Kaarinah Luvongo overlooks the turbines at the Ngong Wind Power Station in Ngong, Kenya.

Kaarinah Luvango, Senior Engineer for Kenya Electricity Generation Company (KenGen), overlooks the Ngong Wind Power Station in Ngong, Kenya, where she leads the technical team and has revolutionized operations. KenGen joined the USAID Engendering Industries program in 2020, which helped them empower women and unlock innovation. The Engendering Industries baseline study at KenGen identified a gap in talent and leadership development for women. As a result, KenGen launched a mentorship program for women in technical fields, bringing Luvongo into the first cohort. Many of the graduates of the program, including Luvongo, were subsequently promoted, reducing the gender gap at the top of the company and unlocking new innovations. 

At the wind farm, which had been plagued with long down times, Luvango led the team to develop new systems that used Kenyan components rather than relying on imported parts. Then she shifted the management plan for the turbines, assigning each one to a senior KenGen executive to speed approvals for repairs and to a different wind farm employee to create ownership and facilitate day-to-day maintenance. As a result, the turbines operated at 100 percent capacity for the first time in more than three years. Kenya is targeting 100 percent sustainable energy by 2030, and KenGen and Luvango are showing that gender equality can be a path to that target, making the future both more sustainable and more inclusive.

Empowering Women Leads to Sustainable Power

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Copyright © 2023 Alec Jacobson

Country Kenya
Topics Energy, Gender and Social Inclusion

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