Gender Equity and Mainstreaming in Renewable Energy Policies—Empowering Women in the Energy Value Chain in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

  • Monica Maduekwe
  • Ellen Morris
  • Jennye Greene
  • Victoria HealeyEmail author
Regional Renewable Energy – Africa (D Arent and N Lee, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Regional Renewable Energy - Africa


Purpose of Review

Using practice theories as the analytical framework, this paper assesses the potential of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) first ever regional policy on Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access to produce the desired behavioral changes envisioned.

Recent Findings

The policy came to fruition after a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort of research, advocacy, and consensus building; all spearheaded by an institution of the community, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). The success of the ECOWAS policy has led to the development of a related regional level legal instrument, monitoring protocols, institutional evolutions, as well as replication efforts in other African regions.


The policy’s provisions were aimed at changing the mind-sets and, eventually, behaviors of people concerned and were designed in order to increase its chances of successful implementation; however, the onus lies on the constituent governments of the community to provide incentives for its full and effective implementation in order to guarantee its success.


Gender-responsive energy policies Women’s empowerment ECOWAS Energy access Gender equality 



The article discusses the work done by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and ECOWAS in general as it concerns the development of the ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Monica Maduekwe works with ECREEE and was the staff member responsible for the development of the ECOWAS Policy discussed in the paper.

Ellen Morris, Jennye Greene, and Victoria Healey each declares no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica Maduekwe
    • 1
  • Ellen Morris
    • 2
  • Jennye Greene
    • 2
  • Victoria Healey
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)PraiaCabo Verde
  2. 2.Sustainable Energy SolutionsGlen RidgeUSA
  3. 3.National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)GoldenUSA

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