Electricity Generation Company Malawi (EGENCO)

Engendering Utilities Partner Profile

Emerging from the restructuring of Malawi’s power market in 2017, EGENCO has a team of 550 employees, but only 11 percent are women. USAID is proud to work with EGENCO in their commitment to improve gender equality in the energy sector as part of their path to long-term success.

Malawi’s electricity generation relies largely on hydroelectric dams, which account for 95 percent of the installed capacity. This leaves Malawi constrained during periods of drought and low water levels. About 83 percent of Malawi’s population live in rural areas and rely on fuel wood for energy supply; only 12 percent of Malawi’s population has access to electricity. Even where electricity is available, supply is insufficient to meet demand and the system is largely unreliable.

Though women overall have high participation in the workforce, they are not well represented in Malawi’s energy sector. While women in Malawi benefit from higher than average labor force participation (73 percent according to the International Labour Organization), they tend to pursue work in sectors like agriculture, where they make up 70 percent of the workforce. Women in Malawi also fare worse than men when it comes to wage equality, and they still face obstacles when seeking employment within traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as energy.

USAID is partnering with EGENCO through the Engendering Utilities program to assist in the development and implementation of their tailored action plan to incorporate gender equity into their business practices. EGENCO is committed to improving gender equity and, prior to working with USAID and Engendering Utilities, developed and adopted a Gender and Social Inclusion and Anti-Harassment Policy.

USAID’s Engendering Utilities program works with electricity and water utilities in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women, improve gender equality, boost business performance, and strengthen the energy and water sectors. Through a customized best practices framework, demand-driven coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, Engendering Utilities builds the capacity of utility leaders to implement gender equality interventions that increase the professional participation of women and meet their core business goals.

Launched in 2015, the Engendering Utilities program demonstrates USAID’s commitment to promote a path to self-reliance and resilience in developing countries by fostering enterprise-driven innovation, inclusive economic growth, and gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Engendering Utilities is a key activity under the U.S. Government’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which aims to reach 50 million women by 2025 through innovative and effective programs.

Date 
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 5:00am

Last updated: March 26, 2020