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15 Mar 2024


Akinwole Omoboriowo, Chairman & CEO, Genesis Energy, Talks About Future Plans & “Weaponizing” the $10billion MOU Signed With USAID in 2023

Known as one of most influential figures in the African power sector, Akinwole Omoboriowo heads up Genesis Energy Group, a multi-award winning energy infrastructure development, climate impact investment and asset management group of companies. EnergyNet caught up with him after he spoke at the Powering Africa Summit, 5-6 March, Washington DC.   


What was your experience and what did you find most positive and helpful at the Powering Africa Summit?

The Powering Africa Summit brought together key players in clean energy for Africa and Genesis was proud to be part of such an incredible reunion of like-minded individuals, committed to developing a reliable clean energy infrastructure that unlocks economic growth and sustainability for African nations. We are ever more excited to develop our ambition and work with others on how we can catalyse and “weaponize” this $10billion MOU we signed with USAID in 2023 to shine the light on the giant strides that we could make together.


What developments do you anticipate might come out of it?

We anticipate that we are going to be able to secure additional funding access support, riding on the fact that there will be governments that are very aware of our competences, our partnerships, and the enablement we have with the US government agencies. This will help us develop new projects to meet our ambition of over the next five years to decarbonise diesel operations of 10gigawatts-which would result in reducing CO₂ emission by over 9million tonnes in Africa. We also anticipate that many will become aware of the sort of renewable energy and clean energy solutions we have already invested in in Africa, therefore catalysing serial levels of partnerships for us to continue to develop more renewable energy projects.


 As champions of the decarbonisation agenda, you’re using many different technologies.  What are your thoughts on hydrogen and its role to play?

Hydrogen- particularly blue hydrogen- has immediate impact on being able to reduce emissions from gas-gas already has low emissions, but blue hydrogen even more. For green hydrogen, we believe that it has export potential. The first thing Africa needs to do is to power itself. The second step is to export. So, we see hydrogen as that second level of opportunity for Africa to earn significant foreign currency returns by exporting hydrogen to the rest of the world. But the primary function for us is to use renewable energy as a primary source of energy for Africans, and then green hydrogen as a secondary source of exported energy.


 You have spoken about the youth being the conduits of creativity and catalysts for change – are you  seeing more of this?              

We see the youth as the solution for Africa. Brimming with ideas, energy, and capacity. The capacity for growth for any country or continent, rests in the capacity of its people. So, we see that dynamism in Africa as the youths bring high productivity and account for over 60% of the population. For the past 15years, Genesis has driven initiatives around internship, and putting our young people on a leadership path-as we have history of employing people right out of university who are today Managing Directors of our subsidiaries-case in point is our COO Amina Onifade who came in at an entry level position, and today she's the group COO. So, it is something we are practicing and seeing other companies doing same as we hope that in every country we go to, we employ the youth, train them, and deploy them.


Is there any advice you would give to young people – particularly those looking at the energy sector?   Or perhaps those who haven’t yet thought about it?              

Energy, artificial intelligence, and the technology-based businesses will continue to create a novelty of jobs and vestige of opportunities. My encouragement, would be that for the young man or young woman who is starting off, find a place in the energy sector that best suits your skills, your temperament, and what you want to go to, and just learn. Over time, the journey will become clearer, whether you retain yourself as an employee or move into entrepreneurship, the journey will become clearer.       


What are you most excited about for Genesis and for the continent in the next 10 years?        

I am most excited about our vision, Decade 2020. The ambition is to deliver over 10 gigawatts of energy to as many Africans as possible and we are excited because now we have the reasonable number of resources to do that-we have the people, the partners, and with the recent MOU signed with the U.S. government through USAID, to catalyse $10 billion over five years, we are very close to achieving our objective. So, I'm very excited.

Read more about Genesis Energy Group here