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Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA) appoints new Executive Team to lead the Organization

AMDA’s Board of Directors has announced that following an extensive executive search process, it has appointed Olamide Niyi-Afuye as the new Chief Executive Officer and John Ouko as the new Chief Operating Officer. Olamide and John will lead AMDA alongside Grace Perkins to drive the organization toward its vision of AMDA 2.0. Grace has been serving as interim CEO since April 2023 and will step into the role of Chief Growth Officer. This executive team succeeds former CEO Jessica Stephens, whose 5-year term ended in March 2023.

Olamide brings experience from multiple sectors including law, financial markets, investments and renewable energy. Previously, he served as Strategic Advisor to the CEO of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, West Africa’s leading hydropower generation company and concessionaire of Kainji and Jebba Hydropower Plants, from 2019 to 2023, where he drove the end-to-end processes for the acquisition and concession of strategic investments, with the most notable being the acquisition of 60% shareholding in Yola Electricity Distribution Company and emerging preferred bidder for the concessions of the 700MW Zungeru Hydropower Plant and 40MW Kashimbila Hydropower Plant in Nigeria.

John has over 20 years of experience in project management, banking, private equity, advisory in infrastructure, and renewable energy across Europe and East Africa. Prior to joining AMDA, John was the Executive Director at Crowe Infrastructure Africa where he led the private sector consulting practice. John’s accomplishments include capital raising for a 105MW solar PV project in Sierra Leone and transaction advisory in the acquisition of a 40% stake at the 80MW Athi River Power Plant valued at US$12 million managed by Everstrong Capital, on behalf of Britam Asset Manager.

Grace brings experience from multiple aspects of the minigrid sector. She has worked at USAID’s Power Africa designing programs to support central electric utilities across Africa, at SparkMeter providing smart metering solutions to minigrid operators worldwide, and most recently at Renewvia Energy, a minigrid company and AMDA member, where she secured the company’s first minigrid licenses and served as a member of the AMDA Board of Directors.

AMDA Chairman Vivian Vendeirinho said: “We are enthusiastic to bring on Olamide and John to join Grace and round out our executive team. The team is tasked with ushering AMDA into its next chapter and will make transformational changes to the minigrid sector and, as a result, to AMDA and its members. Leveraging their past experience, we expect to see exponential scale in the sector and, ultimately, profitability for our members. Under our AMDA 2.0 plan, we envision realizing minigrid electrification as the de facto standard for least cost rural electrification and achieving SDG7.”

Speaking of his appointment, Olamide said: “I am thrilled and humbled to embark on this extraordinary journey as CEO of the AMDA. The opportunity to lead AMDA energizes and excites me, and I look forward to working closely with the AMDA Board, staff, members, and the entire minigrid community. Together, we will serve Africa and work hard to drive access to affordable, clean, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy solutions for the continent.”

John said: “I am excited and optimistic for what is ahead for AMDA on this exciting journey to continue to build a world-changing organization alongside all minigrid stakeholders. We aspire to be an extraordinary organization rather than an ordinary one. This ambition means that every day will not be easy, but every day will be worth it as we implement the next phase of AMDA. Thank you to the minigrid community for the hard-work, passion and enthusiasm for building our future together.

Grace said: “I am looking forward to working with Olamide and John at AMDA to serve our members as well as partner with the larger minigrid sector. I am fully committed to AMDA’s current work and to finding new ways to connect hundreds of millions of people best served by least-cost minigrids to electricity.” 

AMDA serves as the unified focal point for all stakeholders to engage the minigrid sector in Africa and plays a catalytic role in creating enabling policy and investment environments for the sector to promote growth and sustainable development. Under AMDA 2.0, the new leadership will work with all stakeholders to scale the sector to a US$1 billion market by 2026.

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