Joule Africa Team

 

Overview

The development of Joule Africa’s power projects is led by the company’s UK team, together with the expertise from the national offices in Sierra Leone and Cameroon.

This team offers strategic advice and executive development services for the projects that sit beneath the banner of the Joule Africa Group.

Joule Africa actively seeks out the best local staff and partnerships with which to work when entering a new country. The intention is that consistent business practices and technical skills are transferred, ensuring that all of its developments benefit from a combination of international and local expertise.

 
 
 

Executive Team

Christian Wright

Acting CEO, Joule Africa

Christian is Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Joule Africa and Partner of Blue International Holdings, the main institutional investor and largest shareholder of Joule Africa.

Christian has over 25 years of experience developing, project financing, and operating power over 1GW of IPP projects across Africa. This has included the formation and running of an IPP company, origination of opportunities, the negotiation of contracts with utilities and their governments, reviewing financial analyses, driving sector reform, negotiating EPC, operations & maintenance, and related contracts, arranging equity and debt from funds, commercial banks and development finance institutions, and supporting operations through strategy, communications, and restructuring.

Before joining the team, he was the CEO of Elsewedy Energy, Elsewedy Electric’s IPP business, and has also held senior roles in Globeleq, Aldwych International, and AES where he developed and brought to financial close gas, wind, solar, and hydro IPP projects in Africa.

Christian holds a BA Hons in Economics and Politics from Mary Washington University and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.

Gareth Firth

Technical Director

Gareth is the Technical Director for Joule Africa’s developments, overseeing all engineering and project management aspects of the Bumbuna and Kpep projects. His responsibilities encompass managing feasibility studies, EPC tender and contracting, and the subsequent construction phases.

Gareth has over 30 years' experience working on infrastructure projects and was a Senior Partner at international management consultancy PA Consulting Group until 2007. At PA, Gareth was a project manager for capital projects of up to £250 million and worked with many of the world’s leading capital project and infrastructure management organisations to improve their performance. Previously, Gareth spent 12 years as a Civil Engineer with designers Halcrow and constructors Nuttall on dams, tunnels, power plants, highways, and harbours in the UK, Africa, and the Middle East.

Gareth’s work has received awards from the Management Consultancies Association. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and holds a First Class Degree in Engineering from Cambridge University.

Michael Price

Technical Director

Michael advises on the operations aspects of the projects under development, with a specific focus on transmission, interconnection, operations and maintenance.

Previously, Michael served as a Managing Director and board member of China Light and Power, a ~$20bn generation, transmission, and distribution company providing over 20,000 MW of power capacity throughout Asia. At CLP, Michael was responsible for 3,600 staff, annual revenue of $3.2bn, and completion of approximately $660m in capital projects per year. He has managed numerous generation projects, at either a board or operational level, including: the 4,108 MW Castle Peak Power Station (one of the largest coal fired power plants in the world), the 1,968 MW nuclear power plant at Daya Bay (first commercial nuclear facility in mainland China), and the 2,400 MW Guangzhou Pumped Storage Power Station.

Michael is a chartered engineer with a First Class Honours degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University. He also graduated from the Public Utilities Executive Program at Michigan Business School and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Doug Smith

Environmental and Social Advisor

Doug Smith is a leading expert in hydropower sustainability, with over twenty-five years of international experience. He is currently advising on the environmental and social planning for the 152 MW Bumbuna II hydropower scheme in Sierra Leone and the 180 MW Ngonye Hydroelectric Project in Zambia, and provides Hydropower E&S Advisory support for the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group).

He has high familiarity with environmental and social standards of international financial institutions, and their guidelines and standards in the hydropower sector. He has played a leading role in the development and implementation of the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and related guidance. He is one of a small number of Accredited Lead Assessors, accredited by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) to lead official assessments using the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, and has led 8 and participated in over 20 assessments on projects from 3 MW to 14,000 MW.

In Africa, Doug has hydropower experience in Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Mozambique, and Zambia. He was the lead environmental specialist for the environmental and social due diligence of the Bumbuna II project in 2019.

Doug has recently authored two ‘How-to Guides’ on behalf of IHA: a How-to Guide on Erosion and Sedimentation; and a How-to Guide on Environmental and Social Assessment and Management. He is also an experienced trainer and provider of capacity-building programmes, providing training on hydropower sustainability at numerous events to project developers and financial institutions in all regions.

He graduated in Pure and Applied Biology from Oxford University in 1991 and in Conservation from UCL in 1992, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

 
 

Directors

Andrew Cavaghan

Chairman

Andrew is Managing Partner and Executive Director of Blue International Holdings, Joule Africa's largest institutional investor. Andrew was CEO of Joule Africa from 2011 to 2016 and then Executive Chairman and sits on the board of a number of companies within the Joule Africa group, including the Seli Hydropower board for Joule Africa's flagship project, Bumbuna II. 

Blue International Holdings is an active investor in Joule Africa, assisting it with a range of commercial and corporate finance matters, and more recently is actively seeking to expand its interests in the resoures and sustainable property sectors by making investments outside the Joule Africa group.

Previously, Andrew was a Director at the UK based private equity firm Octopus Investments. He was part of the original investment team whose performance helped increase funds under management from £20m to over £800m in 2009 when he left (funds under management are now over £8bn). During his time at Octopus, Andrew was responsible for numerous middle market buy-outs, realising an IRR of over 26% over 5 years with four successful trade sales and two IPOs. Earlier, Andrew was part of the founding team at London Seed Capital, an early stage venture capital fund owned by OneLondon/Greater London Enterprise. Andrew spent an early part of his career working at corporate law firm Theodore Goddard (now Addleshaw Goddard) in the corporate finance department of their London office. 

He holds a BA Hons in Philosophy from University College London, and is a qualified Barrister in the UK.

Mark Green

Director

Mark is is Managing Partner and Executive Director of Blue International Holdings, Joule Africa’s largest institutional investor.  Mark was President and then Chairman of Joule Africa between 2011 and 2019 and sits on the board of a number of companies within the Joule Africa group, including the Seli Hydropower board and the Katsina ala Hydropower board. 

Blue International Holdings is an active investor in Joule Africa, assisting it with a range of commercial and corporate finance matters, and more recently is actively seeking to expand its interests in the resources and sustainable property sectors by making investments outside the Joule Africa group.

Prior to co-founding Desert Lion Partners, Mark worked as COO for a new microfinance organisation in Sierra Leone, on behalf of a London based asset management company. 

Prior to working in Sierra Leone, Mark co-founded a property investment and development company operating in the UK and USA with over $20m of development completed. Previously, Mark worked in the strategy team at Accenture and as the Head of International Business Development for retail financial services conglomerate CPP PLC.

Mark holds a BA Hons in Theology from Birmingham University.

Kevin Clark

Director

Kevin is a non-executive director on the board. He co-founded Joule Africa in 2011, acting principally as an adviser to the executive team on technical and legal matters. Kevin was co-founder and CEO of Joule Management, a partner organisation to Joule Africa, where he oversees all aspects of the firm's hydroelectric plants in Latin America.

Prior to this, Kevin was a General Partner at Integrity Partners, where he played leading roles in the firm’s investments since 2000. Prior to joining Integrity Partners, Kevin co-founded Silicon Edge Law Group, an intellectual property law firm. Earlier, Kevin worked as an engineer and patent attorney for Qualcomm. 

Kevin holds a BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, and a JD from Stanford Law School where he graduated Order of the Coif.

Greg Newman

Director

Greg is a non-executive director on the board and is also a co-founder of Joule Management which has hydroelectric plants in Latin America.

In 1999 Greg co-founded Integrity Partners, a seed stage venture capital firm, where he is currently a General Partner. Integrity Partners was the first investor in Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) where Greg served on the Board of Directors until taking the company public in 2005. Prior to Integrity Partners, Greg was part of the founding team at C2B Technologies, subsequently acquired by Inktomi and later Yahoo! Previously, he was on the founding team at Macromedia, subsequently acquired by Adobe.

Greg has over twenty years of executive leadership experience creating shareholder value at Fortune 500 companies including Oracle and Apple. He currently serves as a director for several charitable organisations.

David Edward

Director

David is a non-executive director on the board. He spent most of his working career as an underwriter in Lloyd’s insurance market and was a founding partner and director of Ascot Underwriting Limited, a company that was taken from start-up in 2001 to a successful sale to AIG in 2008. 

David is now involved in numerous start-up companies in non-executive directorship and advisory roles, assisting these companies during their development. In addition, David brings experience and expertise in risk assessment and management as well as providing advice on Joule’s insurance arrangements.

 
 

Seli Hydropower

James Harding

General Manager, Seli Hydropower

Dr James Harding is the General Manager of Seli Hydropower, the project company responsible for the development of the Bumbuna II hydroelectric power project. James is responsible for all Project Implementation activities and Government relations in Sierra Leone. As a member of the Seli Hydropower Board and Project Steering Committee, he aligns company activities with those directed by the CEO of Joule Africa and the Seli Hydropower Board.

James has 20 years of practical experience in social, rural, and community development, social work, international protection, and humanitarian assistance. He is knowledgeable in Environment and Social Governance (ESG) in Private Equity and is also familiar with the processes and procedures associated with the implementation of projects funded by the World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, German Development Bank, African Development Bank, United Nations, ECOWAS and the African Union. James holds a PhD in Social Work from Walden University, USA and an MSc in Humanitarian Assistance.

Victoria Angela Pratt

Finance Manager, Seli Hydropower

Victoria is responsible for all aspects of the Financial Management System of Seli Hydropower, the company that is responsible for the delivery of the Bumbuna Phase II hydroelectric power project in Sierra Leone. She leads the Finance Team and her responsibilities include establishing robust financial management, budgetary, and procurement systems in accordance with best practices, as well as capturing all financial and operational transactions and reporting.

Victoria is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK and Sierra Leone) and a holder of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with nearly 20 years of experience in senior management positions, managing donor/investors funded projects both within the private and public sectors of Sierra Leone. Prior to this assignment, she worked as Finance Specialist (Consultant) in the Integrated Health Projects Administration Unit of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Sierra Leone, where she sets up the Financial Management System of the Unit and led the finance team to manage funds on behalf of the Ministry, provided by various donors. She has served in several senior financial, operational, human resources, procurement, and project management capacities in different Organisations within Sierra Leone including International NGO’s.