I Hope to See a More Sustainable and Advanced Energy Sector, Says Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo

Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo is a Partner, at the Centurion Law Group.

Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo is a Partner, at the Centurion Law Group.

In Africa’s expanding energy sector, legal and business consultants are crucial in ensuring the success of complex energy transactions and projects. As such, Oneyka Cindy Ojogbo, the youngest partner at Centurion Law Group, has experience offering customers strategic advice in challenging energy transactions and projects. Ojogbo is featured on the African Energy Chamber’s list of 25 Under 40 Energy Women Rising Stars.

Please share a brief overview of your journey in the energy industry that led to your current role? What are some key achievements or milestones that you are particularly proud of?

My journey in the energy industry has been a remarkable one shaped by a deep passion for both the legal profession and the dynamic complexities of the sector. My path began with a strong educational foundation in law, coupled with a keen interest in energy and power-related issues. Being from a country plagued with energy poverty, I recognized early on the significance of the energy industry in shaping global economies and societies, prompting me to specialize in energy and project finance.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with prestigious law firms that boast a wealth of experience in advising on landmark oil and gas and power projects. Centurion Law Group’s commitment to excellence and collaboration allowed me to work alongside high-level industry stakeholders across the African continent, gaining valuable insights into the intricacies of energy project development and regulatory compliance.

Key achievements and milestones that I am particularly proud of include successfully working on landmark transactions, negotiating complex agreements between multinational energy corporations and government bodies, contributing to the formulation of innovative legal frameworks for sustainable energy development, and leading training sessions that empower legal professionals to navigate the ever-evolving energy landscape across the world. Through consistent dedication and a deep understanding of the energy industry, I am honored to have achieved the distinction of becoming the youngest partner at Centurion Law Group. This accomplishment reflects the trust and recognition of my peers and superiors, for which I am grateful.

The energy industry is known for its complexities. What were some significant challenges you faced along the way, and how did you navigate through them to achieve your goals?

The energy industry, with its intricate web of technical, regulatory, financial, and geopolitical challenges, has tested my problem-solving skills. Significant challenges included addressing project concerns – regulatory, political, and environmental, ensuring compliance with evolving energy policies, and striking a balance between the demand for energy and environmental sustainability. Navigating these challenges required a multidisciplinary approach, involving collaboration with experts from various fields and leveraging my firm’s extensive network of industry professionals.

What advice would you give to young females aspiring to excel in the energy sector? Are there any specific strategies or mindsets that helped you overcome obstacles and reach your current position?

For young females aspiring to excel in the energy sector, I would offer the following advice: pursue knowledge and strive for excellence; build networks; be confident and resilient; and advocate for yourself. Do not be afraid to assert your capabilities and ambitions. Take on challenging projects and responsibilities to showcase your skills.

A career in energy can be demanding. Could you describe a typical day in your life?

A typical day in my life involves a blend of multiple responsibilities ranging from legal analysis and strategy development to client interactions from Africa, the US, and Asia, navigating different time zones. I may start by reviewing project documents, researching regulatory frameworks, and collaborating with colleagues to strategize. Meetings with clients and industry stakeholders are common, where we discuss project progress, address legal concerns, and offer guidance on best practices.

Looking ahead, what changes or advancements do you hope to see in the energy sector, and how do you envision your role in shaping that future?

The African energy sector is currently at a critical juncture where decisions taken today will shape the socio-economic progress of the continent for years to come. As we witness encouraging strides in the industry across Africa, I hope to see a more sustainable and advanced energy sector with improved energy security and access, increased intra-African collaboration, and substantial infrastructural developments.

I hope to contribute to shaping this future by advocating for responsible energy development, promoting renewable energy initiatives, and contributing to the formulation of policies that balance economic growth with environmental stewardship. My role will involve leveraging legal expertise to navigate the landscape of energy regulations and financing, fostering industry collaboration across the continent under the umbrella of the AfCFTA, and inspiring the next generation of energy leaders.

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