Message from Jessica Stephens, the Newly appointed AMDA’ Chief Executive Officer

Dear AMDA Members and Stakeholder community,

I am honored to be taking on the CEO role at AMDA to continue our important work in helping to bring the minigrid sector to scale, usher in an age of universal electrification and I look forward to working with you all to ensure that future.
It is a privilege for me to be appointed to take over from Aaron as CEO. I have been fortunate to work with him for the last few years to build and grow AMDA. Under Aaron’s leadership, we have built an exceptionally strong foundation for AMDA as a recognized institution, established strategic partnerships and built trust within the donor community. While Aaron transitions to his new role leading EnerGrow, focusing on his passion for poverty alleviation and the productive use of energy to grow economies, he will continue to support AMDA as a special advisor and I look forward to our continued collaboration.

AMDA and the sector have made great progress in recent years but there is still much more to do and we, at AMDA are dedicated to continue supporting the sector’s quest for radial scale. This is a critical time for minigrids and rural electrification. We are on the cusp of true scale – but with that growth comes new challenges. As the sector matures, we must evolve in tandem to ensure that we continue to shape the future of the energy system.

For those of you with whom I have not had the pleasure of working, I joined AMDA as its first employee more than three years ago, and helped create the organization prior to that as part of a collection of developers that were united in a vision of what electrification in Africa could look like and how important it was for private sector to pave the way forward. I have had the luxury of a diverse career that spans both private sector and public work. I spent almost 5 years living and working either completely off grid or with limited access to electricity in East Africa. These experiences have significantly influenced my understanding of our mission and my drive to ensure that all people have access to electricity as well as my understanding of the essential role of private companies in achieving that goal.

Thus, we are embarking on this new phase for AMDA and the sector with a clarity of purpose that focuses on collaborating with governments to ensure we build a stable regulatory environment that balances government oversight, consumer protection, and the urgency and commitment to achieve universal electrification. Furthermore AMDA remains laser focused on unlocking private and public capital to grow the sector. Lastly, AMDA is excited to continue supporting minigrid businesses themselves as well as strengthening AMDA’s diverse and highly skilled team.

I am excited about this opportunity and I want to thank the Board for their confidence in me to pursue our shared vision for the sector.  AMDA has a great team, serves great members and has a great passion and commitment to further grow the MG sector in Africa. I look forward to our collaborative efforts and to forging new relationships and partnerships aimed at collectively and dramatically bring the minigrid sector to scale – and thereby achieving our collective goal of universal electrification in every corner of the continent.

Thank you for your continued support to AMDA.

Jessica Stephens