I was born and raised in Maiduguri, a town in northeastern Nigeria. While I have always had great interest in the sciences, I only took an interest in energy and climate change during my extended project at sixth form in 2011. My project looked at the possibility of a world powered entirely by renewable energy sources. Borno, Maiduguri's state, has recently gained a reputation as a hotbed of poverty and terrorism, which overshadows its rich culture and history. Climate change has compounded to the sources of conflict, with increasingly scarce natural resources exacerbating age-old tensions. Sustainable development is the only means to achieve economic development while fostering social welfare.
The story of global development begins with energy. It is the engine that has driven mobility, industry and innovation — the bricks of modern civilisation. Though Africa has fed this engine with its natural and mineral resources, the prosperity it brought to the world has barely trickled back into the continent. Now the fossil fuels that have spurred global economic growth for centuries threaten to be its inhibitor.
An unprecedented energy transition must take place to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change. This transition presents new opportunities for Africa. But opportunity has never favoured the ill-prepared. Africa cannot afford to, yet again, be pedestrians on the road to sustainable development. We must educate ourselves on the challenges of the future, and the effective tools with which we can design and implement solutions. The challenge of development in a carbon-constrained world will be at the fore, that is why I have chosen to pursue a career developing effective climate solutions in Africa.
I completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in engineering science at the University of Oxford. Thereafter, I completed a PhD in energy systems and climate change research at Imperial College London. My doctoral research sought to understand how power systems need to evolve to deliver the Paris Agreement. During my PhD, I was affiliated with the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, Centre for Environmental Policy, and Centre for Process Systems Engineering.
I have worked in a range of industries including defence and aerospace, technology consulting, and oil and gas. I am currently an incoming Senior Associate at a strategy consulting firm.