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Driving sustainable change: A conversation with Olaedo Osoka, Head of operations, WElink Africa:

Introduction:

Olaedo, could you share a bit about yourself and your role within the WElink Africa team?

I have spent the last 7 years working in the commercial and industrial segment of renewables in Africa. I support the Africa team in an advisory capacity, as WElink ramps up its footprint in Africa. My primary focus is on developing robust operational bandwidth and frameworks, empowering the Africa team to scale effectively and drive sustainable growth throughout the region.

Olaedo Osoka, Head of Operations, WElink Africa

Vision and mission:

What is the vision for WElink Africa? How does this align with the broader goals of WElink Group?

WElink Energy has delivered (designed, developed, constructed and operates) 1 GW+ of renewable projects worldwide. The vision for Africa is to leverage this experience to unlock sustainable energy solutions across the continent.

Key projects:

What are some of the key renewable energy projects the business unit is  currently working on in Africa? Could you highlight any flagship projects?

The team is currently developing more than 300MW of projects primarily in Central Africa, in areas where electricity from the grid is unreliable forcing individuals and business to rely on expensive and polluting diesel generators.

Market focus:

Which African markets are you focusing on, and what criteria do you use to select these markets?

WElink is focusing on West Africa and the Southern Africa regions. In these regions, WElink is helping governments increase electricity supply and reliability and also supporting the private sector to transition to a more sustainable energy future.

Ambitions:

What are WElink Africa’s long-term ambitions in the renewable energy sector?

Africa is a wonderful opportunity for WElink to make a difference. Our ambition is to grow our business into one which has a leadership position in the markets and sectors we are targeting. At an operational level, our ambition is to offer One-stop Shop Solution with Design, finance, procurement, execution and O&M with fully funded solution in Africa using storage and PV solutions to deliver reliable, affordable and clean energy.

WElink Africa's long-term ambitions in the renewable energy sector

Challenges:

What are some of the biggest challenges the team faces when scouting/developing renewable energy projects in Africa?

The scale of the opportunity in Africa is clear; more than 500 million people do not have access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity. Many businesses are forced to self-generate electricity, increasing the cost of doing business from an economic and environmental perspective.

The challenge is really around mobilising enough resources for the scale of the opportunity. According to the International Energy Agency, Africa’s energy systems require, on average, $30 billion in concessional finance annually to 2030 to help realise the three-fold increase in private sector investment needed over the same period, according to the IEA analysis.

Overcoming challenges:

How does WElink, Africa approach obstacles? 

The scale of the market we are addressing requires a partnership-oriented approach, which is a part of WElink’s ethos. In each area, we work with key stakeholders to design and deliver solutions to the challenges.

WElink, Africa 

Team expertise:

What expertise does the WElink Africa team bring to the table? Can you share some background on key team members and their roles?

We have a mix of financing, government relations, technical and business development experience which are all core to delivering renewable solutions. We are a growing business with big ambitions, so we are actively looking for new talent to join us on our journey

Sustainability and impact:

How do your projects contribute to the sustainability and economic development of the communities you operate in?

Beyond reducing carbon emissions, our projects have multiple benefits including:

  • Creating jobs
  • Reducing the cost of electricity, unlocking free cashflow for the communities and businesses within them
  • Providing reliable power in environments where the status quo has been unreliable or no power, increasing the productivity of the communities

Future innovations:

What future innovations or technologies are you most excited about in the renewable energy space, and how does WElink Africa plan to incorporate them into your projects?

I’m particularly excited about advancements in energy storage technologies, which are crucial for maximizing the efficiency and reliability of renewable energy systems. WElink has developed 4 GW of battery projects in Europe.  This experience is incredibly valuable, particularly in Africa. Incorporating cutting-edge battery storage solutions will help stabilize the energy supply, enhance grid resilience, and support WElink’s goal of providing reliable, sustainable energy across Africa.

Project Coordinator, WElink Energy, Africa

WElink Energy is recruiting a Project Coordinator to oversee all facets of project development for our opportunities in Africa, including design, engineering, procurement, supply chain, project management, construction activities, and commissioning.

The Project Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of assigned WElink projects, from pre-construction, construction, to the post-construction phases, ensuring timely completion, adherence to quality standards, and compliance with safety regulations.The Project Coordinator will report to the Project Manager and will be responsible for reporting on project progress and raising gaps in performance to WElink’s management and ensuring corrective measures.

How to Apply:  To be considered for this position, please email your CV and a cover letter to [email protected]