Sierra Leone presidential hopeful Yumkella in Vienna to launch Energy Access Platform

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 March 2016

Yumkella at OFID4

Celebrating 40 years of OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), was never going to be an ordinary affair, as the world of oil and gas, including top executives of the industry met on Monday, 21st March 2016 at its Vienna headquarters, to launch the industry’s Energy Access Platform in collaboration with the World Petroleum Council.

This ground breaking partnership involves Shell, Total, Shell Foundation, International Gas Union and the Global LPG Partnership.

Together, they seek to underscore the global oil and gas industry’s willingness to play an integral role in alleviating energy poverty.

This partnership also demonstrates their concerted effort towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal #7, particularly in developing countries, with a focus on electricity access and clean cooking solutions.

And Kandeh Yumkella, one of Sierra Leone’s aspiring presidential candidates in the country’s 2018 elections, was at the launch of this global initiative, where he reminded the world of the priorities.

OFID Director General Al-Herbish presents souvenir to YumkellaGlobal Instability

“2015 was a dramatic year for energy markets and energy geopolitics,” said Kandeh Yumkella, the one-time Vienna resident and former UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. (Photo: OFID Director General, Sulaiman Al-Herbish presenting the 40th Anniversary souvenir to Dr. Yumkella).

“Volatility has now become the new normal, exposing the world’s inability to accurately predict the ‘unknowns’, and 2016 has started with the focus on the fourth industrial revolution,” noted Yumkella.

Yumkella at OFID2

OFID celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, having disbursed about $19 billion in support to over 130 countries.

“This is a defining moment for OFID and for members of the oil and gas industry as we propel the effort to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for all,” said Sulaiman Al-Herbish, OFID Director-General.

Yumkella at OFID1

In 2010, both Yumkella and Jeremy Rifkin spoke about the third industrial revolution, at UNIDO’s 14th General Conference, and noted that a ‘distributed energy revolution’ is possible, because at some point “we can create our own energy, store it, and then distribute it to each other”.

Inclusive and Sustainable Development

At the recent gathering in Davos, Switzerland, of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the fourth industrial revolution was pronounced, with most business leaders arguing that a fusion of technologies is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

“The question for us all” said Yumkella, Sierra Leone’s distinguished development economist, is “will the third or the fourth industrial revolutions create inclusive, sustainable, resilient, global economic and social development over the next two decades?”

Leadership, Experience and Vision

The Energy Access Partnership (EAP) is one of many partnerships the former UNIDO Director-General helped to design, during his stint as CEO and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of SE4All.

Other initiatives include the Zero Routine Gas flaring programme, aimed at eliminating gas flaring in oil fields around the world, which was launched at the World Bank in April 2015; the Global LPG partnership aimed at bringing clean cooking fuels to households, which was launched in 2012; the Clean Cook Stove Alliance; Global Mini-grid Partnership; and the African Energy Leaders Group.

Mrs and Dr Yumkella in MoroccoPrior to his arrival in Vienna, Dr. Yumkella and his wife Mrs Yumkella, were in Morocco, where he participated and chaired a high-level debate on Energy Security in the Crans Montana Forum in Dhakla, under the patronage of H. E. King Hassan of Morocco.

The debate focused on Renewables, Production and Environmental Concerns: The key to Economic Development in Africa.

Dr and Mrs Yumkella with the Rev Jesse JacksonDr. Yumkella also had an interesting chat with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, whom he had met two years ago in New York, at the African American Institute’s 60th anniversary event, where Dr. Yumkella received the distinguished alumni award. (Photo: Dr & Mrs Yumkella with Reverend Jesse Jackson on the margins of the Crans Montana Forum in Morocco).

Yumkella OFID3So what hope for Sierra Leone?

At this time of deep and growing uncertainty, Sierra Leone needs a visionary leader, with conviction and good track record, such as Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, to link this small impoverished African nation with global institutions, credible and reliable private sector investors, to create jobs and wealth that will lift the people of Sierra Leone out of abject poverty.

Today Sierra Leone more than ever, needs hope, good governance, policy innovation and transformative leadership.


  1. I am excited about the NGC. But this time I want the NGC to really go down to the grassroots to Campaign for mobilization.

  2. When did your “political ladder” start Mr Momoh, if I may ask? Where was that “ladder” in 2005, the year Bio registered as an SLPP member and contested the flag bearer position that same year?

    Some of you guys must be standing on your heads, which is hindering your natural thinking. SLPP as a national party was not created for Bio for whom all your false theories is about.

    SLPP under a normal situation should have had their new executives in place by now. Abnormalities in the present setup has prevented that from happening. Yet, some of you guys could not still accept the normal from the abnormal, and allow the party to move on.

  3. Kandeh yumkella is the perfect presidential candidate . I knew his sincerity when i was given opportunity by him irrespective of my citizenship and no personal relationship.

  4. I am glad to hear that even our people in the South-East are coming to terms with the fact that Bio is no match for the mighty APC apparatus. The earlier we all embrace KKY the better.

  5. Mr Momoh. You sound like one of those SLPP extremists who are trying to impose a constitution that does not exist on Dr Yumkella.

    Where in the SLPP constitution does it say that Yumkella has to start at the bottom of the ladder before he can put himself forward for the presidency?

    What is this ladder and where does it exists, if not in your warped imagination? Your suggestion to Yumkella to wait ten years before seeking the presidency so as to make way for your man Bio is crass stupidity.

    Bio has nothing over Yumkella in any respect whatsoever. But put that to one side. When Ernest Bai Koroma took over leadership of APC he did not have to serve any apprenticeship. He was elected by the party as their presidential candidate despite being a new member.

    Similarly Tejan Kabbah was elected presidential candidate of SLPP despite the fact he was a new comer. Why was he not told to wait his turn or work his way up your imaginary ladder?

    Mr Momoh are you sure you are not a closet tribalist? Just asking because you are not making sense.

  6. I am for you Dr Kandeh Yumkellah, since I read and heard about you from this media – The Sierra Leone Telegraph since it’s inception online. I pray to God everyday for good leadership in Africa and in Sierra Leone particularly.

    I hope that our party which is the SLPP party will endorsed you Dr Kandeh Yumkellah as our presidential flag bearer for the 2018 presidential election.

    As the party selected the late Dr Ahmed Tejan Kabbah in 1995/96 presidential election as it’s party flag bearer and he never let us down when he was elected president of Sierra Leone.

    So I hope that President in waiting, Dr Kandeh Yemkellah will build on the foundations that the late Dr Kabbah laid for our economic development

  7. I am very fascinated at the level of achievements made by this humble Sierra Leonean.

    He is indeed an erudite gentleman, with the right connections and ingenuity to lift our country out of hopelessness, despondency and entrenched penury.

    I call on all Sierra Leoneans to support him in his drive to assume the highest leadership position in the country.

  8. Thanks for your international campaigns but there is more to national politics than international politics.

    Entry into the UN is not the same as climbing political ladder of any nation. In national politics, there is a ladder which all need to climb and there are steps to follow.

    Since you are at the first step, you can wait for ten years so that you can learn the deep politics in Sierra Leone.

    Please hold on to your desire and support Maada Bio for a better position in his administration while understudying the deeper part of our national politics.

    • Mr Momoh, if you are insensitive enough not to notice the gradual decline of Bio, then its time to start praying to your God to inject some wisdom in to your brain.

      Everyone, except you, is starting to accept the fact that Bio will never win a presidential race in Sierra Leone.

      Soon, he and his criminal gangs will be isolated; and we will install Yumkella as our presidential aspirant. For far too long, some of you have been playing the tribal drum. It won’t work this time.

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