Small-scale Off-grid Energy Systems: Improve Productivity by Increasing Women's Access to Electricity in Rural Nigeria

Less than a quarter of people living in rural areas of Nigeria have access to electricity. Without sufficient electricity access, household and farm productivity is stifled, and migration to urban areas is rife. These circumstances are dire for everyone, but especially so for rural women who provide the greatest share of household and farm labour yet are the poorest. When women have access to time- and labour-saving devices, such as domestic electrical appliances and mechanised farm equipment for processing, they can significantly increase their productivity. So far, government policies and programmes to increase rural electrification have not taken into account the situation and needs of women. The current Rural Electrification Fund (REF) policy prioritises providing capital subsidies to firms that are investing in mini-grid development. However, little is known about how the policy affects rural productivity, especially women’s productivity.