Who Rules the (Energy) World? Highlighting Kenya’s All-female Internship Program

In recognition of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, USAID and Power Africa are highlighting internship programs for women in the energy sector in a three-part series. Our final feature focuses on Kenya’s program that spans opportunities across the entire energy sector.

USAID recognizes that expanding women’s participation in the energy sector — and particularly in decision-making roles — can advance inclusive economic growth and improve financial performance and sustainability across the sector. Research shows that gender diversity in the workplace is correlated with both profitability and value creation, yet the energy industry remains one of the least gender-diverse sectors globally.

Internships and training programs open pathways for women in the traditionally male-dominated energy sector. This three-part series highlights some of the Power Africa-supported programs that are creating opportunities for women in the power industry in sub-Saharan Africa.

KENYA INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS

Power Africa launched an all-female internship program in Kenya in 2020 to enable young women to acquire practical experience in technical fields, and thus develop a pipeline of qualified young women in the East African energy sector. A similar program commenced in Rwanda, and Tanzania’s program is expected to begin this year.

In its first year, 15 interns took on roles in Kenya’s electricity transmission company, electric utilities, and the Geothermal Development Company. Power Africa and participating entities collaborated to determine the skill sets needed, and developed gender-balanced internship role descriptions and advertisements aimed at attracting female applicants.

Intern Spotlight: Theresia Nyaui

Theresia Nyaui is an intern at Kenya Power, where she works in the Operations and Maintenance department in the utility’s Nairobi North Region.

“This experience has helped me build social and communication skills. We encounter many customers in the field who have different needs and it is prudent to communicate with them and make them feel valued as we address their electricity concerns. I have also learned the value of teamwork while in the field.”

Theresia Nyaui
Theresia Nyaui
Theresia Nyaui

Intern Spotlight: Debora Kavyu

With a Diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Debora Kavyu is a supply chain intern at Kenya Power.

“I am grateful for the experience accorded to me through this sponsorship. I have learned a lot about procurement processes and handling of various procurement documents. I am confident that through this experience I will one day become an experienced Supply Chain Officer and apply all that I have learned.”

Debora Kavyu
Debora Kavyu
Debora Kavyu

Learn More

This story is the final in a three-part series on internship programs for women in the energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa. Read our first installment on an apprenticeship program in Rwanda, and our second story on opportunities in energy regulation.

A U.S. Government-led partnership that seeks to add 30,000 MW and 60 million electricity connections in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 > https://bit.ly/2yPx3lJ