Women in Energy Feature – Safiya Aliyu, General Manager at SOSAI Renewable Energies Company

Bio 

Safiya Aliyu joined the Renewable Energy industry in 2007. She has a Master’s in Business Administration. Before her graduation from the university, she volunteered with the Developmental Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) supporting the Solar Cooker Deployment project and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Project on improved cook stove. Upon graduation from the university, she joined Sosai Renewable Energies Company as a Project Officer, she later rose through the ranks to become a Project Manager in which position she managed the Arthur Guinness Fund/ Relief International Water Filter Project.In 2018, she successfully became a Techwomen fellow after 6 weeks training with her team winning a seed loan for their community impact project; MAAMI Nigeria. She also gave the winning pitch of Solar for healthcare in 2022 at the Nigerian Power Sector Program supported by Power Africa. She is the incumbent Treasurer of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria.

She has been with Sosai since its inception and is presently the General Manager at the core of Sosai’s transformation journey with a lot of dedication and hard work. Safiya has equipped herself in the field of Renewable Energy with several trainings and is now handling the Sosai’s Matan Arewa Project where women are encouraged and trained to become entrepreneurs in the Renewable Energy Sector. She is an expert in the deployment and management of projects on improved cookstoves, solar systems and community development. She has worked with Sosai team to operationalize 5 offgrid solar minigrids, distributed over 150,000 units of improved cookstoves and 20,000 units of solar lighting solutions. Sosai is estimated to have positively impacted 1,000,000 lives through its solutions and will be doing more as the business grows.


Questions

How does your business actively encourage women’s empowerment and development?

At Sosai Renewable Energies Company, we understand that women are backward when it comes to economic growth, this is because they face significant challenges in accessing technology and infrastructure, which limits their earning opportunities and financial inclusion. We encourage women’s empowerment and development by increasing their access to renewable energy technologies that they can resell or use as a piece of business equipment to earn income. We have established solar drying hubs in rural communities where women groups are the custodians of the hub, running the business to dry farm produce for the farmers in and out of their communities. Through this activity, they are promoting food security and also earning income for themselves.

We also support women with startup stock of solar lanterns, solar home systems, and improved cookstoves that they resell to promote the adoption of clean energy, and earn income for themselves. We train these women groups on the right kind of skills needed to grow their business and ensure it is sustainable. Our work with the women groups has increased their socio-economic status.

What message do you have for other women entering a male-dominated sector?

My message to women entering a male-dominated sector like the energy sector is to be confident, know your worth, and keep increasing your knowledge in the field you have chosen. It is important to believe in yourself and your abilities. Advocate for yourself and other women in the sector. It’s also important to seek out mentors and role models who can help you navigate the challenges of working in the sector because there will definitely be tough times that will even make you doubt yourself but with the support from role models and mentors, one will get the energy to be persistent.

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