Habiba Ahut Daggash, Senior Associate with the Africa Energy Program at the Rocky Mountain Institute, discusses Nigeria’s energy transition, how climate change is more than a scientific problem, and why we need new ideas to approach development and energy poverty.
Habiba is a senior associate with the Africa Energy Program at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). She supports RMI’s efficient demand stimulation efforts in Nigeria by encouraging the productive use of energy in agriculture to enable rural economic development. Alongside her work, she sits on the Vision Council of the 2023 TED Future Forum. Prior to joining RMI, Habiba was a senior associate at BCG, where she worked on a range of projects in the energy and public sectors. Before that, she completed her PhD in Energy Systems Modeling from Imperial College London. Her research focused on national electricity systems planning for the UK and Nigeria to find ways to deliver the Paris Agreement in those countries. She also holds a BS and MS in chemical engineering from the University of Oxford. Additionally, she advised the UK Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy on its carbon dioxide removal programs and coauthored a couple of books on this topic.
- Habiba’s RMI bio page
- Habiba’s website
- Habiba on Twitter
- Grantham Institute at the Imperial College London (where Habiba completed her PhD)
- TED Future Forum, a TED Countdown initiative (where Habiba is a member of the Vision Council)
- Highlights from Habiba’s Hub publications: solar power in Nigeria, African energy transition modeling, COP28
- Amir Nizar Zuabi — the puppeteer who spoke at TED in Detroit this year about raising climate change awareness
ROSE MUTISO: I’m Rose Mutiso.
KATIE AUTH: I’m Katie Auth, and this is High Energy Planet, the podcast from the Energy for Growth Hub about new ideas to solve global energy poverty.
ROSE MUTISO: So on today’s show, we are so thrilled to have Habiba Daggash with us. Habiba is an incredibly accomplished voice in the energy and climate space, and we’re so lucky to have her as an Energy for Growth Hub fellow. She’s a chemical engineer and an energy system scientist currently working at Rocky Mountain Institute as a senior associate with the Africa Energy Program. And before that, she was completing her PhD in energy systems modeling from the Imperial College in London. She also holds a BS and MS in chemical engineering from the University of Oxford and is an absolute powerhouse, and pun 100 percent intended because she also works on power sector issues, obviously. In case you needed me to describe what a pun is! Anyways, so she’s incredibly talented and is working on issues ranging from mini-grids to renewable energy for rural agriculture to reimagining Nigeria’s energy transition plan.
KATIE AUTH: So I’m thrilled, in addition to everything you just said, Rose, to have her on the show, because I think both you and I have been in rooms with Habiba before, where there are really only a few women around the table. And, she speaks, and it’s just, even though she’s a very young woman, she carries herself with such authority and grace and power and so powerfully articulates the issues and kind of cuts through the B.S. and she’s just great. She’s a voice we need in the world.
ROSE MUTISO: I totally agree, Katie, and you know, I am particularly sensitive to the fact that there are such few female expert voices on energy and climate in Africa. Especially when you take out all of the activists and politicians, we are a pretty small tribe. There’s just not many of us. And so when Habiba came on our radar, we immediately pretty much begged her to join the Hub as a fellow, and we’ve clung to her like a vice since. And it’s so important to have people like Habiba contributing their ideas on these important issues. And I’m sure that any of our listeners who are encountering her for the first time today will agree by the end of this episode.
KATIE AUTH: Okay. Welcome, Habiba. Thank you so much for being with us.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Hi, Katie. Hi, Rose. Thank you so much for having me and thank you so much for a very kind introduction.
KATIE AUTH: Yeah, of course. So, we want to start by going back, way back, to the beginning, and can you tell us just, you know, one or two things about where you grew up, and something about it that shaped who you are today?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Yes, of course. So I was born and raised in Maiduguri. So that’s in Borno State in northeast Nigeria, the state that borders Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. I think maybe thinking back two things I remember from my childhood was, first thing, there was, in my home at least, there was a huge emphasis on education because you had to get out of where you were. I think in the house that I grew up, my parents were like, encyclopedias, those Dorling Kindersley encyclopedias. They wanted to expose me to a lot of information of the environment they wanted me to get into, which was probably England, to get a British education, to be able to work for globally recognized companies and not be limited by the environment that you were born into. So I remember such a huge emphasis from both my parents in terms of education, like you need to study, you need to be the best, you need to ensure that you are globally competitive, as a person, as a student, not just restricted to what was around you. So, and I think I’ve carried that on until today. I was never competing against the people around me, I was competing against everyone else. And I needed to come out on top if I wanted to ensure that, you know, I really made a success of myself. The second thing, and and this sounds maybe a very odd thing to say, Katie mentioned in her introduction about how I carry myself. I think you should come to Maiduguri and see how women carry themselves. There’s a very atypical to Nigeria, where there’s an impression of a very patriarchal society. One thing I saw in Maiduguri a lot were women who seem to be the bosses of their homes, starting with my mom. My mom runs our entire home. She’s very confident. She’s very articulate. And I think growing up in that environment there was such an emphasis on how you present yourself, how you carry yourself, you know, the elegance, a humility as well. Like you don’t want to be the loudest in the room, but you want to ensure that you are heard. And I think I took that with me. I remember seeing a lot of grandmothers and I loved how they just carried themselves. It’s like everybody was a princess, even though they are all in their seventies and eighties. And I think I’ve carried that, in a very soft way it’s kind of stayed with me, culturally, that it’s very important how you carry yourself in a room. So very often people can’t place my age and I think it’s very much a function of how women actually carry themselves where I’m from.
KATIE AUTH: That makes so much sense, knowing you and having seen you operate, because you actually are very soft-spoken, I would say. In public settings, you’re not someone who seeks to dominate the room, but there’s such power in that sort of quiet, calm focus that you’re talking about, and I, yeah, it’s a great thing to see.
ROSE MUTISO: Tthis is so interesting hearing from you, Habiba, because obviously we had kind of parallel lives, me a bit earlier than you, but in opposite corners of Africa. And, you know, I think that sense of aspiration that you mentioned is really resonating. I think a lot of people really don’t get that about Africa. Like sometimes, you know, we’ll be like in the village or in a really poor part of the city, like in the slums, and people clean their houses every day. Like people will be ironing shirts in a mud house.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Yeah.
ROSE MUTISO: And there’s a sense of, just aspiration is what fuels us, and I think that really resonated. One thing, though, that I think there was some divergence from growing up and it’s something that I really notice among women from West Africa and places like Nigeria. I think I grew up in a society where there’s so much deference among women and we’re really socialized to not carry ourselves with that power and how we dress. I mean, we’re just like, so British is kind of the joke we have, we were too colonized. And so I think that’s something that I really take of when I’m around people like you or women from that part of Africa that I I really take note of and I wonder what was lost in translation in my context. But anyway, those are reflections for another day because this is an energy podcast, guys. Habiba, you’re a scientist who cares deeply about the climate, but is also skeptical about some of the solutions and approaches that are being pushed, especially in Africa. So a theme that recurs a lot in your writing is how climate action is increasingly untethered from economic and political realities in poor countries. So do you have an example that particularly bothers you that illustrates this disconnect?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Yeah, I think maybe I could start with carbon dioxide removal because it’s something I focused a bit on in my energy systems modeling research life. One thing I’ve noticed is that there’s almost a five-year lag in when a climate solution or discussion blows up in, let’s say, Western Europe or in North America as a solution to driving down emissions and decarbonization, eventually it always filters through without the context specificity of Africa. It’s almost like whatever we are doing, everybody else has. And I’ve always taken an issue with that because particularly the origins of certain technological solutions are very much suited to a context, to a certain economy, economic structure, regulatory environment, infrastructure, stage of infrastructural development. So unless you have the same thinking in trying to figure out whether a solution fits in for an African country, you’re almost certainly always going to end up in the wrong place. And I think this is what has happened with, let’s say, carbon dioxide removal, where there’s an assumption that carbon is number one for everyone. Everybody just wants to get their carbon emissions down. And I think that when you’re somewhere where basic public services like water, electricity aren’t available, carbon isn’t really high on your list. You probably care about the environment and environmental impacts, but if I offered you a billion dollars and I told you, and I gave you a range of infrastructure projects that I could implement with that money, you want to do what’s going to have the greatest impact on your income. That’s the thinking I feel like in Africa, we are very, I don’t want to say money driven, but we are trying to just get to improved welfare. Whereas in Western Europe or North America, what the debate is, to what extent are you willing to have your welfare impacted just so we can care for the environment. You’re almost making sacrifices, right, in the U. S., whether it’s don’t eat beef or energy efficiency and topics like that. But in the African context, we’re trying to improve the baseline. There’s that disconnect when we think climate solutions can just be global. Once we figure out how they work in one place, then they work everywhere else. And I think that’s very incredibly frustrating for me because I always think it comes from a place of condescension.
KATIE AUTH: Yeah, so, you know, you’re talking here about how communities and countries determine their priorities and, you know, develop plans for a future that they want to get to and it links to why you actually initially came on our radar as an expert, because you wrote this very insightful piece, kind of picking apart Nigeria’s net zero commitment they announced at COP26. And I was hoping you could give us, very briefly, a sense of what your actual biggest frustration was with the way that Nigeria made that announcement or what was or wasn’t behind it.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Yeah I remember, I attended at one of the COP26 stalls, the Rural Electrification Agency presented this plan in Glasgow, and they’re going through these slides. The president has made a big announcement to 2060 and initially I wasn’t so skeptical. I was like, maybe they did some systems modeling, came up with some forecasts and trajectories, until I started seeing the numbers, particularly the steep decline in certain technologies like natural gas and just how quickly the emissions curve came down. So I asked a few questions in the room: How was this model developed? Who did this? How did you come about to this set of outcomes? And I think the sheer ignorance on the face of a lot of people that are supposedly the proponents of this plan was like alarm bells. I was like, okay, nobody knows who did the plan. The people that announced this plan don’t know who actually created it. Of course, it’s someone outsourced to someone, to someone, to a consulting firm and they ran their in-house model and came up with this curve. I think in my experience of systems modeling, I’ve always said, you can make a model say anything, because it’s all about adjusting rates, really, it’s about saying how quickly things can be built, how quickly things can go down, how quickly things can get cheaper. If you play around with those numbers, you could get pretty much any reality. But those assumptions are always sense checked to ensure that they are concurrent with what is possible and based on what the scientists and the innovators that actually producing these technologies say. If you don’t do that baselining, as we say, creating that base case for your model, you’re going to be off the mark. you know, they say garbage and garbage out like for a model. And I went back and I just looked at it and started picking apart, like you said, looking, because they put some bullet points with the build rates, and I’m just like, this is way off the mark. If you start at a country with five gigawatts of electricity generation, and then you say you’ll do five gigawatts of solar alone every year.
ROSE MUTISO: Mm hmm.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Just like, this person didn’t bother to check their assumptions because they were so desperate to get to net zero. And I think this is the problem. Net zero has become this ambition because it’s come out of IPCC Integrated Assessment Models. It’s been said that that’s the holy grail of decarbonization and climate change mitigation. So everyone is scampering to say, yes, I can sign up to this. But then the problem is when you then commit yourself to this and you’re held accountable and you know it’s not a realistic plan, a lot of issues then come on the back of it, which is what the last few years has been. People then realizing this plan is probably not all that workable. So do we just keep promoting it or do we start from the, it’s almost a paralysis because people can’t have a bankable pipeline of projects that are based off of that plan. And it’s a disservice to Nigeria because it means that we’ve had a few years of not really doing anything but saying we have a plan.
KATIE AUTH: Well, on the forward looking side, we heard that you are actually now part of a consortium that’s not just critiquing the plan that got announced, but rethinking what Nigeria’s energy transition should be. So we really wanted to hear from you, like, what is the most important thing you’re trying to change in that new framework in order to make it workable and meaningful, as you say?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Yeah, while we were in Nairobi, at the Energy for Growth Hub event, so it’s all thanks to you guys that this thing came together.
ROSE MUTISO: Oh, that’s really great
KATIE AUTH: Yeah, right.
ROSE MUTISO: Yeah, we’ll take the credit.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: But I think we just got frustrated about always complaining that the plan isn’t workable. And we thought if we have enough modelers in the room, we probably could show what we think a more realistic plan looks like. And there’s, you know, so the folks that we are now trying to figure out a timeline and scope of work with the Africa Policy Research Institute in Berlin, the Clean Air Task Force has some phenomenal modelers, and it’s still early days, but we are now coming together to do our own modeling. And the idea is to have a scenario where chaos continues. You know, let us tether ourselves in reality first, and then we can step up the ambition. Of course, the power sector is probably where we’re going to start, just because of data availability and the granularity of modeling that we can actually do. But for me, what I want to get out of this exercise is really, where’s the best bang for your buck in the energy system? If I have very finite resources, and I’m trying to deliver a certain quality of energy service, or I’m trying to deliver a certain number of jobs, what should I do first in the sector? And how does that fit in? You know, we want to see what this tension between decarbonization and development actually is. Everybody discusses that there’s a tension, but where do we see that the trade-offs actually have to happen? Or do they have to happen? We want to build a model that is not just talking about carbon and kilowatt hours. We actually want to translate these into development impacts and policy choices, so that the government can understand the levers that they can pull to try to get a certain outcome. So we’re putting our heads together. COP will be good to reconvene, but hopefully early next year we’ll be in full flow.
ROSE MUTISO: This is so cool, Habibi. It really resonates with some of the stuff we’ve been working on together, exactly on this idea that we need independent expertise that is thinking about these issues, that is producing analysis that critiques and challenges what government is saying, that sharpens what government is saying. And so you guys have kind of created this ad hoc working group that’s doing that. But obviously whatever snapshot you create now, whatever levels you identify now could be completely irrelevant in the next year or two years. And so, you’re a modeler, you know it’s supposed to be this kind of like, non-static, dynamic thing that’s just kind of reassessing, changing to conditions. So how do we take what you guys are doing and sustain it, and make it more normal practice that in Nigeria, anytime the government is like, yo, we’re doing X, Y, Z, here’s a plan, there’s a group of experts that are kind of ready to engage with a critique, sharpen, say, actually, here’s our alternative, you know, analysis that differs or agrees in X, Y, Z way, like, how do we build that culture?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: There’s a huge need for local capacity building. I think there are in Nigeria, probably a few modelers housed in some universities, maybe a few in government institutions, but very sparse and probably specializes in a very detailed type of modeling, let’s say the transport or the industrial sector and it’s that’s very hard to integrate and also align with the decision making process within government. One thing we are trying to do is be as transparent as possible with this modeling work. Hopefully in February, we have a workshop where we invite pretty much anyone that’s a stakeholder in this energy transition work to see our methodology and approach, and also invite people who have worked on this previously, these different models flying around, to critique and also try and contribute to our efforts because only by some of those partnerships and collaborations will we ensure that the skills transfer actually happens. We’re not going to hugely move the needle, but if we ensure that there are five rather than two people that can do a certain modeling task then we’ve increased the available skill to be able to support governments to be able to make decisions. And I think maybe as an end goal, I’m not sure whether it’s going to come from this modeling work, but definitely for me, I want to, I’ve shied away from it before because nobody wants to work with the Nigerian government, quite frankly, but to try to actively collaborate with the Energy Commission, with NERC, which is the electricity regulator, with the individuals in the relevant departments in the Ministries of Power, in the Ministry of Environment, to ensure that even if we are not building a modeling unit, there is an awareness that this is the approach to planning that you should take, which is rigorous, and it should be in house so you can ensure that you’re actually building something that you agree with. Because at this point, the Energy Commission, the state owned oil company, no one really has a stake in the energy transition plan because it was done independent of them. Bringing them into the process of designing a plan, you get their feedback as to what they think is possible or the extent to which you could create change and move the needle. So I’m hoping that this is also a capacity building exercise.
ROSE MUTISO: And this is just, I think, taking this conversation looping back to where we started, right, so about what climate means for Africa and how to retether thinking about climate and energy futures to African reality. So I love that through this technical process and through this modeling consortium that you are trying to pull some of these, here are our realities, this is our starting point, here are our priorities, into that work, but I’d like you to kind of take a step back and think about just the everyday person in Nigeria, right? So, you know, massive economic constraints, endemic poverty, governance issues, debt crises, inflation, fuel subsidies, getting off the shelf, you know, it’s a tough, tough environment. And so what would you say to a young Nigerian who is like, you know, I need a job, I’m hungry, stuff is happening that is more pressing to my life, like, why are you even wasting my time, the government’s tim,e with this climate energy transition stuff.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: us.
ROSE MUTISO: that you say that climate, uh, discourse is untethered, but I know that you care about climate. So how do you clarify how to make this relevant to everyday people in a place like Nigeria?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: The way I described the interest in climate change to, even my family that probably don’t understand why I’m so big on climate change, is that even if things are bad, climate change impacts can make them worse. You could be, you could be hungry, poor, and maybe maintaining a fairly subsistence life. Maybe you’re a rural farmer. But if a flood comes, then you don’t even have that option, right? There is a danger in Africa that we always think things can’t get worse.
ROSE MUTISO: Despite all of the evidence to the contrary!
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Exactly! 60 years of post colonial history tells you just how bad things can get, even before then. People need to understand that climate change impacts can affect their livelihoods directly and I think that’s how I’ve always tried to communicate it. And in Nigeria, really, people really started talking about climate when the flooding in 2022 happened, where a quarter of the rice production was just flooded, we lost that, food inflation spiked immediately, and I was working in a lot of rural communities supporting solar powered rice milling projects at the time and we had to pause certain projects or leave certain communities. So people then understood why climate change is important and then they’re like, why is our government not doing anything about climate change? This is the dilemma because if the government comes and makes a speech on climate change now, people will be like, that’s not the focus. You have to try and link it to people’s livelihoods and realities and I think for me, talking about climate change impacts and, unfortunately, now us feeling them, has probably sensitized the public a bit about why we need to take this seriously. The question is to what extent we need to prioritize it and what are the trade offs? That’s what no one knows. The extent the government should channel resources to adaptation versus let’s say, you know, we want to fortify infrastructure, housing, energy systems. That is where the debate is at now. I think we are probably shifted to a point where we’ve accepted that the climate change is important to address and that’s where I’m at. The second thing about the energy transition is, we’ve tried to do the business as usual, you know, get loads of oil money and then develop the country, build large infrastructure projects, bridges that nobody uses and things like that. We’ve tried that for a while and we’re still on that path. We need new ideas, we need new ways, at least in Nigeria, for sure, we need something more than our oil revenues now. Energy is that vector for development because it just powers everything, just both social and economic activities and an absence of energy means that everything is so much harder for everyone. Just to put this in context, I was in this community called Petti, maybe two hours outside of Abuja on Tuesday. Well, there’s a solar mini grid there, and there’s a company that’s trialing electric cookers and induction hubs for women. So I just went to speak to a few of them, and she was like, well, when I go out to get, before we had the electric cookers, when I go out to get firewood, I come back around 4 p.m. So that’s 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get firewood to cook for about, I think she said, 100 people in a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s just an enormous waste of time. If you need to go and gather fuel for eight hours to be able to feed the working members of a community. As much as I have a lot of issues with mini grids, she was saying that, well, the same money I spend on going to either buy firewood or gather firewood, I can just buy a few units on my mini grid and that lasts me about a month. The saving, you just can’t even understand. I was speaking to her, I was like, this just makes so much more sense. The availability of electricity in your life has made your life so, so much easier. And she was like, yeah, absolutely. And they want, it was a pilot. The cook stoves, some of them have been taken away now that the pilot is complete, which is, I will not discuss. But it’s heartening to see the impact that can be created through something the energy transition, right, which is putting solar power in a community. And I think people have to realize that it’s also a means of development. It’s not just a project to feel good about the climate. There are very tangible economic impacts that they could have.
ROSE MUTISO: Mhm.
KATIE AUTH: Habiba, one of the things that is really resonating with me and that Rose and I have been talking a lot about separately is that really what we’re talking about here is the need to broaden the definition of what we’re talking about when we talk about the energy transition. The energy transition is not a single focus plan for reducing emissions. And if it is, it’s not going to work for most of the people on earth. But every country, no matter where it is, and what their challenges are, is at some stage of an energy transition, whether it’s trying to take coal plants off the grid, or just provide basic access to all people, you know, we’re all at some stage of this. And one of the things that I really like about the modeling work that you’re talking about, and that people might not appreciate who aren’t modelers is that there’s space there to, not just set a net zero target and then kind of work backwards and figure out like, okay, what assumptions could we make to get us there? But instead to think critically about the different trade offs and the priorities that you were talking about in a place like Nigeria and figure out like, okay, yes, we have energy challenges, but we also have an economic transition that we’re pushing and we have social services that we need to provide. And the modeling at the end of the day is a way to explore how to make those trade offs, how to balance those issues, and I really appreciate your kind of holistic approach to that. And I think we need more of it.
ROSE MUTISO: 100 percent Habiba, I totally agree with Katie and, and actually this loops back to the top of our podcast today, uh, when we’re talking about when ideas like direct air capture or whatever the flavor of the month in whichever part of the world are dropped in is really a symptom of this massive gap. And we’re so glad that people like you are doing this work to connect the dots and connect climate climate discourse to actually real people in real life. So, we are coming towards the end of our interview now. And as we wrap each discussion this season, we’re leaving our guests with a closing question that’s aimed at inspiring reflection on the broader perspective of their journey and personal growth. So, Habiba, looking back, what’s the one thing that has changed the most about you since you started this work? It’s an easy question. No, no, it’s not. Pick one!
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: I think I’ve learned to appreciate truly interdisciplinary research and efforts and collaboration. And I say that, I don’t mean like engineers and social scientists and economists coming together. Yes, I agree. But, I think I mentioned, I was speaking earlier that I attended an event, a TED event, in Detroit earlier this year, and a puppeteer spoke about how they were using that to raise climate change awareness. And I’m not an emotional person, but I was almost in tears. I was like, wow, this is so beautiful. It makes me want to preserve the planet and be part of this movement. And so I think there is room for so many ways to to inspire people to be part of this journey. Not just the modeling and the science that we do, and it’s very important, but art, psychology, creativity, communication, having the right kind of discourse to bring people from different backgrounds and people who have really lived different realities together. So I think that has changed massively because I always used to think it was just a scientific problem.
ROSE MUTISO: I love this. If we had more time, and it was maybe a different kind of podcast, I would jump on this and have a complete other conversation with you about how our higher education, and just education system in general, in Africa does not lend itself to these kind of interdisciplinary connections and thinking outside the box. But once more we are an energy podcast, but I think this is such a great point about how energy people need to see the world in a broader lens.
KATIE AUTH: Okay, Habiba, now it’s time to play Short Circuit, which is our rapid-fire game of five or so questions. Are you ready?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Let’s do it.
KATIE AUTH: All right. We know you’re an athlete. If you could play any sport professionally, what would it be?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Football always, British football, not American football.
KATIE AUTH: That was too easy.
ROSE MUTISO: Uh, Habiba, do you mean African football?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: African football, yes.
ROSE MUTISO: So this next one is like a insider question for those of us in the know, wink, wink. So, okay, Habiba, you’re about to do a TED Talk and you need to pump yourself up. What do you do to get in the right headspace?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Eat a bag of skittles.
KATIE AUTH: Ooo, good one.
ROSE MUTISO: Good one. Alright, so when we see your TED Talk, which will be out soon, I hope, we’ll be looking for the,
KATIE AUTH: We’ll know you’re hyped up on Skittle sugar.
ROSE MUTISO: Yeah, yeah, the Skittles effect will go viral, because your TED Talk is obviously going to be super awesome.
KATIE AUTH: What is one energy solution that you think doesn’t get enough attention?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Hydro.
ROSE MUTISO: I know this is supposed to be rapid fire, but could you just, one sentence to elaborate?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Basically, there’s a massive hydro project that should have come to Nigeria, like decades ago, that could have doubled the generation. And nobody seems to care about it except the Chinese for some reason. So that’s probably why I have an affinity to it. Maybe not, I don’t know how it translates to other geographies, but that’s why.
ROSE MUTISO: Cool, ool. Yeah. Just so many, so many nuggets in this podcast for future conversation. That’s a good one. Okay, so moving on, which part of your career trajectory has surprised you the most?
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Being a consultant.
KATIE AUTH: Yet another podcast episode we could do on that.
KATIE AUTH: Okay. Habiba, now I’m going to give you three sentences and I want you to complete them, okay? The energy sector is too ___.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Too myopic.
KATIE AUTH: I get most nervous when ___.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: I’m giving a talk on something I’m not an expert in.
KATIE AUTH: And I want to learn more about ___.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Middle Eastern culture.
ROSE MUTISO: I was, I was hoping you’d say puppeteering, but that’s a good one.
KATIE AUTH: I love that.
ROSE MUTISO: Habiba, thank you so much for being on the show. This was such a great conversation and it’s just been such a privilege to work with you as a fellow at the Hub and to collaborate with you on these kind of big ideas about how we can change how we think and work on energy and climate issues on the continent. So thank you so much for your service and your work. We’re such massive fans of you.
HABIBA AHUT DAGGASH: Thank you so much for inviting me to so many things, including this. I always have a lot of fun and I always learn a lot from you all as well, so thank you so much.
KATIE AUTH: That’s it for today’s show. High Energy Planet is a production of the Energy for Growth Hub, matching policy makers with evidence based pathways to a high energy future for everyone. Find out more at energyforgrowth.org and share your questions and thoughts with us at @EnergyforGrowth on Twitter and LinkedIn.
ROSE MUTISO: If you liked today’s episode, be sure to rate and review the podcast and tell a friend about us. Bob Lalasz is our executive producer and Audrey Zenner is our senior producer. Join us next time for High Energy Planet. Bye!