Yumkella departs Freetown for high-level regional events

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 May 2016

kandeh Yumkella and Mayor of Houston Texas - 2509151

Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNIDO Director-General – Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, left the shores of Freetown yesterday, Sunday, 8 May, to take part in a series of regional events taking place in Rwanda, Kenya and South Africa.

In the Rwandan capital of Kigali, Dr. Yumkella will attend the 2016 World Economic Forum on Africa (WEC), hosted by the government and people of Rwanda. The Forum will engage top political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

In addition to sharing his expertise on development, industrialization and energy issues across the various high-level panels he will be leading, Yumkella is also scheduled to meet with a number of regional leaders.

G8-Gipfel in St. Petersburg - Merkel, BlairAs a member of President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Senior Advisors Group (SAG), convened by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, Dr. Yumkella will also co-chair a session on “Tackling Energy Access” with former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Recognized widely for his leadership and consensus building skills on global issues, Dr. Yumkella is a member of numerous high-level policy associations.

At the World Economic Forum, he is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change and the Future of Electricity Council.

The Global Agenda Councils are a network of invitation-only groups that study the most pressing issues facing the world. Each council is made up of 15-20 experts, who come together to provide interdisciplinary thinking, stimulate dialogue, shape agendas and drive initiatives.

Following his engagements at the World Economic Forum in Kigali, he will proceed to Nairobi where he is scheduled to take part at the Frontier 100 Forum. The gathering brings together African and Global Business Leaders under the theme, “Engines of Growth: Powering African Countries to Create Employment and Accelerate Development.”

Africa progress panel1As former Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dr. Yumkella put into motion sustainable industrial development pro-poor policies in an effort to reduce poverty.

He has continually called for a holistic approach that recognizes the links between energy and production, production and trade and the energy-production-environment nexus.

Yumkella is a strong supporter and champion of local entrepreneurship, along with private-sector involvement and the right policy environment, to ensure institution building and the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises that a country like Sierra Leone desperately needs.

It is this experience that he will share with participants, as he leads a session titled: Conversation with Kandeh Yumkella on Africa’s Economic Transformation through Value Addition.

Speaking to African Heads of State in Addis Ababa in 2013, Yumkella noted that industrialization is key to Africa’s renaissance. He has often said that growth in other regions is driven by structural change to manufacturing and value-added services, but in Africa, growth has been driven by a commodity exports boom. “This must change now. We must be the next industrial frontier, he said.”

kandeh_yumkella_adIn addition to universal education, Yumkella calls for “skills-formation to make the youth employable, or more productive, or to become entrepreneurs themselves. To complement food security, we must call for agribusiness development to create rural wealth to stem the mass migration of people to urban areas; and we must emphasize private sector wealth creation beyond mundane poverty alleviation, for you cannot eradicate poverty without creating wealth,” said Yumkella.

Not only has he called for the same in policies over the years in his native land of Sierra Leone, he has personally backed up his call by supporting these initiatives.

During a visit to Sierra Leone in 2012 in his capacity as Director-General, he noted that “with almost three-quarters of the population under the age of 30, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have one of the youngest populations in the world.”

Four years later and as a resident of Freetown, the unemployment crisis has increased and left many of the country’s youth disillusioned about their future.

If given the opportunity to lead the SLPP – Sierra Leone’s main opposition party as presidential flag-bearer, he will have to face this issue head one.

As he often says to the youths, “enough with being the grass root. It’s time to for you to grow into a tree that stands out.”

In Cape Town, Yumkella will deliver the keynote address at the 16th Africa Utility Week. The leading co-founder of the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG), his keynote address will focus on Power for All: The Only Option We Have for Industrialization in Africa.

Dr. Yumkella will also attend the annual awards dinner, where he is one of the candidates that have been shortlisted for recognition. A host of dignitaries have requested meetings with him on the margins of the Cape Town event.


  1. Bo duya. Maada Bio my foot.

    The man is part of the diaspora now and has been for some years now. So if KKY who was in the diaspora is not good enough to be flag bearer, then why should Bio who is out of Sierra Leone?

    I fully support Mr Yumkella going around the world to attend conferences, even though he left the U.N. and returned to Sierra Leone since last year.

    Now, is he being paid a monthly salary in Sierra Leone? NO.

    Is he paid by the SLPP? NO.

    Then how do you expect the man to look after himself and his family?

    He will NOT stoop so low as to ‘OMOJUBA’ to anyone to beg for money as Bio did.

    So Mr Yumkella, go and work for your hard – earned dollars and return to SL with your head held high and continue campaigning.

    The sooner SLPP accept that Maada Bio is a spent force the better it will be for the party.

  2. Sam Momoh do you know that the SLPP Party constitution states that a presidential flag bearer candidate is for one term only, as clearly shown by Solomon E. Berewah in 2007 when he lost the presidential election by cruel means.

    He was told of his limits and he dully resigned his position as opposition leader that allowed Julius Maada Bio to win the SLPP presidential flagbearership and contested the 2012 presidential elections which he lost.

    Why is it that you Sam Momoh and others are still insisting that Bio should still contest the 2018 presidential election as the SLPP party presidential candidate against the limit stipulated by the constitution?

    If you dont know as I have read from Yumkellah’s autobiography, Dr Yumkellah’s father was a founding member of the SLPP Party with the late Sir Milton Margai. Dr Kandeh contested the presidential flagbearership in 1995/96 year of the SLPP party, and won just 2 votes before going abroad to do his job as a lecturer.

    Why is he now regarded as an outsider by the SLPP? We dont know much of the parents of Bio as SLPP members, but you refer to Dr kandeh as a new comer to the party. We should be honest to ourselves.

  3. Gbessay Ehlogima Sam Momoh: Which of the 12 districts have you traveled to in Salone? Have you ever been out of the country to widen your horizon and broaden your outlook on life’s ginormous or many possibilities? If yes, where in the world? Be specific!

    I’m asking simply because you seem to be locally-minded and anti-international for that matter.

    Please be honest with me, and let me know. Otherwise hold your peace and pray earnestly for God’s divine intervention in our democratic process.

    By the way, the concept of government by the people; for the people; and of the people is coming to an end very fast. For the Bible says that:

    “People will faint from TERROR, apprehensive of what is coming on the WORLD, for the heavenly bodies will

    be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in a cloud with power and

    great glory. When these things BEGIN to take place, stand up and LIFT UP your heads, because your

    REDEMPTION is drawing near.” Luke 21:26-29 (NIV). Amen.

  4. SLPP is not a dumping ground for retired or UN permanent consultants who do not have permanent job with the UN. There is great difference holding diplomatic powers and holding political powers. They have often failed, not in Sierra Leone but across the globe. KKY will be better placed to serve as Diplomat to the UN when Maada takes over the mantle of power.

    The senior cadre in the SLPP who have grabbed that office for many years may hate Maada but we the masses love him.
    If SLPP wants to lose the 2018 election, let them try another person. They will wait for another 10 years of another party may be the APC. Always get someone as flag bearer the one that the masses love.

    • Mr Sam Momoh, what can you say about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Alhassan Quattara of Ivory Coast? Both former UN staff. Aren’t they doing well as leaders of their countries?

  5. We the people of Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) prefer a Sierra Leonean to be our presidential candidate (Our party flag-bearer) for the forth coming General Election in our country that is not focusing on our national issues, but busy with attending UN conferences as a show off while blindfolding us with UN contacts he rub shoulder with.

    This is just one of the clarifications that Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY) has not still resigned and left UN alone to concentrate on his own business more important.

    When the Tejan Kabbah returned home from the UN for serious business in our country, Sierra Leone, he left the UN alone. Although he continued to use his good contacts he left behind such as Kofi Annan who assisted very greatly with ending the civil war that his friend inherited.

    So, what is KKY’s strong links at this moment? Is it Sierra Leone or is it the UN? It is now a broad daylight and quite clear for us to see and differentiate Day light from darkness. Therefore, let us choose the Daylight and not KKY because he is still not with us.

    • Mr. Sannoh, thanks for your comments. Let me reiterate that Dr. Kandeh has made it abundantly clear that he will continue to give expert support to countries, agencies and institutions that need his help even if he becomes president.

      That is not suggesting that he will have less time for the very important job of delivering the leadership and socio – economic development that Sierra Leone badly need. Do you know that a busy restaurant is likely to offer you a better service than a quiet one?

      Note that Former president Kabbah had resigned from the UN before considering the SLPP leadership. Kandeh on the other hand was in active service prolifically discharging his duties all over the world, before he was persuaded by well-meaning Sierra Leoneans to come and help his Country.

      With due respect to Pa Kabbah , Dr Kandeh had attained a more senior position, so his legacy still follows him.
      His romance with other world leaders and institutions can be a serious catalysis in helping him tackle the plethora of development challenges our nation is facing.

      For instance, he has the opportunity to learn from Paul Kagami of Rwanda how he is able to make Kigali the cleanest City in Africa.

      Dr. Kandeh has the energy and passion to travel around the world. If elected as President, Dr. Kandeh is likely to become the number one face of Africa in terms of articulating Africa’s developing agenda. He will use his good contacts to electrify Sierra Leone, a job he has already started in parts of the country.

      Please don’t be a victim of the “fear of the unknown”. Dr. Kandeh is the leader of your generation, you can’t afford to lose him!

  6. He is still selling his brain to the world after quitting his prestigious job to come home and help. Demand for his ideas are coming everyday from around the world.

    Sierra Leoneans, what are you waiting for? I’m not involved in politics, but I will help him succeed in Sierra Leone.

  7. Choosing KKY as SLPP flag bearer is a choice between DAYLIGHT and DARKNESS. We can’t afford to make the wrong choice this time if we mean serious business. We clearly have a choice in the person of KKY to give meaning to our slogan ” one country one people and power to the people”.

  8. Kandeh, although he is not my candidate for the presidency, is an asset to my country, Africa and the world.

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