SEforALL board approves term renewal of CEO Damilola Ogunbiyi

The Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) Governance Board has approved Damilola Ogunbiyi for a second five-year term as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), following great strides the organisation has made under her leadership to enable just, equitable and sustainable energy transitions that ensure better quality of life and opportunities for people living in developing regions. Recognised as a trailblazer during her first term, which began in 2020, Ms. Ogunbiyi, who is the first CEO to have her appointment renewed, 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 stand at the 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.

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organisation that works in partnership with the United Nations and leaders in government, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and philanthropies to drive faster action towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – in line with the Paris Agreement on climate. SEforALL works to ensure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind and brings new opportunities for everyone to fulfill their potential.

Under Ms. Ogunbiyi’s leadership, SEforALL has prioritised 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. This led to securing $1.3 trillion commitments through Energy Compacts to support the achievement of SDG7, in partnership with UN-Energy, enabling the first-time capture of energy specific voluntary SDG7 commitments, aligned with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Through this, 129 million people have gained access to electricity while 22 million others gained access to clean cooking through the Energy Compact commitments.


The organisation also raised $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 while 330 young women from the Global South have been trained in the sustainable energy sector and benefited from career development. The organisation, under her leadership, supported eight Presidencies of the G20 and the UNFCCC 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.


The organisation also supported Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Barbados and Sierra Leone to develop Energy Transition and Investment Plans, thus providing an opportunity for these countries to build energy systems that support economic and social development and achieve net-zero emissions. Additionally, SEforALL supported the development of national integrated energy plans (IEPs) to help direct resources effectively and efficiently to help Malawi, Nigeria and Madagascar achieve goals for electrification and clean cooking access.

Reacting, Damilola Ogunbiyi, 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.”

Praising Ogunbiyi’s re-appointment, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu said her re-appointment was not just a win for Nigeria but for the world as well. “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,” Tinubu stated.


According to Francesco Starace, Chair, Governance Board, SEforALL,”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.”

Also speaking, 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.”


On her own, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of 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,” while Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, submitted that “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 organisation.”

“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,” Ajay Banga, President, World Bank Group, stated in his reaction while 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.”


Echoing the reactions, 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.”


Also, Claver Gatete, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 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.”

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