Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 February 2016
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.
He 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.
Power 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.
“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.