Yumkella departs Freetown for the United States

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 February 2016

kandeh yumkella ebola funds

Kandeh Yumkella (Photo: Right, with his wife Mrs. Yumkella) – the former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and CEO of the initiative, continues his global engagements on issues of energy.

From Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, the international community continues to seek his expertise.

And on 4-5 March 2016, he will deliver a speech at the 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Energy Conference in Cambridge, USA.

Other confirmed speakers at the conference include Dr. Ernie Moniz – U.S. Energy Secretary, Colleen Calhoun – Senior Executive Director of GE, Dr. Aldo Flores – Secretary General of Riyadh-based International Energy Forum (IEF), and Professor Maria Zuber – Vice President of Research at MIT.

During his MIT engagements, Dr. Yumkella will also meet with students and members of the faculty, and will hold a fire-side chat with Professor Zuber.

Yumkella is known for his decade long promotion of a new inclusive United Nations global energy agenda.

Kandeh3He is also widely credited for creating and leading the Sustainable Energy for All (SEALL) partnership and the Sustainable Development Goal number seven (SDG-7), as part of the new Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Following his engagements at MIT, Yumkella will attend the meeting of the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) in Washington D.C. It should be recalled that the ASE presented Dr. Yumkella with an award in October 2015i in recognition of his global leadership on energy policy.

Recently, he was appointed a member of the Senior Advisers Group for President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.

Obama speaks in GhanaPower Africa is president Obama’s signature support to Africa, promoting universal access to energy, structural change and wealth creation on the continent.

In this capacity, Dr. Yumkella will advise selected African countries on energy policies and how to create public-private partnerships as a driver of transformative investments in the power sectors on the continent.

However, calls for his expertise are not just at the international circles. He is also in demand locally in his native, Sierra Leone. Dr. Yumkella was recently the guest speaker for the Sierra Leone Society of Engineers on energy issues.

A spokesman for Dr. Yumkella today told the Sierra Leone Telegraph: “We commend Dr. Yumkella for continuing his global efforts to achieve universal access to energy.

kandeh Yumkella and Mayor of Houston Texas - 2509151“Later this year, Kandeh will launch his lecture and symposium series on ‘Sustainable Economic Development’. This will be a public service to our nation to create greater awareness of the interface between economic development, growth and environmental sustainability.”

Meanwhile, the OPEC Fund for International Development has secured his services to deliver the keynote speech at the launch of the new Petroleum Companies Energy Access Platform. Another speech is also scheduled at Oxford University, in the United Kingdom.

En-route to the USA, Dr. Yumkella will attend the closed meeting of the African Energy Leaders Group (AELG), a group he co-founded and aimed, at bringing together political and economic leaders at the highest levels to drive reforms and investments needed to end energy poverty and fuel the continent’s economic future.

“The lesson for Sierra Leone is that we should be wary of leaders who have no professional careers, for they will become looters. We should be careful of those who say they will run government as a business – they simply sell all our minerals and our land to enrich themselves and their cabal.

“What we urgently need in Sierra Leone is a visionary and transformative leader. Yumkella has always said that joining politics does not mean that one gives up his or her profession. Thus, he will continue his role as a distinguished development economist and global energy policy expert.

“Indeed, many are called but few are chosen. We are happy KKY is serving and offering his expertise at the local and global levels,” a senior KKY campaign spokesman told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.


  1. If we want peace, everyone has to respect each other and accept their choice of flag bearers until we have one selected by the powers that be. All our bickering will create mayhem and bad blood among us.

  2. KK: The author of the article “Yumkella Departs Freetown For The United States” deliberately plagiarized the scriptural verse in question without giving credit to God’s word as I stated it clearly from Matthew 22:14 (KJV). This is not about religiosity, but a call to doing the right thing at the right time.

    However, if this correction is disgraceful as you said in your own words, then, as a man of God I am happy to stand by it. Please learn to give credit to whom it is due. Thank you very much.

  3. The “many are called, but few are chosen” verse mentioned in the Yumkella Departs Freetown For The United States article above comes from the Bible. See Matthew 22:14 (KJV). But, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is a Muslim and not Christian.

    Please give respect to God’s word and apply it correctly. Thank you.

    • Please don’t reduce this to a religious debate. Your argument is disgracefully out of context. The biblical quotation is just used to express the extraordinary challenge, privilege and opportunity given to a native son of Sierra Leone to speak on the world stage. Aren’t you proud of that? Despite that, Kandeh’s religious tolerance started from childhood. I am sure he embraces lots of good Christian values like many Muslims do. Therefore the author wouldn’t have used a better quotation than this.
      Comment on real issues Mustache!

  4. Very sad indeed. First we are endowed with natural mineral and organic wealth, by the GRACE of ALMIGHTY GOD and we hit ROCK-BOTTOM in human development.

    Now our sons and daughters are Global Energy GURUS and we suffer LACK of ENERGY. What a RANKA to the bone marrow! Lord have MERCY on Sierra Leoneans – including ME!

  5. Can anyone please tell me what the phrase “play with a straight bat” means and its origin?

    Maybe the editor can explain?

  6. The SLPP is really in shambles. We blame the leaders for constantly fighting each other but we the supporters are even worse.

    Can Alan Luke allow others to support their own SLPP candidates without him hurling insults at them? Alan has never demonstrated maturity and security on this forum.

    Does the editor of this medium really have to admonish you guys to realize that your messages can be drowned in a hail personal insults? Is this the way the SLPP is going to defeat the APC?

    • Mr Smart, you do not need my permission to support the candidate you choose. That is your democratic prerogative. However, if in the pursuit of that prerogative you resort to inaccuracies and misinformation or if as the PAOPAs seek to project their Southeastern or Mende first / only repertoire on Sierra Leone, it would not go unchallenged.

      My comments clearly are a source of frustration for you and others – but PAOPA will not get a free pass. If it bothers you – find a brick wall.

  7. Hold fire guys. Please let us play a straight bat. Thank you.
    Personal insults can only drown any good message you may be trying to put across. Let us keep it clean.

  8. Alan Luke,

    The shame of the Kandeh Yumkella campaign is to have a rude bigot of your ilk as a member of its campaign. Can you ever counter a position without resorting to blatant rudeness and demagoguery?

    Who does not know that ethnicity drives electoral politics in Africa? I guess only a delusional rabble-rouser like Alan Luke may think otherwise.

    Kandeh is a decent man that I have known for years. What a shame to have a zealot like Alan Luke represent him in any form.

    • Mr Manns – you can resort to name calling as much as you like. When idiots like you continue to project your Southeastern / Mende first repertoire on Sierra Leone – it would not go unchallenged.

      Check my record though and you will find that unlike you, I am prepared to take a stand against any form of tribal bias. And the reason why I am supporting Kandeh Yumkella over any of the two rag tags (Bio and Foh) that you seem to be prepared to support at any cost and in spite of the evidence is because Yumkella transcends your petty bias and low mindedness.

      It is the backwardness that is rooted in your politics and the limitedness of your horizon and people of your ilk, why Sierra Leone lurches from one disaster to another.

      I defy you to respond.

  9. KK,

    Going by your logic, you should equally ask who dares vote for Kandeh Yumkella in the South-East. Should Yumkella be declared SLPP flag bearer, the APC will have an easy ride in the polls by making Victor Foh their flag bearer.

    Will Yumkella beat Foh, a South-Easterner, in the South-East? Keep dreaming. Since the North have always voted en masse for the APC, they will vote again for the APC and Foh. And Foh and the APC will win the South-East by a blowout.

    Foh is loved by his people and will not lose an election in the South-East to a Northerner. In other words, voters will cross party lines to vote for Foh. These victories will be enough for Foh to win the presidency no matter what happens in the Western Area.

    So it really makes sense for the SLPP not to elect Yumkella as flag bearer. He cannot energize the South-East and the North. He is too removed from the average Joe as he is too busy globetrotting.

    • It seems to me that PAOPA folk always find a way of propagting their Southeastern hegemonic diatribe. As flagbearer for the SLPP, Maada Bio a Southeasterner will win the southeastern vote – as would Victor Foh would for the APC, you claim.

      Is the response from Southeasterners simply anyone who is a Southeasterner would carry our votes, notwithstanding their reputation or character. So presumably even a robot claiming to be a Southeasterner would carry their vote. I am presuming that they would also vote a Bondo devil as President.

      This clap trap that passes as a true reflection of Southeastern opinion must not go unchallenged. It is total nonsense. We have seen how the people of the Southeast have welcomed KKY. They like the people of the North, West and East want change. They want the Hope, Opportunity and Transformation that Yumkella offers. They know that Victor Foh and Maada Bio are both cut from the same cloth. They are unscrupulous and of questionable character and are unfit for the position of President of Sierra Leone. So you can go on deluding yourself, but quit trying to shape Southeastern opinion behind the backward form of politics that you propagate.

  10. You Should be ashamed of yourself. You condemn people who have achieved something in their life to a perpetual thief?

  11. African Politics is not about how long you have served in the UN. It is about understanding the people and their needs. It is about being popular and well known. It is about recognizing your past role in the politics of this nation. Besides, the SLPP is not a dumping ground for UN retired personnel. Let YKK support Maada this time and we will all be behind him after Maada’s 10 years.

    • GBESSAY, If there are a dozen lunatics like you In Sierra Leone, I would be worried. Have you given a thought about the geopolitics of your country. Who dares vote for Bio in the north? What about the western area?

      The enlightened youths now see a vision through the power of social media and are making their own judgement different from your myopic analysis.

      Have you seen what Alassane Ouattara has done in Ivory Coast, coming from the IMF? You are the same guys trying to destroy Bio.

      He should go back and complete his course at Bradford university. YumKella has been working with grass roots communities throughout his life. He knows what to offer them. That is his expertise. Be wise my friend!

    • Gbessay you can dream on. As the campaign moves on KKY would begin to discuss the bread and butter issues that affect ordinary Sierra Leone and would spell out the practical measures he would put in place to deliver Hope, Opportunity and Transformation. Then we will know what Julius Maada Bio is made of and whether he has the understanding and intellect to articulate a vision for the Sierra Leonean people.

      I will remind you of Bio’s past role in the politics of Sierra Leone. It is as a serial coupist, a participant in the extra-judicial killing without trial of 29 people. It is causing the SLPP Government of Tejan Kabba to subvert funds into his private company, P Banga Holidings.

      It is appointing his brother, Stephen Bio – as the sole representative to negotiate trade deals for Sierra Leone. It is being involved in the industrial scale sale of Sierra Leone passports to organised criminals.

      Being popular and well known – who is fooling you! Point of correction – Yumkella resigned his commission at the UN. But I would take a retired UN diplomat any day over a man who have been unemployed for over 23 years.

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