Damilola Ogunbiyi
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Damilola Ogunbiyi

Damilola Ogunbiyi
Co-Chair, UN-Energy

Damilola Ogunbiyi, a visionary and global leader in sustainable energy, has rightfully earned her place in the 5th list of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2023 by Avance Media. As the Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy, Mrs. Ogunbiyi’s impactful contributions have set her apart as a champion for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly focusing on SDG7 – universal access to reliable, affordable, sustainable, and modern energy by 2030.


Under Mrs. Ogunbiyi’s dynamic leadership, SEforALL has formed partnerships with over 200 collaborators, supported more than 90 countries globally, and secured commitments exceeding $600 billion in energy finance. Through groundbreaking programs such as Universal Energy Facility, Powering Healthcare, Women and Youth at the Forefront, Cooling for All, and Clean Cooking, SEforALL has emerged as a driving force in advancing the global energy transition. Innovative initiatives like UN Energy Compacts, Energy Transition Plans, Universal Integrated Energy Plans, the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), and the Renewable Energy Manufacturing Initiative (REMI) bear witness to Mrs. Ogunbiyi’s commitment to tangible, sustainable progress.


Before her pivotal role at SEforALL, Mrs. Ogunbiyi made history as the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency. Her visionary leadership brought forth the Nigerian Electrification Project, a USD 550 million joint World Bank and African Development Bank initiative that has provided energy access to over 5 million people across Nigeria. Additionally, her Energizing Economies Initiative is estimated to impact 1.2 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


Mrs. Ogunbiyi’s impact extends beyond Nigeria; she was the first female General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board, overseeing the completion of five independent power projects that delivered over 55 megawatts of power to hospitals, schools, and government facilities in Lagos State.


Damilola Ogunbiyi’s influence reaches international platforms as a member of the Global Leadership Council (GLC) of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), an Advisory Board member of the Center on Global Energy Policy, and a member of the Development Advisory Council of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). She further serves on the Clean Cooking Alliance Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of the University of Oxford’s Future of Cooling Programme, and holds the esteemed position of Co-Chair of UN-Energy.


Mrs. Ogunbiyi’s educational journey reflects her commitment to excellence. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Project Management with Construction and a Master of Science degree in Construction Management with Public Private Partnership, both from the University of Brighton.


Damilola Ogunbiyi’s recognition in the 5th list of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2023 is a testament to her outstanding leadership, dedication, and transformative impact in advancing sustainable energy and achieving global development goals. Her strategic vision and unwavering commitment make her an inspirational figure, shaping the future of sustainable energy access and driving positive change on a global scale.

Photo Credit: CIO East Africa