Our Thought Leadership Team

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Songo Didiza

Founder of Green Building Design Group (GreenBDG)

Songo Didiza recognised that there was a gap to align public and private sector green economic strategies and policies and the practical implementation thereof. She founded Green Building Design Group (GreenBDG) as a solution to close this gap, as well as an opportunity to promote inclusive economic growth within the green economy. Her career spans the field of Sustainable Economic development having assisted large multinationals on their broad based empowerment strategies. Key private sector multinational engagements include Anglo American, Barclays, Xstrata, and Sasol Limited. Her work in the green economy includes the energy services programme at the GreenCape Sector Development Agency which assisted in attracting investment and job creation in the green economy in South Africa. These stimulated over a $1bn from integrated clean energy and resource efficiency investments which led to the creation of over 10 000 jobs in the green manufacturing and related services sectors, respectively.

She has published several though leadership material on the state of the green economy in Africa. Her industry publications include authoring the 2016 Energy Services Market Intelligence Report which covers various energy contracting investment opportunities for the construction sector in South Africa. She holds a Bachelor Economic Science degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics as well as a post graduate degree in Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy studies. In 2017, she was included in Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans publication for the Environment Category. She is currently participating in the GIBS-JP Morgan Small Business booster programme for developing enterprises in the green economy as part of the 2018 cohort.

Lisa Reynolds

Executive Director at GreenBDG NPC

Lisa Reynolds is an Executive Director at GreenBDG NPC Prior to this; she was the Sustainable Development Director at Saint-Gobain. Lisa’s advocacy efforts over the past 15 years has helped shape the energy landscape in Southern Africa leading to energy efficiency transformation. She has helped drive the development of the energy efficient building market in Southern Africa. Lisa is Chair of TC 301 (Energy Management) and this has stimulated her involvement in internationally funded projects that contribute to the adoption and roll out of SANS ISO 50001 (and other ISO 50000 range standards).

Key standards developments activities include the Energy Efficiency in Buildings, namely SANS 204 and SANS 10400-XA (Chairperson of Working groups); Measurement and Verification Standard to support National Energy Efficiency tax incentives; and the roll out of ISO 50001 projects. All of these standards and programs were part of the action items within the implementation of the National Energy Efficiency Strategy.

The energy efficiency standards for buildings are the foundation of Green Building Council of South Africa’s green building rating tools for Office, Retail, Energy and Water Benchmarking; and Socio-economic credits. She is a certified Water Efficiency Professional (AEE), RECP Expert through the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa. Lisa is the current (and first female) President of the SAEE (SA Association of Energy Efficiency). She has a BSc, a MBA and her CEM. Lisa is passionate about progressing the built environment and industry uptake of all aspects of the green economy via standards and regulation.

Mr Ben Sebitosi

Professor at the Centre for Renewable at Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES)

Ben Sebitosi is a director of GreenBDG Africa Pty Ltd and is a part-time professor at the Centre for Renewable at Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), Stellenbosch University, South Africa.  Ben has over 20 years’ experience in energy management programme across Africa  working in various industries as a Registered Engineer (REng) of Kenya and Chartered Engineer (CEng) of the United Kingdom. His industry experience includes the installation of solar pv and ground weather stations across the continent. He is a multidisciplinary researcher in energy engineering and policy; supervising research students from the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty Economic and Management Sciences. His research and professional interests include energy conservation, renewable energy, energy policy, rural energisation, industrial quality assurance and power quality.  In June 2010 he was invited as keynote speaker by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, at the Science with Africa II Conference.

He was Lead Coordinator- Energy curriculum development for the Pan African University Institute for water and Energy including climate change. Addis Ababa. September 2012 –March 2013, and Lead Consultant – World Bank/GEF Sustainable Energy Development Project (SEDP), Review and Revision of Energy Policy and Strategy document, Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda. He is a holder of a B.Sc (Eng) with honours in electrical engineering from the University of Nairobi and a PhD in rural energisation form the University of Cape Town.

Mr Mutsa Samuel

Founder and Director of Ubuntu Leadership Academy (ULA)

Mutsa Samuel is a director of GreenBDG Africa Pty Ltd. He is also the Founder and Director of UbuntuLab, a Personal Growth Hub which focuses on instilling holistic development skills to young emerging market entrepreneurs, particularly in Africa with over 10 years of experience.   Apart from having continuous collaborative work on the content of Africa, UbuntuLab has also done work in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and was invited to present Ubuntu Education in Sustainable Development at the International Sustainable Transitions (IST) Conference in Sweden.

He has trained young teachers in Kenya’s National Youth Empowerment Initiative (CAP: YEI), is a mentor for the Swiss based Seedstars’s World Initiative and is a founding member of the TedX Harare organising committee. Mutsa, a strong business networker, has a career background as a Management Consultant for the IQ Business Group in Johannesburg, South Africa and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Enterprise Management and Entrepreneurial Strategy from the University of Cape Town. He is also the National Co-ordinator for Zimbabwe for the Ubuntu.Lab Africa Initiative, run by the Prescensing Institute, M.IT, WWF , YMCA and Renaissance University.