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Celebrating women at the forefront of Uganda's Oil and Gas sector

Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, PS Irene Batebe, Proscovia Nabbanja, and Mariam Nampeera

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, we shine a spotlight on the formidable women holding the reins in Uganda's burgeoning oil and gas industry.

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These leaders are not just navigating the sector through its complexities but are also carving paths for future generations of women in a traditionally male-dominated field. As we these trailblazers, we delve into their contributions, roles, and the unique perspectives they bring to Uganda's energy landscape.

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Ruth Nankabirwa stands at the helm of Uganda's energy policies and strategic planning as the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development. Under her stewardship, the country has seen significant advancements in its oil and gas sector, focusing on sustainability and economic growth. Nankabirwa’s leadership is pivotal in navigating the sector towards achieving Uganda's Vision 2040, aiming to transform Uganda into a modern and prosperous country through the efficient management of its energy resources.

As the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Batebe plays a crucial role in the operational execution of policies and initiatives. She’s served in this position since 2021, having previously been the chairwoman of the Uganda Refinery Holding Company Ltd. Bateebe is the government technocrat whose primary responsibility is building the oil refinery, the crude oil pipelines and petroleum products pipeline.

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Mariam Nampeera, the Deputy Managing Director of TotalEnergies Uganda, exemplifies leadership in action with over 20 years of uninterrupted experience across the energy business value chain. Having served as the MD of Tullow Uganda before exiting the country, Nampeera boasts of vast business, legal, and regulatory experience and exposure spanning four Jurisdictions (East Africa, Europe, South East Asia, Central Asia).

With over 23 years of experience, Nabbanja has played pivotal roles in shaping Uganda's petroleum sector and positioning the country as a critical player in the global energy landscape. Her expertise as a former Head of the Technical Division in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development allowed her to influence significant projects and lead critical reviews of field development plans. One of her most remarkable achievements was steering UNOC through crucial negotiations of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), securing agreements that solidified Uganda's position in the regional energy sector. Under her guidance, the Upstream and EACOP Projects reached the Final Investment Decision, marking significant milestones in Uganda's petroleum industry, driven by her strategic decisions and ability to secure essential investments and partnerships.

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Dr. Mulemwa is an experienced scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry, from Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has over thirty (30) years’ of experience in leadership, administration, policy development and analysis, strategy formulation and evaluation, science education and academic research.

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Christine Byaruhanga, the Director Legal at EACOP, plays a vital role in navigating the complex legal landscape of cross-border oil and gas projects. She has spearheaded implementation of the agreed legal framework for the EACOP in Uganda and Tanzania and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws to EACOP and its activities.

Peninah Aheebwa’s leadership as the Director of Economic and National Content Monitoring at PAU is pivotal in ensuring that Uganda’s oil and gas sector benefits all Ugandans. Her work focuses on the development of local content, fostering economic growth, and ensuring that the sector's development is inclusive and sustainable.

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Zaria Nahoza, the Planning Director at EACOP, has been instrumental in EACOP’s planning across all activities (integrating the land acquisition planning with the project planning), Internal Audit, custodianship of the EACOP Integrated Management System and the development of dashboards and KPIs to manage and follow the company’s performance

These women are not just leaders; they are visionaries who have broken through barriers to steer Uganda's oil and gas sector towards a promising future. Their contributions are a testament to the pivotal role women play in shaping industries and economies. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us recognize and be inspired by the achievements of these exceptional leaders who are not only advancing Uganda's energy sector but also setting a global benchmark for women in leadership.

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