Caroline Nijland Women empowerment as a tool for socio-economic development in the world By Fatima Gorezi Ms. Caroline Nijland started in July 2018 her own business, Helios Infinitas, for advisory services/ business development/ project and operational management / training in the field of renewable energies and rural electrification/energy access in Africa. From March 2007 till May 2018 she was General Director of Foundation for Rural Energy Services (FRES) in The Netherlands. Her principal responsibilities were to find funding for the implementation of rural electrification activities in Sub-Saharan Africa (solar home systems and solar/hybrid mini-grids) and to implement rural electrification activities. She is specifically interested in the topic of providing electricity to rural and peri-urban areas using solar energy (Mini-grids and Solar Home Systems). Her main interests are legal, regulatory, financial and operational topics.  Could you tell us more about your childhood, and how your upbringing has contributed to the life that you lead now? I was born in The Netherlands. However, soon after I was born my parents moved with my sister, brother and me to Crete, where we lived two years and then we moved to Cameroon where we were supposed to stay 2 years, but we stayed 15 years. My father had a career in development cooperation in the agricultural sector. Later on, he combined it with a business in solar energy. He was the first pioneer in west Africa introducing solar energy to missionaries and churches and lodges in remote areas. We left Cameroon in 1987 and m [...]

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