On Monday February 26, the Swedish Ambassador Marie Andersson de Frutos participated in a panel on Community Participation in the Energy Sector. The seminar was arranged by the national utility Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) and was the first seminar on the program ”EDM com a Comunidade”, a community engagement program for 2018-2020.
Due to an increasing trend of energy thefts and vandalism of infrastructure, EDM seeks new ways to cooperate and involve people living in the communities. With the main objective of providing information, raising awareness, and seeking the views and assistance of their clients, EDM intends to reduce losses, while also enhancing safety, and influence the communities to adopt energy efficiency and communication practices.
Sweden’s participation in the seminar, with Marie Andersson de Frutos in the panel, reflects a long tradition and extensive experience in supporting and facilitating interventions on community participation. From a development perspective, strengthened and sustainable capacity on community level is at the core of Swedish values. Effective community participation also requires ownership, and as an example, Ambassador Marie Andersson de Frutos discussed the Swedish system for waste recycling. This is a success story currently covering 93 %of the waste (Source: http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Sa-mar-miljon/Mark/Avfall/Resultat-producentansvaret/). Only through a strong ownership and commitment from local communities and decision makers’ could this result have been achieved.
Other interesting topics were raised also in the panel, such as the use of explanatory campaigns on the advantages of energy efficiency and the importance of education and the inclusion of children in the community engagement program for long term effects.
Issues on safety and sustainability are of crucial importance for Sweden and that is also why the Embassy have recently agreed on a support to EDM for Risk Assessment on Safety, Occupational Health and Environmental Controls.