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.

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As 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.”

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As 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.

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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.

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.