BY PAUL TENTENA AND THE CEO TEAM.
Uganda’s infant yet multi-billion oil sector has for the past eight years been much publicized. At the start, there was overwhelming positive vibe about the sector especially the potential to transform the sector. However, that was not always the case. There were allegations of bribery against some senior government officials. Additionally, the low oil prices and delayed approval of production licenses brought the reality back to Uganda. More so, Uganda had numerous court battles in the country and London against oil companies Tullow and Heritage over non-payment of Capital Gains Tax (CGT).
Uganda has also had a series of false calls especially on the projected year for oil production. The current year, which almost reads like an obsession, is 2020. Even that appears to be too ambitious considering the infrastructure need for production to start. Companies are yet to make Final Investment Decisions.
To date, a total of 9 major oil production licenses have been issued to the Total, Tullow and CNOOC joint venture.
According to different key stakeholders, the 2020 dream is alive and achievable. Early this year, Energy Minister, Irene Muloni told the media that “companies are expected to work towards reaching a final investment decision within 18 months after issuance of the production licenses and produce first oil in the year 2020.”
Furthermore, Total’s Managing Director, Adewale Fayemi supported the minister’s position when he told The East African newspaper that “We can deliver the project in 2020. We feel it is achievable but we need all stakeholders to deliver.”
For Uganda to start production, there are several individuals that will be looked at as having been influential in the oil journey.
With all eyes set on 2020, there are several individuals that have put and still putting in a lot of time for the realization of Uganda’s Oil dream. These are spread out in different sectors of the economy. Here is a list of the top 30 faces in Uganda’s Oil Sector. These are the real makers and shakers of this sector.
Irene Nafuna Muloni is Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development. She is also an electrical engineer, a businesswoman, and a politician. She was first appointed to that position on 27 May 2011. In the new cabinet list that was released after the 2016 national elections, she maintained her position. She served as the elected Member of Parliament for Bulambuli District Women’s Representative, from 2011 until 2016.
He is currently the Acting Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development after the sacking of the substantive Permanent Secretary Stephen Isabalija. Before that, Kasande was heading the Directorate of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy. He was also the President/CEO-Jicarilla Apache Energy Corporation; Executive Member-BlackRock Oil and Gas; Chairman-Alpha Energy, Inc.
He is a Ugandan geologist and business executive. He is the Current Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda.
He was born in the Western Region of Uganda and holds a Master of Science in Petroleum Reservoir Geology awarded by the Imperial College London in 1990.
Following his studies in London, he worked briefly with Scott Pickford Plc in the United Kingdom. He returned to Uganda and began to work at the Ministry of Energy, Oil and Mineral Development. From 2008 until 2014, he served as commissioner for petroleum exploration and production department. He then served as director for petroleum in the Ministry of Energy, Oil and Mineral Development.
In 2015, when the government of Uganda created the Directorate of Petroleum in the Energy ministry, Rubondo was appointed its acting director. In June 2016, he was named the executive director of Uganda’s Petroleum Authority
The Managing Director of Total E&P Uganda, Adewale Fayemi was appointed to the post in September 2015 from Ivory Coast, replacing François Rafin who barely served a year. He has worked with Total E&P for over 24 years. He came at a time when the company was working towards securing production licenses and preparing for the development phase. Now that Total is controlling several of the issued production licenses, Fayemi’s work is cut out, with stakeholders waiting to see the oil pouring effectively 2020.
Currently the Managing Director of Tullow Oil Ltd, Jimmy Mugerwa is a Senior Executive with over 25 years of Oil industry experience across Government relations, Sales, Operations and Marketing. He has worked and lived in several African countries including the Netherlands and UK. He offers a wealth of leadership experience with a strong focus on strategy, execution and directorship positions. At the start of this year, Tullow Oil sold two-thirds of its stake in Uganda’s first ever oil development to Total in a deal worth about USD 900m. But even with this sale, Tullow remains a major player in Uganda’s oil industry.
Xiao Zongwei is the President of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda.
He is a senior engineer who graduated from Daqing Petroleum Institute with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering and also studied petroleum engineering at Imperial College in the UK from 1987 to 1988. Total, Tullow, and CNOOC jointly own Uganda’s oil production fields but CNOOC was the first to be granted a production license in 2013.
Born in 1954 to Francis Kaliisa and Maria Kasasa Kaliisa in Hoima District, Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa is the former long-serving ministry of energy and mineral development Permanent Secretary. He was a few years ago rated by Daily Monitor, a local newspaper as “the most experienced and most knowledgeable Ugandan in the oil industry.”
He holds a Masters of Science in Petroleum Development Geology from Aberdeen University in the United Kingdom.
Prior to his re-deployment in 2016 during a reshuffle of permanent secretaries by President Museveni, Kaliisa had worked at the Energy ministry for 35 years and had been at the heart of Uganda’s oil industry for 20 years.
Even though Kaliisa is no longer part of the Ministry of Energy, his influence in the Oil industry remains unquestionable. He knows most of the ‘whos, when, where, why and hows of Uganda’s Oil’.
Josephine Kasalamwa Wapakabulo, also Josephine Wapakabulo Thomas, is a Ugandan electrical engineer and business executive. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC). She was appointed in June 2016, being the first person to serve in that position.
Born in 1976, she is the daughter of Angelina Wapakhabulo and the late James Wapakhabulo. She studied at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, as an electrical and electronics engineer, obtaining a BEng, an MSc and a Ph.D. in the field. She also holds an Executive MBA from the INSEAD Business School in France.
In 2015, she returned to Uganda and worked as a Business Consultant in Kampala, until 2016 when she was appointed the CEO of UNOC. She has now held this position for one year and some three months.
Kiwanuka Kiryowa is a partner at Kiwanuka & Karugire Advocates, a law firm he co-founded in 2001. He is an advocate of the High court of Uganda, with over 18 years’ experience in commercial law, labor law, and energy law, currently focusing on oil and gas. Kiryowa is currently pursuing an LLM in Petroleum Law and Policy from University of Dundee, Scotland. In the Oil industry, many know him as one who makes things happen thanks to his personal competence but also a close relationship to the first family.
Hon. Dr. Elly Karuhanga (Ph. D.) has been the Chairman of Uganda Chamber of Mines & Petroleum, an organization that seeks to promote and develop Uganda’s mining and petroleum operations and services since 2008 to date.
Dr. Elly served as President and Director of Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd. from 2006 to 2014 and was also the Senior Advisor, Africa, for Tullow Oil.
Dr. Elly is also a founding partner of Kampala Associated Advocates together with the present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda, Justice Bart Katureebe, Mr. Oscar Kambona, and Mr. Sam Mayanja. His former law firm; Karuhanga & Co. Advocates, merged with three other law firms to form Kampala Associated Advocates in 2001. He became managing partner in 2006 to 2008.
The Chairman of Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Emmanuel Katongole is a Ugandan statistician, economist, businessman, entrepreneur, industrialist, and philanthropist.
He currently serves as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CQCIL). CQCIL is the only company in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is authorized to manufacture triple-combination antiretroviral drugs. Since 2014, he concurrently serves as the chairman of the Uganda National Oil Company.
He attended Namilyango College for his O Level and A Level education. He studied at Makerere University, Uganda’s largest and oldest public university, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Statistics (B.Stat). His Master of Arts in Economic Policy and Planning (MA.EPP) was also obtained from Makerere University. He has attended numerous other short-term courses in Economics, Statistics, and Management, from institutions in Uganda and Europe.
He is the Director of Exploration at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda. Abeinomugisha holds a Master of Science in Petroleum Geoscience from the Royal Holloway College, University of London. Abeinomugisha was the Assistant Commissioner, responsible for Refining in the Midstream Petroleum Department, Directorate of Petroleum, in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development before being appointed Director of Exploration in PAU. He worked with the Ministry since 2000 and has extensive experience in geological mapping and management of petroleum exploration licenses. He was the President of the Geological Society of Uganda (GSU) from 2005 to 2012 and has authored several publications, reports, and presentations that have been published in international journals.
He is the Chairman Oranto Petroleum International Limited, a Nigerian company that two production sharing agreements with Uganda to explore for oil and gas around Lake Albert. Arthur Eze is a Nigerian businessman and reputed to be one of the wealthiest men in Africa. He is the founder and Chairman of Atlas Oranto Petroleum, which has assets in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, South Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and the Gambia.
Edward Kabucu is a director and shareholder of Mineral Services Limited (MSL); a wholly owned Ugandan company contributing to petroleum exploration and production activities in Uganda since 1998.
MSL offers a cocktail of services including transport and fleet management, integrated logistics, and human resource management among others. To date, MSL has worked with almost all the top Oil and Gas companies in Uganda including; TOTAL E&P, Tullow Oil, Heritage Oil and Gas, and Hardman Resources etc.
Ben Mugasha is the founder and CEO of Bemuga Forwarders; a company that specializes in handling oil and gas gear. He has since 2004 invested billions of monies in oil and gas handling and transportation equipment. Among the top oil and gas projects that Bemuga has worked on include Heritage Oil & Gas text explorations. With ownership of several Oil and Gas handling equipment at his disposal, Ben Mugasha has well positioned his company to benefit from the oil exploration boom, whenever it will happen.
Oscar and Geoffrey Baitwa are brothers. Through Bro Group, they run Threeways Shipping, Threeways Distribution, and Transtac; specializing in local and international clearing and forwarding. They are currently the foremost providers of clearing and freight forwarding services to Uganda’s oil and gas industry.
They won their first contract with Hardman Resources in 2006, leading to significant growth for Threeways. When Tullow bought out Hardman in 2007, Threeways Shipping underwent a major transformation in order to meet the requirements of servicing the oil exploration company.
Following, the February 2012 farm-down deal with CNOOC and Total, many of Threeways’ contracts with Tullow were novated and transferred to CNOOC and Total. They remain the primary logistics provider for each of the companies for most of the ‘on the ground’ work in Uganda.
Bob Kabonero is the founder of the Association of Oil and Gas Service Providers; an association which lobbies for the interests of Ugandan companies.
“Many business contracts have been given to foreign companies who have the muscle and the capital, and there was a growing resentment amongst the small local businesses. I founded the association not out of personal interest but out of having seen the experiences in other African countries, for example, Nigeria,”Kabonero told the media in 2015 when asked about this association.
Denis Kamurasi is a Director at Quantum Associates Uganda Ltd, a locally owned logistics company actively involved in the Oil and Gas sector. It specializes in warehousing, storage and lay-down yards for Oil and Gas with a huge presence in the albertine graben.
Jennifer Kanjogera is the country manager at EnviroServ Uganda Limited; a firm contracted to manage hazardous oil waste in Hoima district. The firm has since established the Nyamasoga waste treatment and disposal facility in Bugahya County, Hoima District, which is used to treat oil waste generated from the different oil appraisal wells in the Albertine Region.
Mulemwa is the current Chairperson of the Petroleum Association of Uganda. Dr. Mulemwa is a qualified and experienced scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has over 30 years’ experience in Leadership, Administration, Policy Development and Analysis, Strategy Formulation and Evaluation, Science Education and academic research. She possesses extensive experience in leading organizations through periods of initiation, transition, and growth. She serves on the Board of Directors of several organizations and was the Deputy Chairperson of the Education Service Commission between 1988 and 2015.
Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe is the managing partner at MMAKS Advocates. He is a Barrister-at-law and a Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, UK. He holds an LLB (Hons.) degree and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1992.
His Firm, MMAKS Advocates actively advise in the areas of mining, oil, and energy in Uganda. Among the work they have done in this field so far include; conducting a review of the Oil Production Sharing Agreements for a licensee in Uganda in relation to financing facilities, advised in the acquisition of shares in a Ugandan mining company and represented several mining companies in Uganda, routinely advising on the law and licensing regime of minerals in the country.
A Barrister of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, David is the Owner, A.F. Mpanga, Advocates.
He worked initially with the chambers of Godfrey Carey QC and Jonathan Caplan QC at 5 Paper Buildings in the United Kingdom where he handled criminal litigation. David then returned to Uganda in 1998 and worked with Mugerwa & Masembe, Advocates up to September 2003. He has an LLB Hons from the University of Exeter.
But importantly, he is a member of Bowman’s; a Firm that brings together lawyers from across key emerging and mature hydrocarbon jurisdictions in Africa to provide practical and commercial legal advice for companies, governments and investors. Bowmans’ Oil and Gas experts are situated in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom, working ‘seamlessly together to service clients across the African continent.’
He advised CNOOC on the farm-in of one-third of Tullow Oil’s interest in 3 oil exploration blocks in Western Uganda for a total deal size of USD 1.467 Billion. He also acted as the local counsel for Helios Investors Genpar II LP and Vitol SA on the acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s assets in Uganda as part of an African wide transaction valued at over USD 1 Billion.
Andrew Kasirye and William Byaruhanga are the lead partners at Kasirye Byaruhanga & Co Advocates (KB &Co.). The Firm’s key sectors are oil and gas, power, aviation, and manufacturing. To date, KB & Co has worked with and advised leading local and multinational organizations actively involved in the oil and gas industry including Excel Construction, Umeme, Association of Uganda Oil & Gas Service Providers, and Stanbic Bank among others.
Jeanne Rwakakooko-Owiny is an Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of the Republic of Uganda with eleven years legal experience, and also a partner in the law firm of Rwakakooko, Owiny, Kakonge & Company Advocates.
Patrick Mweheire was at the start of 2015 named Stanbic Bank Uganda’s new Chief Executive Officer. Prior to this appointment, Mweheire had held the position of Executive Director and Head of the Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking (“CIB”) Division. He joined Stanbic in 2012 with 15 years of Investment Banking experience, 9 years of which were spent at Merrill Lynch & Co, New York, where he worked as Director, Investment Banking and executed numerous M&A and financing transactions. Just prior to joining Stanbic Bank, Mweheire worked as Head of Investment Banking Africa for Renaissance Capital based in London and Nairobi. He holds an MBA from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business.
With Stanbic Bank investing billions of monies in Oil and Gas Training and Financing, Patrick’s significance in the oil industry should never be understated.
Forbes in November 2012 ranked Patrick Bitature among Uganda’s top five multi-millionaires.
Bitature is the founder and chairman of Simba Telecom, East Africa’s largest mobile phone retailer with over 100 modern retail outlets in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya Telecom. He owns Protea Hotel and also chairs the Umeme board – Uganda’s main electricity distribution company, listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange and cross-listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
Away from that, Bitature has invested in the oil and gas sector. It is in the public domain that the businessman has in the past injected billions into the construction of an oil plant in Hoima District, expected to engage in the treatment, handling, storage, and transportation of oil when production starts. Bitature is also the chairman of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, a sector that has invested trillions into Uganda’s Oil dream.
Henry is the Chief Executive Officer and a Consultant of ABMAK Associates; a law firm that has up to date played an advisory role to foreign investors in “nearly all the largest transactions in Uganda’s mining, oil & gas, and power sectors”.
Henry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (1st Class Hons. Finance & Economics) from Trent University in Canada, and a Master of Laws (LL.M with Distinction) in Petroleum Taxation and Finance from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee (Scotland-UK). Based on his competencies, Henry is regularly consulted on behalf of ABMAK Associates on key commercial aspects of mining, oil, and gas among others.
Steven Birahwa Mukitale is the Member of Parliament for Buliisa County in the Oil Rich District of Buliisa. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Political Science and M.A in Public Administration and Management, both from Makerere University.
Mukitale is one of the strongest voices in the oil debates. On several occasions, he has accused different people of grabbing his constituents’ land in the oil-rich area.
He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS). Recently, AUGOS signed an agreement with The Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS) that will see the two working together in the Hoima-Tanga pipeline project. AUGOS brings together over 1 companies involved in the oil and gas business.
Reuben J Kashambuzi holds a Master of Science degree in Petroleum Geology from the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine of the University of London. He worked with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development for over 25 years, rising through the ranks until he was appointed Commissioner of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department in 1995, a position he held until his retirement in 2009. Kashambuzi was instrumental in negotiating the Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) with oil companies. He played a major role in the initiation of major activities of the Committee of Energy (Fossil Fuels Working Group) of the East African Community Secretariat including founding the East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition. He was Chief Technical Advisor in the Ministry from 2010-2012 where he headed a taskforce which proposed structures and arrangements for putting in place the Petroleum Authority of Uganda and the Uganda National Oil Company.
Mr. Kashambuzi is the author of the famous book “The Story of Petroleum Exploration in Uganda, 1984-2008: A Matter of Faith”. This book describes Uganda’s oil journey from 1984-2008.