Episode 16 / Kandeh K. Yumkella

Sustainable Energy for All

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About our Guest /

Dr Kandeh Yumkella, often called KKY in his native Sierra Leone, held many roles: he was a minister, an academic, the UN Under-Secretary General and now a politician.


One thing has not change over these years – he has been a leading voice on providing energy for all.

Dr Yumkella joined the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in 1996. He was the Director of the Africa and Least Developed Countries Regional Bureau for 4 years, until 2000, when he became UNIDO Representative and Director of the Regional Industrial Development Centre in Nigeria.


In 2003 he became Senior Advisor to UNIDO Director-General, Carlos Alfredo Magariños. In 2005 he succeeded the Argentinian and held the post of UNIDO’s Director General until 2013.

In 2008, when Ban Ki-moon created an umbrella organisation for all the UN agendas dealing with energy, UN Energy, Kandeh was asked to lead it. He turned out to be great at chairing high-level groups. In 2011 he was appointed as Co-Chair of the High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. Given 2012 was designated as International Year for Sustainable Energy for All you can imagine he was quite busy.

Dr Yumkella holds a B.Sc. in General Agriculture from Njala University College in Sierra Leone, a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a Ph. D. in Agricultural Economics from University of Illinois.


Premiered / November 4, 2020   


Guest Links / 

  • Dr Yumkella’s “Garden of Eden Syndrome” theory on corruption: Click here

  • Energy, Employment and Migration in Africa: Click here

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