”The special guest of honour and keynote speaker at this year’s conference is the distinguished energy expert, international technocrat and renowned sustainable development specialist, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella who has also served as CEO and representative of the Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and UNIDO Director-General, from 2005 to 2013.
He will be supported by various discussants and participants including the British High Commissioner Mr. Paul Arkwright, Dr. Frank Jacobs, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, managing director of the Bank of Industry, Mr. Nir Marom, co-founder and president of Lumos, Prince Bello Maccido, eminent banker and former Chairman FBN Merchant Bank, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, managing director of the Infrastructure Bank, Mr John Ogar Odey, former Minister of Information and Communications, and Mallam Danladi Bako, former Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission and Sokoto State Commissioner of Information, among others.
Mr. Victor Eromosele, former general manager (finance) at the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd, is the guest speaker while Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, will give the opening keynote address.
Africa Today, through its Conference and Summit Unit, has been at the forefront of innovative continental discussions. The first edition, which featured a former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Sir Shridath (Sonny) Ramphal, and an eminent Commonwealth scholar and ambassador to Washington DC of Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Ronald Sanders in 2015, focused on the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and Africa at a time the continent was being pressured to sign the agreement.
The second edition last year focused on China’s increasing influence in Africa and what its entry portends for the continent. That conference had as its keynote speaker, Sir Vince Cable, a former Business Secretary in the British cabinet. And two other distinguished international speakers, Professor Howard French from Columbia University, New York, and Professor Yun Sun, from the Brookings Institution, Washington DC.
Africa Today’s Publisher, Mr. Kayode Soyinka, announcing this year’s programme, told journalists in Abuja that “Dr. Yumkella is someone who is very well known in Nigeria and across Africa especially for his work as Director-General of UNIDO and as UN Under-Secretary-General and Representative of the Secretary-General on Sustainable Energy for All. His presence at this year’s edition follows Africa Today’s dream of bringing to Nigeria and Africa distinguished international figures to speak, share and impact their knowledge and experiences with us on this Policy Conversation Platform which Africa Today has endowed.”