The Energy-Enterprise-Gender Nexus: Lessons from the Multifunctional Platform (MFP) in Mali

Citation:

Sovacool, Benjamin K., Shannon Clarke, Katie Johnson, Meredith Crafton, Jay Eidsness, and David Zoppo. 2013. “The Energy-Enterprise-Gender Nexus: Lessons from the Multifunctional Platform (MFP) in Mali.” Renewable Energy 50: 115–25.

Authors: Benjamin K. Sovacool, Shannon Clarke, Katie Johnson, Meredith Crafton, Jay Eidsness, David Zoppo

Abstract:

The Mali Multifunctional Platform (MFP)—a government managed, multilaterally sponsored energy program that distributed a small diesel engine attached to a variety of end-use equipment—expanded access to modern energy services and raised village incomes from 1999 to 2004. Over this period, it successfully distributed more than 500 MFPs throughout Mali, and in doing so empowered women, improved educational opportunities, and enhanced food security and community cohesion. The MFP has also motivated the government to install 1800 such platforms by the end of 2012. Based on original research interviews supplemented with an extensive literature review, this study introduces readers to the rural energy situation in Mali and describes the history of the MFP project. It then discusses the benefits the project achieved, as well as five sets of challenges the MFP faces: a growing number of non-functional platforms, lack of policy coordination, poverty, dependence on imported technology and fuel, and patriarchy. The study concludes by offering six lessons for energy development planners and practitioners.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2013

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