NJ Ayuk is always focused on helping people. This successful lawyer is the CEO and founder of the international firm Centurion Law Group, and he’s also the chairman of the African Energy Chamber. While NJ’s career has mostly revolved around social justice, he’s now focused on the energy crisis in Africa, his home continent.
“I worked with the United Nations at the start of my career, thinking about human rights and gender-based violence,” Ayuk recalls. “I felt I was part of an African generation that wanted to see how we could improve the continent. But every time that I thought I want to do something with our work, I started to realize that energy was part of it.”
However, NJ Ayuk didn’t always understand that Africa was in dire need of more energy resources and infrastructure. He realized this once he returned to this home continent after finishing law school.
“I was traveling around Africa, I was in Khartoum [Sudan] actually, when I realized that a lot of our problems came from lack of energy,” Ayuk says. “We needed energy to industrialize. We needed energy to drive education. We needed energy to make hospitals work. And the severe lack of energy across the continent, I realized that it’s part of the problem.”
With this huge issue at hand, NJ Ayuk needed to make a plan. This was when he decided to use his legal skills and determination to go directly at big energy companies. He plans to sit at the table with these lawmakers and politicians to make lasting change for millions of Africans.
NJ Ayuk goes on to talk about the reasons why energy has become such a huge problem. He points to the fact that no one is talking about it.
“In Africa, there is a silent majority that nobody talks about,” Ayuk says. “There are 600 million people without access to electricity, 900 million without access to clean cooking technologies, most of them women. Nobody’s talking about their issues, nobody’s talking about their causes.”
Using his legal experience, Ayuk is focused on making his case known to every single politician and decision-maker he can reach. “Whether it is a minister, a president, whether it’s a corporation — they are going to have to listen to these people,” he adds.
Ayuk has the idea of becoming a new type of lawyer, one who advocates for those less fortunate in his home continent. “There is a bigger calling to this job, especially when it comes to the issues of driving the free market. As an African, I believe in the role of free markets, limited government, individual liberty, and human rights,” he says.
If NJ can bring affordable energy to millions of people in his homeland, this can create generational change, resulting in improved medical care, more educational opportunities, and a better quality of life overall.
As Ayuk has always been passionate about helping people, he won’t stop fighting until the case is won.