Aaron Leopold - An African Power & Energy Elites personality

Aaron Leopold is the CEO of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association (AMDA), which is dedicated to radically scaling the sector to end energy poverty. AMDA provides expertise and evidence to policy-makers and investors, and publishes the most comprehensive dataset on minigrid costs, performance and trends and analysis in the world.

Aaron was previously Practical Action’s Global Energy Representative, where he championed energy access globally. Aaron also served as a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Green Climate Fund and was a co-founder of the Power for All partnership.

This interview was originally published in African Power & Energy Elites 2021.

WHAT INDUSTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE POWER AND ENERGY SECTOR ARE YOU LOOKING AT FOR INSPIRATION?

Energy is a conservative sector – we like to push back on that. We take a lot of inspiration from lean startups on doing more with less and about change being the way forward.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY AS A LEADER IN A TIME WHERE LEADERSHIP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER?

Transparency and resilience are fundamental to managing and dealing with uncertainty. Not being clear or open about the realities of a situation are recipes for doubt and fear, which in turn reduce morale and productivity in already challenging times. We’ve taken the approach of being open about what we know and don’t know, while at the same time clarifying what we are actively undertaking to reduce risks and uncertainty. This has been key to showing our team that we are all in this together and that we are all working towards the same objectives.

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