Dr Kandeh Yumkella is a distinguished development economist and an expert in agricultural economics with over 30 years of experience. He is founder and CEO of The Energy Nexus Network (TENN), a regional ecosystem hub for sustainable energy solutions and serves as a Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone. He is a member of the High-Level Group of the Africa-Europe Foundation and co-chair of the Africa Europe Foundation Strategy Group on Energy. He is also a member of various international advisory bodies, boards, and commissions.
Previously Dr Yumkella served for almost two decades in the United Nations system including as Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and founding chief executive officer for the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative (2013–2015). He also served two four-year terms as Director-General of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, 2005–2013).
In both capacities, among other accomplishments, Dr Yumkella mobilized global consensus for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 9. These deal with ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all, and building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation, respectively. He also served as a member of the Pan-African Parliament.