Women In Energy 2023: Eng. Ziria Calls Girls To Study Sciences As ERA Launches Year’s Career Guidance Program at Nabisunsa Girl’s School

The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has launched the Women in Energy program 2023 to impart female students to get interested in science and technology.

The call came on Friday, March 31, 2023, as the authority led a campaign, starting with Nabisunsa Girls Secondary School. It will be taken across 10 schools to encourage girls to make wise and informed career and life decisions.

Engineer Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Electricity Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer says, some girls had a negative attitude towards science subjects, which led to a low turn-up of women participating in the sciences, on the grounds that they were only for men.
“As we grew, there was gender imbalance, we lacked enough mentors and role models. Some parents didn’t consider girls as people of great importance but things have been streamlined, and the current society accepts that women can serve and be of great importance to society. Remain in school with a purpose, be girls of substance, listen to your teachers, work hard because hard work pays and pray to God. You will succeed with flying colours,” she tipped students.

She says the Women in Energy project targets to inspire the young female generation to prioritize Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and benefit from the opportunities the energy sector presents.

“The lack of female representation in the renewable energy field in Uganda was due to a number of factors, including a lack of awareness about the opportunities available and the obstacles women face in accessing them. Women often lacked access to education and training in the sector, there was a lack of financial and other resources to make it possible for them to enter the field. Additionally, there were cultural attitudes that prevented women from entering the sector, as well as a lack of female role models and mentors; but you are lucky that we are here to mentor you, to guide you, to help you look up to us, so please use this opportunity to thrive,” she said.

ERA CEO Eng Ziria while addressing students of Nabisunsa girls’ school

She appreciated all women serving in the energy sector and asked parents in the country to prioritize the education of [the girl child]to empower communities.
“When you educate the girl child, you will have educated the nation because such girls will be empowered and consequently have a better country. By raising awareness about renewable energy and the opportunities available for women in the sector, Uganda can help to empower women and create a more equitable society. This can positively impact the country as a whole, helping to reduce poverty and improve access to clean energy. It is essential that more awareness is raised and initiatives are put in place to ensure that women are given the chance to pursue renewable energy careers and reap the benefits that come with them.” she said.

Eng. Ziria further commended President Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement government for consistently championing the empowerment and emancipation of women through which female leaders in the country have had the opportunity to grow and make a contribution to the country, unlike previous governments.
“The government has done a tremendous job to see women empowered and all women sitting here are living examples. They were once like you but they knew what they wanted in life and were not diverted. Believe in yourself, and accept to be guided, plan well and do everything at the right time.”

Students attentively listening

Ms Annicent Busingye the Operations and Maintenance Director for the Frontier Energy Portfolio in Uganda tipped students to work hard because the future belongs in their hands.
“You are the only person to design your carrier. Never believe in being lucky, it’s hard work and deliberate choices you make that define your tomorrow and it’s not for your parents, siblings or relatives, it’s for you. Prepare your future today, because luck favours the prepared.”

Mrs. Josephine Okui Ossiya the chairperson committee member [s]at Bank of Uganda told students to follow their own dreams and not to accept diversion.

“It’s time for you to decide what you want to be and where they want to end. Each of you have a different journey, so don’t be discouraged, focus on that journey. You are in school now, focus on that. There is time for everything, prepare yourself now because if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail,” she advised.

Counsel Hawah Bukenya a legal officer from Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) told students to aim high and live big. She told them to be confident, fear the Lord, respectful to teachers and above all explore the lady in themselves.
“To the young girls, believe in yourself, plan your life well and do everything at the right time. Listen to your parents, and elders and follow their instructions. Only then you will be able to achieve your goals in life. We were young like you, grew up in villages, less privileged but stayed focused and here today, we pride in the women we have become- able to inspire you,” she said.

Counsel Hawah Bukenya

Ms Emily Atuhaire Katunguka from Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) warned that success is a process with no shortcuts. She urged them to be good listeners, disciplined and representable one to succeed.

Ms Claire Mukasa from Umeme Ltd told students to visualize their dreams and be passionate about them, be creative, courageous, navigators and always time cautious.

ERA board Member Amb. Joan Rwabyomere appreciated all stakeholders in the energy sector for prioritising the girl child. She tipped students to be strong, courageous and articulate because it is very possible for everyone to excel regardless of gender.

Eng. Dr. Nakiranda Cecilia Menya who represented the Min. of Energy applauded ERA for spearheading the initiative. She says, since 2019, they have so far visited 19 girls’ schools reaching out to over 20,0000 students.

She further applauded different companies in the sector for coming together to save the girl child’s future.


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