. There is no doubt that gender equality sits at the heart of a sustainable future, and that solar energy has a vital role in establishing both.

Africa still has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality. The women of the continent play an incredibly important role in the continent’s economy; They are more economically active as farmers and entrepreneurs than women in any other region of the world, growing a big portion of Africa’s food, and owning one-third of all businesses. Yet, Women generate only 33% of the continent’s collective GDP though they account for more than 50% of the population, and 70% of women are excluded financially. According to McKinsey’s The Power of Parity Report, The continent has a US$42 billion financing gap between men and women.

With gender equality being at the core of its operations throughout Africa, Ignite Power is impacting millions of women, customers and employees (⅓ of the company’s workforce) alike. This week, the company is pleased to announce the conclusion of an extensive electrification project in Sierra Leone, providing 60 remote clinics and health facilities with lightning and electricity, with all installations and end-user training done by an all-women team. The project was executed for We Care Solar, a global organization working to electrify last-mile health clinics and reduce maternal mortality in developing regions.

The project is part of the Light Every Birth initiative by We Care Solar, aiming to improve maternal-newborn care by ensuring medical lighting and continuous Power for safe deliveries. Ignite Power was onboarded as an implementation partner of the 2021 Sierra Leone project due to its proven experience in executing large-scale electrification projects in rural Sierra Leone.

Women empowerment was a leading objective in the project formation, along with the vital target of clean electrification and maternal health. An all-female group was formed to address constraints faced by women in the clean energy space across the supply chain, actively participating in project planning, implementation, and execution roles.

“Women empowerment is one of Ignite’s core values and a leading principle in our everyday operations”, says Angela Homsi, Co-founder of Ignite Power. “This project is a great example of the amazing potential of the solar sector to disrupt women's lives all over Africa, not just at home, but in the field, leading teams, making a tremendous impact, and making the goal of an inclusive reality one step closer”.

According to UNICEF, The maternal mortality rate in Sierra Leone is the highest globally, with 1,360 mothers dying in every 100,000 live births. The mortality rates of neonates, infants, and children under five are also highest globally at 34, 82, and 111 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. Some of the most impactful causes for these horrific figures are poor infrastructure and healthcare services in last-mile communities, and sub-standard, ill-equipped healthcare facilities.

In this project, Ignite and We Care Solar collaborated to deploy advanced solar systems in 60 chosen clinics, providing reliable electricity and lighting in the most sustainable, clean, and affordable manner possible.

“We see a vast need for sustainable and efficient solutions to support last-mile clinics and health teams through their struggles,” says Homsi. “With more than 100,000 clinics in the sub-Saharan region still unconnected to basic infrastructure, we believe that solar systems and solar-powered medical equipment present the most scalable, affordable solution.”

Ignite’s operations focus on positive climate impact, and the company’s products and services are 100% sustainable and green. This project alone avoids 8.76 tons of CO2 emissions, as 6 KiloWatts of clean electricity capacity has been installed.

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