The narrative here is to bring your attention to Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) – a venture that strives to drive sustainable growth in the oil and gas sector by promoting national involvement and forging strategic alliances. At the forefront of this, we have highlighted the tale of Proscovia Nabbanja’s crucial roles in shaping Uganda’s petroleum sector and establishing the nation as a major player in the world energy landscape.
In the key position of CEO at UNOC, Proscovia is responsible for executing the company’s corporate strategy and plans, overseeing the business facets of state participation throughout the petroleum value chain, encompassing upstream, refining, transportation, and storage, and discovering fresh, profitable ventures. She started off working for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development as a geologist. In academics, she earned a Master of Science in Petroleum Geoscience from the prestigious Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in London, a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Chemistry from Makerere University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Imperial College Business School in London.
To gain a better understanding of how she contributes to alleviating Uganda’s energy scenario, we conducted a one-on-one virtual interview with Proscovia Nabbanja. Based on the conversation, we crafted this exclusive story, which will shed light on her innovative ideas and her distinctive leadership approaches that take the company to the next level.
What Inspired Proscovia to Join the Uganda National Oil Company?
Proscovia, the magnificent woman, has always had a strong interest in Uganda’s oil and gas resources. She played a significant role in forming Uganda’s petroleum industry for the past 23 years. She began her career in the field as a geologist and worked her way up to become the head of the Technical Division in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development’s Petroleum Exploration and Production Department. In this role, she experienced projects through all stages of development, from inception to maturity, and investment-ready projects with detailed development strategies and plans.
Joining the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) was a natural progression for her. She was inspired by the company’s vision—to be an innovative and profitable oil and gas company that operates across the entire petroleum value chain for the benefit of all Ugandans—to position Uganda as a significant player in the local and global energy landscape.
Being part of a business that has a footprint across the entire petroleum value chain, from the reservoir to the consumer, was an opportunity to deliver value and a positive impact on her country. They have shown their commitment to helping Uganda’s economy change by investing in the infrastructure related to oil and gas along the whole petroleum value chain. Her main motivation for joining UNOC was this objective and the opportunity to positively influence Uganda’s energy sector.
Overcoming the Hurdles Along the Way
Proscovia has observed that business leaders grapple with several challenges, some of which are as follows:
- An uncertain business environment due to changes in the global landscape.
- Technological advancements demand that corporations keep pace and harness these innovations to ensure growth.
- Besides, the constantly changing regulatory environment adds another layer of difficulty. Having dedicated employees to keep an eye on these changes is essential, as is ensuring compliance while managing these transitions. The consequences of non-compliance are getting worse.
- Managing the expectations of stakeholders, ranging from shareholders, business partners, civil society, and the local communities where they operate, All these stakeholders have varied expectations, and aligning these expectations requires communication.
- Recruiting and keeping talent present difficulties as well, particularly when the industry’s need for talent changes.
- Last but not least, as sustainability becomes more and more of a worldwide priority, businesses like UNOC are under more and more pressure to embrace eco-friendly policies and work toward a sustainable future. The imperatives of social-economic transformation must be addressed while managing them.
Some potential solutions to these problems are listed below.
- Leaders need to ensure that the strategies are agile and adaptable.
- It is important to review the organization’s mission from time to time to ensure it continues to serve the goals of all of its stakeholders.
- A culture of ongoing exposure to and learning from the newest industry trends is necessary for the growth and retention of talent.
- Investing in research and development allows businesses to stay at the forefront of the latest technologies.
- Collaborations with other industry players to provide fresh perspectives and solutions.
- Establishing transparent channels of communication with all parties involved will ensure agreement and anticipate issues.
The Key Takeaways: Directly from Proscovia’s Mouth
Incorporating emerging technologies into the operations and client services of UNOC has offered a wealth of insights. One of the primary lessons is the importance of embracing change. Every new technological advancement, while promising, needs to be meticulously evaluated for its relevance to our specific operational needs. every technological decision is weighed against its value proposition. With the digital revolution, the sanctity of data has become paramount, underscoring the criticality of robust cybersecurity measures.
The rapid evolution of the technology landscape requires staying updated with the latest developments, ensuring adaptability to technological changes. An innovative approach approach guides our choices, focused on flexibility and scalability to address current and future needs.
Lastly, fostering a collaborative working environment at UNOC has proven great. Adopting the culture of One UNOC, where no staff is left behind, we have unlocked innovative solutions that drive efficiency and growth, ensuring that our technology, systems, and business processes align seamlessly with our vision.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Issues
UNOC acknowledges the rising importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the current corporate environment. Their commitment lies in reducing their carbon footprint and making sure that the production activities are conducted with the utmost care for the environment. Thus, when designing projects, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are prioritized. This includes investing funds in greener technology, cutting back on waste, and keeping an eye on and minimizing any environmental dangers related to business operations.
UNOC launched an Alliance for Climate Resilience program that brings technical, financial, cultural, religious, local government, and development partners under one umbrella to define and implement nature-based solutions to address the impacts of climate change.
In the same spirit, they led the creation of a forum for women working in the energy and extractive industries, which they introduced in May 2023 in an effort to bring together women who directly experience the effects of these sectors.
The Futuristic Outlook
For UNOC, this journey has been marked by remarkable growth and expansion. Further, Proscovia envisions a dual role for UNOC. As a responsible producer of oil and gas, the company’s first goal is to optimize operations by making sure they are effective, considerate of the environment, and in line with industry best practices. Secondly, they diversify their energy portfolio to look forward to the future while simultaneously maximizing the value of their oil and gas assets.
Pearls of Wisdom by the Inspiring Lady
- You need to have the right mindset, attitude, and mentality. It’s important to have faith in your own abilities and insights.
- You must be steadfast and dedicated, taking on obstacles head-on and not giving up until you achieve them.
- Clarity and direction are always available when you ask seasoned professional coaches and mentors for advice.
- Be the mentor; support your team to be a better version of themselves. Use your voice to push boundaries and support other women.