Lilian Motongori Jamunga is an energy expert and currently a Young Industry Leader scholar with Schneider Electric Europe operations while taking her Master’s in Energy Management at the Technical University of Berlin in Germany. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and production engineering. She has 6-year experience in the energy industry and is one of the Directors for Hayili Africa, an energy company that is offering energy solutions in Africa. Hayili Africa does research, energy management, project development, and technical advisory on energy projects among other energy solutions. She is also the current President of the Society of Women Engineers East Africa region and the co-founder of Women in Energy Africa, a platform for young women who offer innovative technological challenges for Energy in Africa.
She is a Global Bioenergy Energy Award winner in 2021 for her innovation of a mechanically driven biodiesel reactor, a 40 under 40 Inspiring African Future Mechanical Engineers (IAFME) Award winning er 2020, A Nominee for the Founder of the year Under 30 (Kenya) 2020 awards, A Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards, Champion for change category Finalist 2020 and the Women in Energy East Africa community, professional technical award winner 2019. She was a Techwomen emerging leader in 2019 and a Woman in Africa Power fellow in 2019. She has been involved in leadership, energy, and gender issues. She is passionate about Sustainable development, Energy, women’s empowerment, and leadership
How did you end up in the energy sector and what advice would you give to other women wanting to follow a similar career trajectory?
I studied Mechanical and production engineering and during my fifth year, I was introduced to the topic of renewable energy. I found it interesting and started following content that related to Energy as well. Having a passion to see development in Africa, I understood how important energy is in accelerating the industrialization and development of my continent. However, with climate change, it is sustainable to use clean and renewable energy. I purposed to pursue a career within the energy sector and was intentional and lucky to connect with professionals in the space who gave me an opportunity to also develop and grow my career. would encourage any other woman willing to join the sector to stay updated on the global issues in the sector as well as connect and position yourself to bring value to whatever position you get into. It is also important that they network with other professionals and continue to develop their skills to gain more opportunities.
In your opinion, why do you think the energy sector in its current state has less female representation and do you see it increasing?
The energy space has less female representation because there were existing stereotypes and biases that made the industry to be male-dominated just like any other sectors that were male-dominated traditionally. This discouraged many women from joining because of a lack of role models and enough mentors. Coupled with other barriers like education, workplace discrimination, and certain perceptions of physical demands in the field, the number has been less. However, the narrative is changing with more women getting access to education and policies and programs that encourage diversity in the workplace which is a good thing.
If you could have tea with any public figure – dead or alive – who would it be and why?
Damilola Ogunbiyi the CEO of SE for All. Her professional career and impact in the energy sector have been impressive in championing sustainable and affordable energy for all especially Africa and she inspires me a lot.
What does being a woman in the energy sector mean to you?
It means a lot to participate in shaping the industry to attract more other women and bring a diversity of thoughts that also cater to women using energy globally.
What opportunities do you see in Africa’s energy market?
Africa has a lot of opportunities to be a global leader for renewables in the whole world. We have a huge potential for solar and hydropower as well a lot of natural gas that can be used as we transition to clean energy. Our low carbon emissions also enable to trade well with other developed nations as we try to achieve the global climate goals. We also have the ability to leapfrog our energy infrastructure to more efficient technologies that are required in the clean energy transition.
If you know of any amazing women in energy who should be part of this campaign please reach out to us by sending an email to [email protected].