Aminata Dumbuya, the businesswoman

How would you describe your job?

I am an entrepreneur/businesswoman. I took the plunge from being an employee to an employer when I realised in 2007/2008, that the pay as an employee (even for an international commercial bank), was not enough to take care of my basic needs as a single mother. I decided to use my talent in sales and marketing to start Pinnacle Marketing and Consulting Group, a company which was catalytic in the rebranding and commercialisation of SierraTel.

I also started a serviced office outfit that caters for investors coming into Sierra Leone, wanting to test the waters by subletting an office space for a short period of time until they find their footing.

Finally there is Masada Waste Management Company, which in 2013 won the Waste Management Contract for the Municipality of Freetown to handle Waste Management and Conversion to Energy. Waste Management has become a passion for me due to the immediate and immense social impact it can have on our environment and our people. Though without its challenges, the sector has incredible potential for creating transformative social shifts in the fabric of our Society.

I am a partner and the Project Manager for Masada. Being The Project Manager entails rigorous and continuous engagement with stakeholders, such as the government, donor partners and the general public, with the key objective of bringing attention to the sector enabling them to see the importance and significance of prioritising waste management nationally!

I am also the Campaign Director for Power for All in Sierra Leone. Power for All is a campaign that advocates for Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) as the fastest and most efficient way to end energy poverty in Sierra Leone. As the Campaign Director, I support the government through the Ministry of Energy on compact commitments and to implement the Energy Revolution Targets. The campaign is also poised to support Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations to effectively work together to develop and build the DRE market in Sierra Leone, as well as educate and inform the general public on the advantages of home solar systems and shift perceptions on the sector.

How did you get into this field?

I saw an opportunity to use my skills more productively as an entrepreneur than as an employee, and create employment opportunities for other Sierra Leoneans. My first degree in International Business and Finance from San Diego State University, my experience in corporate America, and additional studies in the UK as a Chartered Marketer, gave me the experience and qualifications that enabled and empowered me to drive forward with my entrepreneurial ambitions.

What would you say are your most significant professional achievements?

My proudest and most significant professional achievements to date have been - successfully rebranding and helping to commercialise SierraTel; being able to raise awareness around waste management and sanitation issues in Freetown, though alleviating unsanitary practices is still a challenge, and most importantly, having sustained an employee roster of 300 employees in our Waste Management Operations for the past three years and counting.

How does your work contribute to Sierra Leone’s economic development?

As a private sector player creating employment opportunities for our youth population, Masada is poised to contribute vastly to the economy. Waste Management has the immense potential of employing upwards of 1000 plus youths as well as, with its energy generation capacity, adding to the electricity generation capacity for the country and helping with our energy deficit.

With the Power for All Campaign pushing forward the DRE sector, accelerating energy access and committing to ending energy poverty by 2025, the Sierra Leone economy will be boosted by the mere fact that most Sierra Leoneans will have access to basic energy needs.

Who has been your greatest mentor and what did they teach you?

Unfortunately, I cannot say that I have a mentor who has taught me to navigate the Sierra Leone business landscape; but I have had a set of individuals who have inspired and motivated me, both personally and from afar to push through even when the challenges may seem insurmountable.

The President himself has been a champion for women, through his strategic appointments as well as his policies.

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