Aminata Dumbuya was living a privileged and comfortable job in California, USA. She had a cushy corporate job and was steadily climbing the corporate ladder. Yet, she was restless and hungry to do more. This hunger is what prompted her to return to her homeland, Sierra Leone.
12 years later, Aminata is deeply involved in the renewable energy sector. She runs the Sierra Leone Power for All campaign, which works with the support of the Ministry of Energy. When she’s not doing her part to ensure that sustainable energy is available to all, Aminata Dumbuya works with Masada Waste Management Company.
Remember our list of unsexy business ideas that could make you money? Yeah, well with Masada, Aminata oversees the collection, management and conversion of waste to energy in Freetown, Sierra Leone. On top of that, Aminata owns Pinnacle Marketing Consultancy Group which supports businesses in specialised marketing.
Tell us about running a campaign for an international organisation. Those are notoriously hard to get, any advice on other women interested in this field?
Power for All is a global campaign that advocates for decentralised renewable energy as the fastest and most affordable way to energy access. It is steered by and has a partner coalition of civil society organisations and private companies that see energy access as
imperative to ending energy poverty. I have been privileged and fortunate to be a part of this global team!
I drive and run the Sierra Leone campaign by working with and supporting the government through the Ministry of Energy to enact policy. The private sector companies build the market; civil society organisations include energy access in their sustainable livelihood work. We are pushing awareness and behaviour change on the sector.Aminata Dumbuya: Moving back home to me is to be part of the economical transformation happening on the continent Click To Tweet
With my previous work in the energy sector and dealings with both the government and private sector in the country, I was well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity when it came up. Since I was prepared early on from my previous work, when the opportunity came, it was a match.
My advice to women interested in the field is to look at the opportunities that abound in energy access. There are over 1.2 billion people globally without energy access, and of this 600 million live in sub-Saharan Africa. So with these appalling statistics, there are opportunities in this field to make real impactful change.
My advice is, to engage early on with the relevant stakeholders, be it government and or civil society groups. Do necessary research in your locality on how energy access issues are handled, and then where there are opportunities for you, get involved. Also, having formal education and relevant work in the field will help as well.
You currently run/are involved in many projects, can you tell us about them?
Yes, I am. In addition to running the Power for All Campaign, I am also a partner and Project Manager for Masada Waste Management Company, SL, LTD. Masada entered into a contract with the Government of Sierra Leone in 2013, to collect, manage and convert waste to energy/electricity for the Municipality of Freetown.
The company has over 300 employees and continues to grow. Masada represents and embodies my reason and purpose for moving back home; which is to be a part of the social and economical transformation happening on the continent.
I also own and give strategic guidance and direction to Pinnacle Marketing
Consultancy Group, (PMCG) a marketing firm that I started in 2008 with the focus of
supporting businesses in specialised marketing and sales to build their brand and expanding their client base. And also, I own Business Services International (BSI), which is a serviced and virtual office outfit that provides office solutions to its clients.
Are you ever worried about any conflict of interest in working with several businesses? If not, why?
No. Since I was a teenager at the age of 16, I started off working 2-3 jobs while I was still schooling. Though part time, I still was able to diversify and work on several jobs then.
Over the years, I have learned the art of delegation and managing effectively, and strategic partnerships. That has been the key for me in having several businesses and projects. Especially with the economical fluctuations as well as the myriad of opportunities that are in Africa, one must be agile and nimble to take advantage of them, if possible.
I never believed in putting your eggs in one basket. Having a diversified revenue stream is very important as well.Aminata Dumbuya: With the economical fluctuations, one must be agile & nimble to take advantage of opportunities Click To Tweet
What drove your decision to repatriate to Sierra Leone? Has much changed in the years you’ve been back?
The single-most entity that was responsible for my move back home was and is the passion and conviction I attach to being a part of the transformation happening back home. I believed I was essential to that process, and that I can contribute in meaningful ways.
I was opportune, privileged and comfortable back in California; with a cushy corporate job with high prospects of climbing the corporate ladder. Yet, I was restless, I was torn, I was hungry and wanted more. It was a spiritual calling, I needed to be living on purpose! That meant I had to be back home, in Sierra Leone.
Has a lot changed over the 12 years I repatriated? Well, there is an adage that says, “the more things change, the more the stay the same” and that just about sums up my response to that question. There is still a whole lot to be done, the needle has yet to move in drastic ways that translate to an elevated social conscience. I still have hope that change is on the way, real transformative change that will allow us to embrace and take real advantage of the opportunities that abound on the continent.Aminata Dumbuya: The move back home afforded me the freedom to bring out my entrepreneurship! Click To Tweet
What have you enjoyed most about living in Sierra Leone since you moved back?
I have enjoyed my growth —both spiritually, professionally, and psychologically! The journey has been very rewarding on so many different fronts.
The move back home afforded me the freedom to explore, to develop and bring out my entrepreneurship! And for that, I am most grateful!
What is your personal mantra and why? How do you ensure that all you do is aligned with it?
“When preparation meets opportunity, success happens!” I always prepare ahead of time; I do my homework!
Also, I believe that success is defined not by how much you have accumulated for yourself, but how you elevate those that are around you as well. I have
been blessed to have touched lives and share my success with those that I have worked with. Some have gone to start their own businesses, others have advanced in their careers and personal exploits. When I see and hear of their successes, I am even more inspired to do more.
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