SEforALL Board approves term renewal of CEO Damilola Ogunbiyi

By Oke Peter

The Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Governance Board approved the reappointment of Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi to a second five-year term as Chief Executive Officer.

Under her leadership, the organization has made great strides to enable just, equitable and sustainable energy transitions that ensure better quality of life and opportunities for people living in developing regions.

Recognized as a trailblazer during her first term, which began in 2020, Ms. Ogunbiyi led an ambitious expansion of SEforALL’s global influence and country support, providing clear pathways to accelerate progress towards universal energy access and advancing a just and equitable energy transition in countries that are at greatest risk of being left behind. In this period, SEforALL, through a range of innovative programmes and initiatives, established working relationships with over 200 partners, and supported over 90 countries globally.

SEforALL has prioritized evidence-based support to in-country capacity building that is driving policy, project, and ecosystem action with sustainable energy solutions towards climate and development priorities. Concretely, SEforALL has achieved the following impacts in under five years:

USD 1.3 trillion in commitments expressed through Energy Compacts to support the achievement of SDG7. SEforALL, in partnership with UN-Energy, spearheaded the Energy Compacts, enabling the first-time capture of energy specific voluntary SDG7 commitments, aligned with Nationally Determined Contributions.

129,000,000 people have gained access to electricity and 22,000,000 people have gained access to clean cooking through Energy Compact commitments.

Raised USD 40 million as subsidy to bridge the gap for new mini-grid and high capacity standalone solar systems that supported Sierra Leone, Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin and Nigeria through the Universal Energy Facility (UEF), a results-based financing facility and multi-donor platform managed by SEforALL.

330 young women from the Global South trained in the sustainable energy sector and benefited from career development.

Supported eight Presidencies of the G20 & COP – Saudia Arabia, Italy, Indonesia, India and Brazil under G20 and the UK, Egypt and the UAE under COP to advance just and equitable energy transitions.

Supported Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Barbados and Sierra Leone to develop Energy Transition and Investment Plans providing an opportunity for these countries to build energy systems that support economic and social development and achieve net-zero emissions.

Supported the development of national integrated energy plans (IEPs) to help direct resources effectively and efficiently to help achieve Malawi, Nigeria and Madagascar’s goals for electrification and clean cooking access.

The 2024-2026 SEforALL Strategic Plan prioritizes three pillars of work:
Global advocacy and knowledge dissemination for SDG7 and a just and equitable energy transition
Scalable solutions and platforms that develop and provide replicable solutions to address common challenges to regional or global issues
Tailored country support to address country-specific needs for a just and equitable energy transition
Specifically, the plan aims to build international ambition through energy diplomacy and mobilize global coalitions to finance and deliver a just and equitable energy transition; drive verified connections and accelerate private sector deployment of clean energy solutions, including through the continued scale-up of the Universal Energy Facility; and support national action through strategic country-level programmatic support.

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, said:

“It is an honour to be appointed for a second five-year term as the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All. I look forward to continuing my SEforALL and UN Energy roles and working with leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and philanthropies to end energy poverty and accelerate a just and equitable energy transition. I am committed to working with countries around the world, ensuring that all people irrespective of where they currently live, can lead dignified, productive and healthy lives powered by sustainable energy.”

Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy

Francesco Starace, Chair, Governance Board, SEforALL, said:
“Sustainable energy is the solution we need to stave off the climate crisis and build a better future for both people and planet. And that is why the right leadership is necessary to lead Sustainable Energy for All, which is mobilizing finance and partnerships to help countries achieve their energy, climate and development goals. Damilola has been this kind of leader, focused on impact and going beyond rhetoric. As a Governance Board, we are confident that she provides the leadership needed to take Sustainable Energy for All to the next level.”

H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President, The Republic of Nigeria, said:
“With the support of Sustainable Energy for All, the Nigerian Government designed the first-of-its-kind Energy Transition Plan to tackle the dual crises of energy poverty and climate change and to deliver SDG7 by 2030 and net zero by 2060. Through Damilola’s leadership, SEforALL continues to offer support to the country through the Energy Transition Office as well as through programmes such as the Universal Energy Facility. Her reappointment is not only a win for Nigeria but a win for the world.”

H.E. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister, Barbados, said :
“Barbados has an ambitious target of reaching 100 percent renewable energy and full electrification of our island’s transport sector by 2030, and Sustainable Energy for All through Damilola’s leadership, is supporting the country to develop its Energy Transition and Investment Plan, which will help Barbados build clean energy systems. I welcome Damilola’s reappointment and look forward to our continued partnership.”

H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President, The Republic of Ghana, said:
“Ghana’s commitment to a just and equitable energy transition has translated to an ambitious plan that builds a case for change across Ghana’s entire energy system. The plan would not have been possible without the support and commitment of key partners such as Sustainable Energy for All. Through Damilola’s leadership, this relationship continues to be instrumental in driving sustainable development in Ghana, and I welcome the CEO’s reappointment as she continues to steer this great organization.”

H.E. The President, Brig. Rtd, Dr. Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, said:
“Our national aspiration to transition into a net energy exporter is an integral part of our just Energy Transition and Investment Plan, a crucial initiative designed to propel sustainable development, foster green growth and accelerate energy access. Achieving this ambition hinges on the support of esteemed partners like SEforALL under the distinguished leadership of Damilola Ogunbiyi. I wholeheartedly commend her reappointment as a bold leader and advocate for a Just Energy Transition.”

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, COP28 President, UAE, said:
“I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to Damilola on her appointment to a second term as CEO for Sustainable Energy for All. As a valued member of the COP28 Presidency Advisory Committee, Damilola made a genuine contribution to shaping the unprecedented outcomes of the UAE Consensus and the COP28 Presidential Action Agenda. COP28 ushered in a new era in climate action and had world firsts across energy, finance, health, food systems, gender, youth and Indigenous Peoples. As we move forward to COP29, we must sharpen our focus on making climate finance more available, affordable and accessible — in particular across the Global South — and to ensuring the implementation of the commitments made at COP28. With Damilola’s continued leadership, I have no doubt that our shared goals of enabling socio-economic development for all and leaving no one behind will continue to progress. I wish Damilola and SEforALL much continued success.”

Ajay Banga, President, World Bank Group, said:
“Congratulations on your reappointment Damilola. Your dedication and strategic insight have been an invaluable resource to the World Bank and the Private Sector Investment Lab. I look forward to continue working with you on the Lab and other initiatives to mobilize private capital for financing urgent development challenges in emerging markets.”

Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, said:
“Sustainable Energy for All is forging strategic partnerships and alliances for expanding sustainable energy solutions. Damilola’s reappointment at Sustainable Energy for All will further support our collective efforts to develop and scale up sustainable energy solutions in Africa.”

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, said:
“The world doesn’t have to choose between ending energy poverty and slowing the climate crisis. As SEforALL’s work with The Rockefeller Foundation, GEAPP, and many other stakeholders demonstrates, we can develop the solutions we need to achieve universal energy access, avert climate catastrophe, and advance human opportunity. Damilola’s tireless devotion and extraordinary leadership is exactly what we need in this moment, and I look forward to continuing our partnership.”

Richard Nelson, Coordinator, Power Africa, said:
“Surmounting the challenges of electrifying Africa requires extraordinary teamwork, leadership, and innovation. As such, we celebrate our partnership with Sustainable Energy for All with whom we have banded together to extend energy access in novel ways, including electrifying 10,000 health care facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. I congratulate Damilola on her able leadership and re-appointment and look forward to strengthening our relationship to further extend energy access on the continent together.”

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said:
“The International Energy Agency is pleased to work with Sustainable Energy for All to help improve lives around the world by driving efforts to expand access to modern and sustainable energy services, which still remain out of reach for far too many people. Damilola has been a dynamic and determined advocate on these issues. I’m delighted that she has been reappointed for a new term and look forward to continuing to work together.”

Jorge Moreira da Silva, Executive Director of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), said:
“I congratulate Damilola Ogunbiyi on her reappointment as CEO. Under her inspired leadership we launched the Africa Energy Transition Partnership (AETP) at COP28. This initiative will deliver joint action and improved coordination, by addressing issues that impede access to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable infrastructures. I look forward to working with Ms Ogunbiyi and her team to ensure that the clean energy transition delivers for Africa’s economic and social development.”

Claver Gatete, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said:
“I offer my congratulations to Damilola Ogunbiyi for her reappointment to a second term heading SEforALL. The UN Economic Commission for Africa has partnered with SEforALL under her leadership to promote inclusive and sustainable development to accelerate economic transformation in Africa on important issues including energy and the transparent access to critical minerals in the context of the global energy transition. I look forward to our continued collaboration.”

Gerd Müller, UNIDO Director General, said:
“Energy is the basis for all development, and SEforALL has helped to raise global awareness of this critical issue. Global energy demand is expected to increase by 50-70% by 2050, and that means the world needs strong leadership to ensure access to energy for all, decarbonize energy systems and achieve climate-resilient development. I am glad that Damilola Ogunbiyi is one of these global leaders. I look forward to continue working with her on reaching our shared goals during her second term as CEO of SEforALL.”

Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director and CEO of UN Global Compact, said:
“Congratulations Damilola on your reappointment. Your mandate is so critical for ending energy poverty and bringing about a fair and equitable energy transition. This is a true reflection of the UN’s call to leave no one behind. We at UN Global Compact look forward to continued partnership on private sector engagement and are always thrilled to have SEforALL partner with the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI). All the very best!”

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