Interview: African Women in Energy

It is also important that we open our minds and educate ourselves to the issues surrounding us. That we may not be ignorant yet we had access to information.

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 21, 2020/-- An innovative professional with an eye on energy policy, production, sustainability, consultancy, mentoring and community development; Lilian has mastered what very few have.

She takes us through her personal journey...

[Question 1] Welcome to Kikao; who is Lilian Motongori?

Lilian Motongori is a mechanical and a renewable energy consultant. She is also a Tech women emerging leader 2019 and the co-founder for Women in energy Africa. She is passionate about leadership, energy and gender issues.

[Question 2] Social entrepreneurship is gaining traction in Africa. What role are women playing in it?

African Women have always played a major role in social entrepreneurship either passively or actively through association and through their work. I believe it is because of the responsibility of African women to take care of the community from household level. A familiar example is ‘merry-go-rounds that are almost similar to microfinance institutions.’ In these two examples. We are able to offer banking solutions to under-served areas where women can get access to money for their day to day expenditures.

[Question 3] As the founder of Angaza Dada Initiative; give us your perspective of leadership in the continent?

Africa lacks systems that keep our leaders in check to their duty to the people. Instead it is a system that serves is leaders more than its people. These leaders end up taking advantage of our resources and rights unchecked without any consequences on them. It also lacks an inclusive leadership. It is exclusive of youth and women who form the largest percentage and half of the population respectively. This is not only important for democracy but it’s also part of our rights to be included in the decision making table. We are able to bring dynamic and new ideas that can better all of us BUT there is hope that things will change if we all decided to be intentional and get united in changing things.

[Question 4] You have utilized the numerous possibilities technology offers to progress in your career. What advice can you give to your fellow young people in Africa?

We are living at an age where technology is making information more accessible and communication much easier for us. We can network with other people a click away, let’s take advantage of it in growing in knowledge and innovating things that will make the world better for us. The older generation may have failed us in one way or another but let’s use the opportunity to create space for fellow young people where we can and not make the same mistakes they did on us to the generation to come.

It is also important that we open our minds and educate ourselves to the issues surrounding us. That we may not be ignorant yet we had access to information.

[Question 5] Is there a place for youth-driven policy in African governance?

Social Media is one great tool that has enabled the youth to participate and speak on matters affecting us. However, we need more young leaders in positions of power that will help in developing these policies otherwise if we are not included then these issues fall on deaf ears. We have a long way to go in terms of youth-driven policy in African Governance.

[Question 6] You are well-traveled. Share with us a bit of your experiences in pursuit of women empowerment.

This Traveling has opened my mind to a lot of issues affecting women around the world or rather the places I have been. I have also seen a lot of problems that are similar or happen to cut across all women. Issues like Domestic and Sexual Violence cutting across all race, class, age, place with some being affected more than others.

Technology through social media has enabled us to unite and fight against these experiences. E.g. through the #MeToo movement. So many Women and children go through these shameful experiences thinking they are on their own. We are hurt but are silent about it because of the fear of being shamed and that no one will believe. Through these movements we create a space where women can freely speak and be believed and have the culprits facing the law. Progress has been made though not completely solved but we are heading there.

I have also been able to interact with more women in male dominated spaces such as politics and STEM and it is encouraging and create spaces while inspiring more women to join as it is so important.

[Question 7] Who do you look up to and are you mentoring someone?

I have so many people I look up to in different sectors of life. Financially, academically, in the Energy Industry, in leadership, in feminism, just to name but a few. I also do mentor others through the programs am in and also directly.

The written interview was compiled by Phineahs Munene, Cofounder of Wazo Moja for Lilian Motongori – of Women in Energy Africa.

Distributed by Wazo Moja on behalf of Women in Energy Africa


Women in Energy Africa