Energy Goddess Salma Okonkwo: Pioneering Change in Ghana’s Energy Landscape

In a male-dominated industry, Ghanaian businesswoman Salma Okonkwo, 48, emerges as a beacon of innovation and leadership. As the CEO and Founder of UBI Group, she has spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives, notably the establishment of Ghana’s renowned solar farm—Blue Power Energy.

Hailing from a family of 14 children, Salma’s upbringing instilled in her the values of resilience and determination. Raised in a community where women actively contribute to the family economy, she learned early on the importance of self-reliance and ambition.

Salma’s journey into the energy sector began upon her return to Ghana in 2003, following her studies in Los Angeles. Starting her career at Sahara Energy Group, she quickly rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the first female CEO in Ghana’s energy sector. Driven by a vision to bridge the energy gap in Northern Ghana, Salma founded UBI Group in 2008. With a focus on wholesale trading of diesel and petroleum, coupled with the operation of retail gas stations, UBI became a trailblazer in supporting the oil industry’s upstream sector.

However, Salma’s ambitions extended beyond conventional energy sources. Recognizing the potential of renewable energy, she founded Blue Power Energy—a pioneering venture in alternative energy solutions. Currently developing a $200 million 100MW solar project in Ghana, Blue Power Energy is at the forefront of sustainable energy development in the region. Despite facing challenges along the way, including downsizing and economic fluctuations, Salma’s resilience and strategic acumen have propelled UBI Group to remarkable heights. With annual revenues exceeding $400 million and steady growth averaging 15% to 20% annually, her entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive success.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Salma remains committed to making a difference in the lives of others. Through the Mother’s Heart Foundation, she provides essential support, including accommodation, clothing, healthcare, and education, to those in need. Salma Okonkwo’s remarkable journey serves as an inspiration not only to aspiring entrepreneurs but to women everywhere. Her unwavering dedication to innovation, sustainability, and social responsibility underscores her status as a true leader in Ghana’s energy landscape.