Nomsa Chitsaka

‘Energy sector entry barriers can be broken’

NOMSA Chitsaka (NC) recently won the gold accolade under Outstanding Woman of Impact Energy sector from CEO’s Network Zimbabwe at the recent Phenomenal Women Leadership Awards held in Harare at Meikles Hotel. Our Features Editor caught up with Chitsaka and sat down for a chat. Below are excerpts from the interview. Our Features Editor caught up with Matsika and sat down for a chat. Below are excerpts from the interview.

Q. Congratulations on the award Nomsa. How do you feel after receiving such an honour?

NC. The award was certainly a surprise, a sweet and awesome surprise! Well, it goes without saying that I am always a goal getter and whenever I am given the mandate to implement a company’s objective, I not only see the mandate to completion but I take pride in creating a progressive success story.

Q. Which other awards have you won?

NC. I have received several milestone or achievement awards at the company level in my career history, but this is my first national recognition and is certainly not my last!

Q. We recently celebrated International Women’s Day with the main theme around gender financial equity. From your perspective, has Zimbabwe made progress in this regard?

NC. Zimbabwe has taken positive strides in creating an environment that accomplishes financial equity. This can be attested to the many women we can now see who are increasingly becoming financially independent. However, they say that the biggest room in life is that of improvement — and more can still be done to correct the marginalisation of the girl child and the stereotyping surrounding women in power.

Q. From your experience, how accommodating is the petroleum industry to women?

NC. The Energy sector in Zimbabwe is generally a male-dominated sector, the gender skewedness being mainly aligned to more men than women in the industry. I have travelled across the globe to seminars or conferences, and this notion is not only Zimbabwe specific but is a global situation. I think that this is mainly attributable to a latent, yet dominant belief, speculation, or notion that, the industry is masculine-oriented. I call out to women out there to break that barrier and acclimatise to the fact that what can be done by men, any woman can do too. My motto is “I am enough”. The honours are entirely upon the women to not only believe that they are fully capable of creating pictures of success in a male dominated industry, but women can go on to deploy perfect execution that speaks and shines for the world to see!

Q. In your view, what strategies could be useful to turn around the current energy challenges in our country?

NC. The current energy situation in the country requires a collective end to-end approach, from the policy formulation and other value chain components. The Private sector needs to seriously put money where their mouths are – in other words, the country needs less talk and more solution-oriented action from private sector players. On the policy framework, more can be done through the ministry of Energy and Power Development in recommending to the Executive, policies that promote more investment into Renewable Energy. In my view, this is the time for the stakeholders to have a robust discussion about energy tariffs and payment models. The positive strides registered under the Second Republic to address the mismatch between energy demand and supply are commendable

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