Taking energy to the remote parts of rural Pakistan has long seemed an insurmountable challenge.
But Fiza Farhan defied convention with her “Lighting A Million Lives” campaign, taking solar power into rural villages and changing lives with an innovative combination of technology, finance and idealism.
The project combined micro-financing, sustainable technologies and a co-operative business model that brought multiple benefits: ridding communities of health-threatening kerosene lamps; empowering women; providing employment to both men and women; and promoting the cause of gender equality in communities that, at first, were fiercely resistant.
The project, and her subsequent entrepreneurism, won Fiza a seat on the National Steering Committee on Climate Change for Pakistan, and the role of Chairperson of Chief Minister Punjab’s Task Force on Women Empowerment. She also represents Pakistan on the United Nations’ High Level Panel on Women Economic Empowerment.
TFI caught up with her at the Asia Clean Energy Forum in Manila, where she told us about the challenges and successes of being a groundbreaking entrepreneur, and how to have a real impact in the developing world.
Executive Producer/Team Leader at Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Global Strategic Development Advisor / Member - UN HLP on WEE / Member- CM Punjab TF for International Donor Relations