Tonye Cole

Co-Founder,Sahara Group

Tonye P. Cole is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Sahara Group, a leading international Energy and Infrastructure Conglomerate with operations in over 20 countries across six subcontinental regions.

An alumnus of the University of Lagos (Architecture) and Harvard Business School’s Advance Management Program (AMP186), Tonye Cole, together with his partners have grown Sahara Group, founded in 1996, from a single entity to a formidable multinational with over 3600 staff from diverse nationalities and footprints in Power, the entire Oil and Gas value chain – Upstream, Midstream, Downstream and Infrastructure sectors across various markets.

Tonye is an active member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Energy and leads Sahara’s membership of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) in recognition of the role Sahara Group has played in promoting business transparency in Africa.

Tonye also represents Sahara as a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Sustainable Development Fund (UN SDG-F) – a position that acknowledges Sahara Group’s interventions geared towards promoting inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication, capacity building, food security and access to potable water in Africa.

His passion for youth development and giving back to the less privileged led to the establishment of his foundation, The Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative, through which he has extended educational grants to students, trained farmers in Northern Nigeria and regularly supports other foundations such as the Down Syndrome Society of Nigeria, Slum2School Foundation, Bethesda School for the Blind as well as serving on the advisory boards of various youth focused charities such as Africa 2.0 and Sapinda Rainbow Foundation.

A motivational speaker, ordained minister, entrepreneur and firm believer in Africa’s inherent greatness, he has travelled vastly delivering numerous papers to the continents youth. He is a regular columnist for Thisday Style and published author.

He is married to Dr. Sylvia Cole with whom they have three children.