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Govt Empowering Women Through Technology: A-G

Government is committed to bringing those who are in the periphery or remote areas to be empowered through technology, says Attorney-General and Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. This is made
17 Aug 2016 11:32
Govt Empowering Women Through Technology: A-G
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Minister for Women Rosy Akbar and assistant Local Government Minister Vijay Nath (right) with Bearfoot trainers from India with participants in Bearfoot solar grandmamas regional retraining at center appropriate technology development (CATD) in Nadave yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

Government is committed to bringing those who are in the periphery or remote areas to be empowered through technology, says Attorney-General and Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

This is made possible through a partnership by Government and India that will benefit over 30 women from rural and maritime areas here and Pacific island countries through a month-long solar electrification initiative.

The Barefoot Solar Engineers Pacific Retraining was yesterday opened by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum at the Centre for Training and Development (CATD), Nadave, in Tailevu.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the ability to spread the use of technology which would increase accessibility to everybody throughout any country.

“There’s no point having television sets, or having 4Gs and having access to internet on Facebook and Twitter if a particular village does not have the ability to access the technology.

“If you do not have electricity, you cannot access that technology, Technology is supposed to be the equaliser but if you do not have access to the fundamental utilities, it creates an even bigger divide,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said while technology was good, we must ensure that technology reached everybody and in an equal fashion.

He said because of the threat of climate change in the Pacific, there was a need for more innovative collaboration.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also acknowledged the Indian government’s assistance and partnership which was announced by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in 2015.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar, in welcoming the participants, said: “Fiji and the Pacific have great potential in providing solar energy accessibility to remote villages and settlements that are not connected to the Electricity grid.

“One of the best economical solutions to remote rural electrification is with solar home system as this system is environmentally clean and the technology is simple and applicable for Fiji and the Pacific region.”

Ms Akbar said with the uncertain global fossil fuel prices, the only economic solution was renewable energy which was aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy”.

In 2012, the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation established a link with Barefoot College in India where 10 women from Fiji attended a six months training as solar engineers.

These trained women have been referred to as “solar grandmothers”.

“Fiji and the Pacific joined the developed countries of the world to be assisted and trained in the area of women empowerment in terms of making life easier for women in the rural and maritime areas,” Ms Akbar said.

A team from the Barefoot College will be here to facilitate the re-training workshop.

The re-training workshop is aimed at equipping the participants at setting up solar panels and further enabling them to become professional solar trainers.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

 



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