Read this exclusive interview with Ndia Magadagela, Co-Founder of Everlectric, South Africa.
For International Women’s Month, ESI Africa embraced equity and women’s empowerment to elevate society through a series of Women in Energy interviews.
Interview with Ndia Magadagela
ESI: WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AS A WOMAN WORKING IN MOBILITY?
I have had many memorable moments in recent years relating to our ambitions to decarbonise South African fleets but the one that stands out by far is the moment the penny dropped for fleet managers. We had been EVangelists for electric mobility in South African fleets.
The other was when the Presidential Climate Finance Task Team was established by President Ramaphosa in February 2022. The task team was tasked with a view to advising on the composition, affordability, and alignment with South Africa’s ambitions and priorities in relation to its climate change risks. This was proof that Government is committed to working out South Africa’s pathway to low emissions.
Africa suffers the brunt of climate change impacts despite contributing very little to global carbon emissions: from tropical cyclones in Malawi, Mozambique & Madagascar, floods in Nigeria, Uganda & South Africa to devastating drought in the Horn of Africa https://t.co/VvzOCpVgZv pic.twitter.com/xtYG4oiHIB— Inter Press Service (@ipsnews) April 16, 2023
#RaiseTheGame for #ClimateAction!— United Nations in South Africa (@UNinSouthAfrica) April 12, 2023
Tackling #ClimateChange requires transformational changes across sectors of the SA🇿🇦 economy - with innovations in urban & infrastructure planning, a shift to #CleanEnergy & changes to how we use our land, water & food.#ForPlanetForPeople pic.twitter.com/OWjcWIp5Qi
ESI: WHAT RECENT INNOVATIONS IN THE INDUSTRY CAN YOU SEE PROVIDING UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN THE ENERGY SECTOR?
Like many old-line industries, the energy business is overwhelmingly male. According to World Bank, Women hold just 22% of jobs in energy production and distribution, even though they make up 48% of the global workforce. The number is even lower among senior managers: just 14%. There are opportunities to get women into the energy industry and lift them through the ranks so they can light up the world.
There are so many opportunities in this sector that are available for women. From research, services, manufacturing, etc. The most important thing is to move from plans and theories to implementation.
ESI: WHICH STRATEGIES DO YOU EXPECT TO BE THE MOST IMPACTFUL FOR?THE JUST ENERGY TRANSITION?
The new electric vehicle (EV) sector will be very impactful. The focus of the Just Energy Transition is on transitioning the automotive sector value chains to EVs. There is a global shift to electric and with this strategy, EV production will gain momentum, the EV supply chain will be localised and will help set the base for NEV manufacturing and component manufacturing in-country. South Africa has the responsibility to protect sector employment and promote new growth in sustainable manufacturing.
For this, we need to have initiatives to incentivise investments in charging infrastructure and we also need to convert public transport and private vehicles to EVs. All of this will accelerate decarbonisation.
ESI: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN IN THE ENERGY SECTOR??
I would advise them to be patient and keep innovating. With any new project, there is the initial spade work that must be put in and this can take time and for some can be discouraging. Be patient in doing the spade work and just keep on moving forward.