Mrs. Yvette Stevens is a Sierra Leonean who has lived in Switzerland and was recruited by the Office of Diaspora Affairs as an expert to fill a critical gap in the Energy sector.
In 1965, she acquired a diploma in language Course in Russia; and also a diploma from the Membership of Imperial College in Electrical Machines and Power systems. She proceeded to do a Master of Science degree with distinction in Electrical Engineering at the Moscow Energy and Power Engineering Institute specializing in Electrical Machines and Apparatus in 1966-1972. She also graduated with a Master of Science in Electrical machines and Power systems from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London from 1972 to 1974. She speaks Krio as a mother tongue, English as first language; and has an excellent working knowledge of French and Russian languages.
She has vast professional experience in Engineering, Programme Analysis and Evaluation, Humanitarian Aid and Development Assistance. She is a Fellow of the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET). She is presently the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Switzerland and the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva.
She has served in several distinguished capacities. From September 2009 to January 2012, the Office of Diaspora Affairs recruited her as an Energy Policy Adviser and Director, Energy Division at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. In this position, she assumed responsibility for Renewable Energy Projects in the country, focusing primarily on solar energy applications. She implemented a Solar Street Lights Project, which aimed to install 10,000 solar street lights in 14 Municipalities in Sierra Leone. She also initiated a feasibility studies into wind energy and on grid-connected solar energy technology.
From March to August 2009, She served as Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Energy Policy Group set up by the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, which drew up the Sierra Leone National Energy Policy and Strategic Plan. In putting these together, she laid particular emphasis to renewable energy.
She served as an International Consultant, working mainly for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Swiss Development Cooperation and The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) from January 2007 to August 2009. Ms. Stevens also served as Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme.
In September 2004 to August 2006 she was a United Nations Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director, at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, in Geneva.
She was Director, United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) in May 2003-to September 2004.
In November 1999 to April 2003, She was Special Coordinator, Office of the Special Coordinator for Africa and the Least Developed Countries (OSCAL), Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Headquarters, New York.
Ms. Stevens served as a UNHCR Representative, at the Branch Office in Kenya from July1997 to October 1999. Furthermore, she served as Deputy Regional Liaison Representative, UNHCR from July 1995 to July 1997 at the Regional Liaison Office in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.
From July 1990 to July 1995 she was Chief, Programme and Technical Support Section UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva and Evaluation Officer/Senior Evaluation Officer, UNHCR Headquarters, Geneva 1986 to 1990.
Ms Stevens was Technology and Income-Generating Activities Expert, at the UNHCR from the period 1984 to 1986.
In 1980 to 1984 she worked as a Village Technology Expert in an ILO Project “Technological Change, Basic Needs and the Condition of Rural Women” and finally as Lecturer, Department of Electrical Engineering, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone from 1974 to 1980.
In her capacity as Energy Policy Adviser/Director for Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, she initiated the implementation of the National Energy Policy and Strategic Plan, which were approved by Cabinet in September 2009. More specifically, she prepared an organizational structure and job descriptions for the Energy Division and assessed candidates who applied for positions. In addition, she worked with the Law Office to draft the Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission and the National Electricity Bills, which have passed through Parliament. Furthermore, she worked on preparatory activities for the solar street lights project. Other activities included, inter alia, organizing a solar energy forum and the setting up of a Multistakeholders’ Group on Energy Access and drawing up of Project Proposals for a
number of projects, at various stages of finalization. She successfully chaired a Task Force that was
set up by the then Minister of Energy and Water Resources Professor Ogunlade Davidson to ensure the smooth supply of electricity throughout the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations. She also represented the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources in a number of national and international fora and has made a number of presentations, including a public lecture on Solar Energy, organized by the Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers.
Relevant Publications/Keynote Addresses (Excluding reports to inter-governmental bodies, evaluation, and mission reports)
(i) Exploiting Solar Energy to Meet the Energy Requirements of Sierra Leone, Public Lecture, Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers, Freetown, November 2010.
(ii) Space Security: Safeguarding Space for the Next Generation, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, Geneva, 2008.
(iii) Satellite Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Systems Navigation, Paper presented at the Forum on Civil Society and Outer Space: Where do we stand on using outer space for peaceful purposes? Vienna, 2007.
(iv) Development in the United Nations Agenda USA/Africa Institute Journal: Chimera, Volume 2 Issue 1, Spring 2004.
(v) Towards Elaborating The Energy Sector under NEPAD, Address, Workshop of African Energy Experts, Dakar, 2003.
(vi) Energy for Sustainable Development of the Least Developed Countries, Background Publication presented at the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, Brussels, 2001.
(vii) Linkages between Energy and Development Policies to Empower Women, Keynote Address, US Energy Ministerial Conference, Dublin, 2000.
(viii) Cleaner Fossil Fuel Systems: A Business and Investment Agenda For Africa, Keynote Address, World Energy Council Conference, Dakar 2000.
(ix) Solar Photovoltaic Applications in Developing Countries: A survey of Evidence in A.S. Bhalla and D. James New Technologies and Development Lynne Reinner, London (Also published in the Journal of Global Energy issues, Oxford, 1990).
(x) Government Policy and Rural Women’s Work in Sierra Leone jointly with F. Lisk in C. Oppong: Sex Roles, Population and Development in West Africa, Heinemann 1987.
(xi) Selection, Design and Development of Technologies for Rural Women in Science, Technology and Women, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1985
(xii) Improved Technologies for Increasing Incomes in Rural Food Processing in West Africa, in I. Ahmed (ED) Technology and Rural Women, Allen and Unwin, London, 1985.
(xiii) Technological Change, Basic Needs and Condition of Rural Women, International Labour Office, Geneva, 1984
(xiv) Blending of New and Traditional Technologies (jointly edited with A. Bhalla and D. James), Tycooly Press, Dublin, 1984.
(xv) Regional Cooperation for the Promotion of Appropriate Technology in Africa, ILO, 1983
(xvi) Rural Women in Africa and Technological Change: Some Issues, Labour and Society, Vol 6, No 2, April-June 1981.
(xvii) Power Systems Tap-Changing and Check-Synchronising using a Digital Computer, Paper presented at the Bi-Annual Conference of the West African Science Association, Freetown 1976.