Nexans Foundation celebrates 10 years of empowering underprivileged communities through sustainable energy accessMay 10, 2023
This year, the Nexans Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary. An opportunity to look back with pride on the impact made in bringing electricity, contributing to education, and committing to sustainable development for the benefit of underprivileged populations around the world. Over the past decade, the Nexans Foundation has supported over 145 projects across five continents, benefiting more than 2.2 million people. It owes this success to the dedication of the partner NGOs and the hard work of Nexans' employees.
On May 3rd, the Nexans Foundation hosted a roundtable discussion, in Paris, focused on Ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy. The event enabled the Foundation to reflect on its achievements over the past decade and showcase the inspiring work of some NGOs it supports.
The discussion was moderated by Olivier Chevreau, VP Sustainability at Nexans and Secretary General at Nexans Foundation, who highlighted the challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7). According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 733 million people worldwide do not have access to electricity. The IEA also estimates that at the current rate of progress, the world will not achieve the SDG 7 goals by 2030.
Bridging the gap and reaching 100% electrification by 2030 is what unites the Nexans Foundation and the NGOs it supports.
The round table brought together four NGOs supported by the Nexans Foundation. Each organization explained how they contribute to providing universal access to energy in the communities they serve and how access to energy has benefited them.
Madeleine Fauchier, Head of Development at Fondem, emphasized the role of local operating structures involved in each of its programs, training operators to ensure sustainable access to electricity. Their rural electrification projects aim to improve the quality of life of women and use energy as a lever for their professional emancipation.
Fondem also implements solar street lighting solutions to extend businesses' opening hours and ensure safety for the population, especially women and young people. They prioritize the development of local actors' skills and involve them in the installation and operation of equipment while raising awareness and providing training to strengthen their capacities.
Yvane Bohoussou, Project Manager at Women Of Africa, expressed the benefits of access to energy for women, men, and children, and their initiatives in partnership with Nexans in solar electrification. She explained how they train local technicians to promote energy solutions.
"We have set up a team of trainers, who assist local technicians in project sizing," she said. "This initiative is necessary and intended to develop in order to promote a better popularization of these solutions. This requires strengthening the capacities of local organizations, technicians, and introducing this component also within the Women Solar Academy."
Ange-Eric Kouassi, Chairman & Founder of SHEKINA, shared their work on providing energy solutions to remote and off-grid communities in Ivory Coast. SHEKINA works in the fields of education, agriculture, entrepreneurship, health, sustainable development, and women's empowerment, fully integrating environmental and climatic issues.
"The most important point of our action is the improvement of health through energy," she said.
Pablo Undurraga, Metropolitan Director at TECHO, explained how the organization helps provide access to social housing for thousands of families and temporary solutions while they wait for their long-term homes. Working in slums is a constant challenge, but TECHO is committed to creating long-term solutions while keeping an eye on what happens in the meantime.
Currently, TECHO is working with Nexans to provide sustainable access to public lighting to communities living in insecured settlements, creating safer communities while using renewable energy sources.
“ Over the past three years, Nexans has co-created a project with TECHO that has supported many families living in poor conditions with a lack of access to electricity. The project has developed innovative solutions for electrification, such as solar-powered lights, and has helped to create safer communities. ”
Camilo EltonGeneral Manager of Madeco by Nexans
A key message emerging from this roundtable is the need to strengthen collaboration among all the different actors and continue to invest in a sustained way to develop energy projects on the ground.
The private sector can bring innovation and investment capacity; NGOs can provide social engineering and capacity building; and governments can provide regulatory frameworks and public financing. The Foundation has proven this over the past 10 years. It has also proven its commitment to ensuring the best local ownership, which is crucial to the sustainability and impact of energy projects.
Through these joint efforts, we have the opportunity to create a more equitable and sustainable future for all, improving access to education, healthcare, and economic growth while addressing climate change and preserving ecosystems.
See you in 10 years to hopefully share an even greater impact on all the Foundation's objectives.
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