Tonye Cole was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on 11 January 1967. He attended Corona School, Victoria Island and later King’s College, Lagos before proceeding to King’s School, Ely, Cambridge shire, United Kingdom.
He is an alumnus of the University of Lagos and Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil. A merit honours graduate of Architecture, Tonye Cole worked as an architect for frontline Brazilian architectural firm Grupo Quartro SA in Goiania Brazil (’90-92) where he was involved in the design and implementation of the urban planning and city development of Palmas, the capital city of the newly created state of Tocantins. The city of Palmas was designed as a ‘green fields’ project and built up from scratch. Amongst the projects he worked on in Palmas are the State Ministry of Justice HQ and the City Hall.
Upon his return to Nigeria, Tonye Cole was recruited in 1993 as the Director of Operations EMSA S.A. a Brazilian civil engineering company, the 7th largest engineering firm in Brazil that was awarded the World Bank-financed water projects for Lagos State Water Corporation. He was responsible for incorporating and setting up the Nigerian office, recruiting the local staff and managing the office. Tonye Cole is currently the Co-Founder/Executive Director of Sahara Energy.