Team

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Adedoyin Adeleke
Founder/Executive Director

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Adedoyin Adeleke is a sustainable energy researcher, currently pursuing a doctoral degree within the UNESCO Chair in Energy for Sustainable Development at the Department of Energy, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy and the Founder and Executive Director of the International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and a multidisciplinary master’s degree in Energy Studies from University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. His interest in using theoretical knowledge to impact social and economic development led him to co-invent a 10-seconds chicken de-feathering machine during his undergraduate studies. As his master’s dissertation, he researched on the “Sustainability of Solar Mini-Grids in Nigeria” which profiles factors responsible for failure and success of solar mini-grids in Nigeria.


Adedoyin is named in the 2018 40 Under 40 list of Changemakers in the global solar energy industry (Renewable Energy World, USA) and also the first African to be named in 30 Under 30 list of Changemakers in Environmental Education (North America Association for Environmental Education, USA) since the commencement of the awarding initiative. Also in 2018, he is among the Top 100 Shakers and Movers in e-learning in Africa as rated by Bob Little Press and Public Relations, United Kingdom.




Adedoyin has also received numerous scholarship awards for his excellent educational performance including the Federal Scholarship Board Undergraduate Award, Nigeria (2009-2012) which funded his undergraduate studies and the MacArthur Foundation Grant Scholarship (2015 – 2016) at the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, Ibadan, Nigeria for his master’s degree programme; Fellowship from the German Government for the 69th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and Italian Government Scholarship for his Doctoral Study, among others. He has also received several of grants from the Royal Academy of Overseas Science (Belgium), Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (Nigeria), Global GreenGrants Fund (USA), among others.




Funded by a fellowship from the German government, Adedoyin was one of the 21 young sustainable energy professionals selected from across the globe who participated at the 69th UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in 2016 at Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany. He has also participated in many conferences, workshops and summer schools on diverse sustainable energy topics in various countries. He served as a Lead Country Contributor for the Paris-based Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) in preparing its Global Status Reports (2017 and 2018 editions) on Renewable Energy. He also served as a Contributor to the 2017 1 Gigaton Report which tracked contributions of renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes in developing countries to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, among other contributions to causes for green growth and education development globally.



Adedoyin is a relentless volunteer, championing causes for green growth and educational development in Africa. He is the Initiator and Team Lead for the Mentoring for Research Programme, an initiative that facilitates various global supports for graduate students in African universities conducting research on environmental topics. During his National Youth Service in Kano State, Nigeria, he organised six education-based community development programmes which directly benefitted more than 800 high school students and many other young people were indirect beneficiaries through his weekly radio and television programmes in the state. One of the programmes was published by a national newspaper among other media reports.

He says ‘while I specialise in sustainable energy and contribute to educational development, my interest transcend energy and goes beyond education, I want to contribute to the making of the Real Africa: the Africa with llivelihood that reflect its potentials’….‘Africa is too rich to be poor, I choose to Act’.

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Agatha Christy Sonma Okoro
Manager, Administration

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Sonma Okoro is a passionate renewable energy professional with expertise in both wind and solar technologies. Her experiences span from the semiconductor industry to the energy and utilities industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Jacobs University Bremen. In 2010 she won a Global Engineering Award to pursue double Masters degrees which she completed with top grades. She was awarded a Master of Science in Microelectronics and Microsystems Engineering from the Technische Universität Hamburg and a Technology Management MBA for Engineers from the Northern Institute of Technology Management in Germany. For her MBA thesis in 2012, Sonma developed investment models for Photovoltaic power plants with energy storage systems at Siemens Energy, Germany.



She is a Performance Engineer with E.ON Climate & Renewable (USA) for their global fleet of wind farms. In her role, Sonma uses advanced analytics tools and algorithms to analyze specific signals which indicate the condition of the wind turbines and detect inefficiencies as well as predict failures. She works with the Site Engineers and Operators to derive actionable insights, solve problems and restore turbines to best possible performance levels. She is also responsible for supporting the sites in planning and validation of performance upgrades to increase energy yield of the wind farms. Sonma has led a business process improvement project in the company and is qualified as a Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt.



Sonma’s accomplishments have taken her worldwide on multiple assignments. Earlier in her career, she was sent on exciting renewable energy projects across different countries. Among them are offshore wind development projects in Germany and Denmark, and on the construction of an offshore wind farm in the UK. Another which holds a special significance for her is the start-up of a solar off-grid solutions company which provides electricity via mini-grids to rural communities in Tanzania. The latter experience inspired her to found Lumen Energy Consultancy in 2016, a firm which provides technical advice and support on design and procurement of reliable, quality solar PV systems for homes and businesses in Nigeria.

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Oluwadamilola Pikuda
Manager, Programmes

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Oluwadamilola Pikuda is a passionate environmental researcher with expertise in photocatalysis, material science, nanotechnology/nanomaterials and their applications towards achieving a cleaner and sustainable environment. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Biocolloids and Surfaces Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University, Canada where her research focuses on the effects of plastic pollution on aquatic organisms.

She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria where she graduated with first class honours and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, at the Institute Center for Water and Environment (iWater), Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, UAE, where she worked on Semi-Conductor Thin Films for Solar Light Activated Glass and graduated with distinction. 
She is a past recipient of several prestigious scholarships such as Carnegie Female Merit Award, USA (2009-2012), Federal Government Undergraduate Scholarship, Nigeria (2009-2012), Masdar Institute Scholarship, UAE (2015-2016), and currently McGill Engineering Doctoral Award, Canada (2017 – date) and the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship – Doctoral (2018-date). Also, Oluwadamilola was awarded Best Thesis Award, Department of Chemical Engineering; Master of Science Outstanding Thesis Award; and Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Academic Performance and Maintaining a GPA of 4.0 (2015-2017 Academic Years) at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology upon the completion of her M. Sc. Programme.

She has presented her research work at different conferences across the globe and published several peer-reviewed publications. Asides her commitment to environmental-related research, Dami is also passionate for educational development especially in Africa and continually engages in activities to contribute
to youth-related causes in the continent. She is a founding member of Nigeria Future Energy Group (NiFEG), a Nigeria-based NGO which promotes sustainability whilst proffering solutions to localized energy problems. Among the successful projects of the group is powering the Kanji and Wolfson lecture halls in Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria using solar PV panels, as well as providing training sessions on PV panel installation to the university students.

She is the Program Manager of International Support Network for African Development (ISNAD-Africa).

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Wuraola Okuwobi
Programme Associate

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Quddus Busari
Programme Associate

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Quddus Busari is a Geospatial scientist. In 2016, he obtained his first degree in Surveying and Geoinformatics from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, as the best graduating student in his department. While serving under the National Youth Service Corps scheme, he was an active member of the Education Development Group of the Community Development Service program, and he helped in championing several causes that aimed at improving education within his community.

In 2018, he won the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) scholarship award, with which he presently pursues his masters degree in Applied Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing at the University of Southampton, UK. In the masters program, he seeks to understand ways in which Remote Sensing and GIS can be applied in climate change study.

Quddus is also a self-taught website designer and developer with a number of completed projects in his portfolio.

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Panagiotis Karvounis
Communications Associate

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Panagiotis Karvounis is an Energy Engineer with a Bachelor of Science from the University of West Attica on Energy Technology Engineering. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Politecnico di Milano on Energy for Development. He was a Junior Research Fellow at National Technical University of Athens, where his work specialized on CFD simulations. During his Bachelor studies I was Undergraduate coordinator at Combustion Lab and Undergraduate researcher at Renewable Energy Sources Laboratory. Panagiotis has published articles dealing with alternative sources of energy and finite element simulations, in peer-reviewed scientific journals and international conferences. Since 2017 he has been an active member of the United Nations Volunteers and a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London. His research interests involve renewable energy penetration, solar mini grids, sustainable development and simulation modeling.

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Amanda Kahunzire
Communications Associate

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Amanda is an Electrical Engineer with over 2 years experience with Uganda’s biggest electricity distribution utility. Recently completed an MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures from Imperial College, London and a science policy internship on climate change and emerging technologies with the Royal Society of London. Areas of interest include clean energy technologies, energy access in developing countries, and energy efficiency for sustainable energy sectors.

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Maxine Chikumbo
Communications Associate

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Maxine is a generalist experienced in communications, research, and media-related activities. Her current career focus is on how to effectively communicate energy efficiency to the public; as well as how psychology can be used to influence behaviour and decision-making around energy use. She was a CELI Fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute in 2016, and has worked with the UN Correspondents Association, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and The Arlingontonians for a Clean Environment on energy and climate-related issues.

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Yasmin Khalafallah
Communications Associate

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Yasmin works as an Assistant Programme Manager at UN-Habitat’s Housing and Slum Upgrading Programme in Egypt. Her work entails identifying urban challenges and gaps particularly in the field of housing and urban upgrading and conceptualizing solutions to counter them. Upon having solid project ideas, we look for ways to fund the implementation of the suggested projects. Through her current and previous work she has worked on projects aimed at improving the quality of life of different target groups of urban dwellers. Some of the projects she has worked on aimed to: increase the resilience of slum dwellers against climate change in Cairo; create green public spaces in a Cairo informal settlement and raising the environmental awareness of its residents; provide water to unconnected Upper Egyptian villages through cost-effective nature based filtration technologies; in addition to many other projects.

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Professor Howard Alper (Chair)

Distinguished Professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

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Howard Alper currently spearheads the initiative by the Governor General of Canada (Head of State) aimed at promoting global recognition for Canadian research excellence. He is chairs the Canvassing Committee for the initiative. He is also Distinguished University Professor at the University of Ottawa. His basic research spans organic and inorganic chemistry, with potential applications in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and commodity chemical industries.



From his research, Alper has discovered new reactions using homogeneous, phase transfer, and heterogeneous catalysis (e.g. clays, dendrimers). He has also used chiral ligands in metal catalyzed cycloaddition and carbonylation reactions, and succeeded in preparing valuable products in pharmacologically active form. He has published 551 papers, has thirty-seven patents, and has edited several books.



Alper is a recipient of numerous prestigious Fellowships including the E.W.R. Steacie (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, NSERC, 1980‑82), Guggenheim (1985‑86), and Killam (1986‑88) Fellowships. Major awards to his credit include the Alcan Award for Inorganic Chemistry (1986), Bader Award for Organic Chemistry (1990), Steacie Award for Chemistry (1993), all of the Canadian Society for Chemistry. The Chemical Institute of Canada has presented Alper with the Catalysis Award (1984), the Montreal Medal (2003), and the CIC Medal (1997), its highest honour. He also received the Urgel‑Archambault Prize (ACFAS) in physical sciences and engineering.


In 2000, the Governor General of Canada presented him with the first Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal in Science and Engineering. The following year, he was given the National Merit Award for contributions to the Life Sciences. Two years later, he received the Le Sueur Memorial Award of the Society of Chemical Industry (U.K.). In 2004, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Research Society of India, in 2006, an Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, and in March 2013, was made an Honorary Foreign Member of the Chemical Society of Japan(CSJ), the first Canadian ever to be so honoured by the CSJ. He was also elected a Honorary Member of the Colombian Academy of Sciences in 2011, and of the Mexican Academy of Sciences in 2009.



Alper has served on a number of NSERC committees (e.g. Committee on Research Grants), and as Chair of Boards and Committees including the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE), Council of Canadian Academies, Canadian Research Knowledge Network, and the Steacie Institute of Molecular Sciences, among others. He was also Visiting Executive at the International Development Research Centre during 2006-2010.



In 1996, Alper was appointed in 1996 as a Titular Member of the European Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, and in 2003 as a member of TWAS-the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1999, and in 2002 he received the award of Officer, National Order of Merit, by the President of the Republic of France. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, President Napolitano of the Republic of Italy, bestowed the award of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic to Alper, He was named President of the Royal Society of Canada for a two-year term commencing November 2001, and was its Foreign Secretary from 2004-2010. In 2004, he was elected to a three-year term as Co-Chair of the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS). In December 2006, he was elected Co-Chair of IAP: The Global Network of Science Academies, for a three-year term, and in January, 2010, was re-elected to a second three year term as Co-Chair. In 2010, he was also appointed to the U.S. National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering, to the Science Advisory Committee of the World Economic Forum, to the Board of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences-Next Einstein Initiative, to the Advisory Board of the Global Young Academy, and as Vice-Chair of the RIKEN Advisory Council. In 2011, he was elected as Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Knowledge Economy Network headquartered in Brussels. In 2015, he was appointed to the Board of the ambitious Smart Villages initiative. On June 13, 2007, he was appointed inaugural Chair of the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) which provides advice to Cabinet and the Prime Minister on science, technology and innovation issues, and the Council also issues a State of the Nation reports every two years benchmarking Canada’s performance on a global basis. The inaugural report was released in May, 2009, the second report appeared in June, 2011, the third report was released in May, 2013, and the latest report appeared in 2015. In December, 2012, the Government of Canada reappointed him to a third term as Chair of the STIC. He completed eight years as Chair of STIC by the end of his third term in May, 2015



He is passionate about Canada, research and chocolate.

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Prof. Emanuela Colombo

UNESCO Chair on Energy for Sustainable Development

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Emanuela Colombo has achieved both a PhD in Energetic and a Nuclear Engineering MSc at Politecnico di Milano(PoliMI) in Italy where she is Associate Professor and serve at the Department of Energy. She has also been covering the role of Rector’s Delegate to Cooperation and Development at Politecnico di Milano since 2005. She worked for Ansaldo Energia,ABB Research, Fluent (now ANSYS-FLUENT).



She is the scientific coordinator of a number of European projects and international tenders on Green Innovation (Egypt), Sustainable Energy Engineering (Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia), Water Energy and Food nexus (Egypt), Modern Energy services in refugee camps (Lebanon, Somalia, RCA and Colombia) and Capacity Building in Engineering (Tanzania). Over the last decade, she has also been working as expert and advisor for different Italian private players, NGOs and international organisation (UNIDO and AEEP). She is author of more than 120 scientific papers, 56 of them are in scopus or web of science and co-author of the book “Renewable Energy for Unleashing Sustainable Development” by Springer.

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Prof. Adeola Adenikinju

Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), University of Ibadan, Nigeria

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Adeola Adenikinju holds a PhD Degree in Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a Professor of Economics and he is also a Research Professor at the Centre for Econometrics and Allied Research, as well as Senior Research Fellow, Macroeconomic Study Group, University of Ibadan. Currently, Adeola is the Director, Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL), a MacArthur Foundation Regional Centre of Excellence at the University of Ibadan that provides multidisciplinary training, research and consultancy in various fields of energy.



Adeola has consulted for many local and international organizations on various energy projects. Such organisations include European Union, United Nations, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), The African Economic Research Consortium, OECD, UNIDO, ECOWAS, GIZ, UNECA, the World Bank, and the National Data Bank, among others. He was one of the Consultants that prepared the First Perspective Plan for Nigeria. He is also involved in the United Nations Project Link that makes economic projection for the Nigerian Economy. Adeola was a Visiting Scholar to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1996 and 2005.



His research interests include Petroleum and Energy Economics, Macroeconomic modeling, and Economic Development issues. He has published extensively in reputable Local and International Journals, including the OPEC Review, Energy Policy, Pacific and Asian Journal of Energy, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies, and African Journal of Economic Policy. He is a Life Member, and former Business Manager of the Nigerian Economic Society; Member, African Economic Research Consortium; Member, Association of Third World Studies in Philadelphia and Member, the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) headquartered in the United States. Adeola served as the Vice President (2006-2010) and President (2011-2015) of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics.



He is currently the Editor, Journal of Economic Management. Between 2005 and2007, Adeola served as a Special Assistant to the Nigerian Presidential Adviser on Energy Matters and Senior Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 2010-2011.

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