NAMIBIA’s energy sector is on the precipice of large-scale transformation owing to sizeable oil and gas discoveries made since 2022, ambitious renewable and green hydrogen project developments kicking off and a proactive approach by the government to attract new investment in the country. The market is ripe with opportunities and companies to the likes of ExxonMobil are making progress to unlock the full potential of the southern African country’s energy sector.
ExxonMobil’s Deputy Country Manager Taimi Itembu is at the forefront of this agenda and continues to make great strides towards leveraging policy dialogue and partnership building to drive the company’s Namibian activities. Itembu is featured on the African Energy Chamber’s list of 25 Under 40 Energy Women Rising Stars.
Please share a brief overview of your journey in the energy industry that led to your current role? What are some key achievements or milestones that you are particularly proud of?
My journey started in public administration and policy, both internationally with US State Department and nationally with judiciary – part of the team that established the office of the judiciary in Namibia – and parliament. I have had an upward and steep trajectory working as Public and Government Affairs Manager for ExxonMobil and now as the Deputy Country Manager.
The energy industry is known for its complexities. What were some significant challenges you faced along the way, and how did you navigate through them to achieve your goals?
The industry is challenging but mostly accommodating. The size of the industry is monstrous making it hard to move industry. But the ship is moving in the right direction and with intentional advocacy and patience we are able to move the needle and close the gender gap.
What advice would you give to young females aspiring to excel in the energy sector? Are there any specific strategies or mindsets that helped you overcome obstacles and reach your current position?
There is a place for everyone in the industry not just engineers, financiers or geoscientists. It is an industry to learn and grow your career beyond oil and gas.
A career in energy can be demanding. Could you describe a typical day in your life?
Although the industry is slow moving, it has multiple moving parts. A day involves a lot of negotiations and engagements with Governments, National Oil Companies and other public stakeholders.
Looking ahead, what changes or advancements do you hope to see in the energy sector, and how do you envision your role in shaping that future?
The world is on a race to meet energy demand whilst focusing on a low carbon future. This makes it an exciting time to be part of ExxonMobil which is the global leader in low carbon solutions, specifically around Carbon Capture and Storage, and it feels good to be part of the solution.
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