Special issue
Dr Victoria Nalule
Research Fellow, CEPMLP, University of Dundee

Dundee, United Kingdom

By introduction, I am Victoria Nalule, from Uganda. I am a holder of a PhD in International Energy Law and Policy from CEPMLP, University of Dundee. Currently, I am based in Scotland, where I work with the DFID-funded Extractives Hub project, based at the University of Dundee. Besides this project, I am also the founder and Executive Director of the African Energy and Minerals Management Initiative (AEMI).

So far, my experience through the COVID-19 can be summarised into two activities- webinars and authoring books. Indeed, the Pandemic has undoubtedly negatively impacted many people in the different parts of the globe. On a positive note, however, it has presented an opportunity for me to organise, and take part in more online events like webinars and conferences. For instance, before the Pandemic, we had planned at the Hub to organise an international conference in Kampala, focused on, ‘Energy Transitions in Africa’. With the travel restrictions that characterised the Pandemic, we decided to host this conference online. Interestingly, we had over 700 people register, and more than 300 people attending the conference (we had initially planned to have around 200 people). Although the Pandemic meant that we could not network with people face to face, it at the same time, provided an opportunity to reach out and involve a broad online audience, from the different parts of the globe. Besides this major e-conference, I have hosted over 20 webinars (personal webinars & Hub webinars), interviewing various experts from the different parts of the world. I have also networked a lot, hence electronically meeting many interesting people.

Besides being unable to travel to my home country (Uganda) for holidays, this period has given me ample time to keep in touch with family and friends through regular phone calls. I have also been able to write a lot hence finalising two books in this period!  One book focuses on ‘energy transitions and the future of the African energy sector’. This is an edited book project, with contributions from over 20 experts. I am the main editor for this book project. Palgrave has published the book. It uniquely analyses the progressive nature of energy use, and as such, it introduces the novel concept of ‘Energy Progression’. I have also been able to finalise another book focused on ‘Land Law & the Extractive Industry’. This book will be published by the Hart publishers, based in London.

In summary, life can throw at us lemons (such as this COVID-19 Pandemic), but it is up to us to make lemonade out of these bitter lemons! It has been a difficult period, but I have tried as much as possible to stay positive and productive.