International Labour Day: President Museveni Honors Workaholic ERA’s Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako With Crested Crane Medal

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The President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has awarded the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Crested Crane Medal in recognition of her outstanding service and contribution towards the growth of Uganda’s Electricity Supply Industry.

The President awarded Eng. Waako the Crested Crane Medal on 1st, May, during the celebrations to mark the 2023 International Labour Day held in Namutumba District.

The President re-emphasized the need for Affordable Tariffs to allow for industrialization and competitiveness of Uganda’s manufactured products on the regional and international markets.

Eng. Ziria [Left] Pose for a photo with President Museveni [M] at the International Labour Day Celebrations in Namutumba [Courtesy Image]

WHO IS ENG. ZIRIA TIBALWA WAAKO?

Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako is the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority since March 2017. Eng. Waako has vast knowledge and experience in the Service of Uganda’s Electricity Supply Industry, which she has served for nearly 30 years, having started her career working with the Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) in the Operations and Planning Department.

Eng. Waako is among the first group of Ugandans to operate the computerized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for the remote operation and monitoring of the Electrical Power System Network.

During the unbundling of UEB, Eng. Waako was transferred to the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, where she served as the Operational Planning Engineer, Senior Planning Engineer and Principal Planning Engineer.

Before she was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority, Eng. Waako served as the Director of Technical Regulation at ERA for Four (4) years. In this role, Eng. Waako was responsible for providing leadership to the Technical Regulation Department, setting performance targets for Licensees, monitoring and enforcing Licensees’ Technical and Environmental compliance with the applicable Laws, Regulations, and License terms and conditions.

As a Government Team Leader, she has led various projects to successful completion, including the Global Energy Transfer for Feed-in Tariff (GET FiT) projects from 2012 to 2021, which added 150 MW to the grid, thereby mitigating load-shedding and enabling the Government of Uganda to provide power to places where the grid does not reach, as well as contributing to Accelerating National Access to Clean Energy.

While serving as the Principal Planning Engineer at the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Eng. Waako was the Government Team Leader in the design of the Mbarara – Nkenda – Hoima Transmission line and associated substations in 2010; and the design of the Uganda – Kenya and Uganda – Rwanda Transmission Regional Interconnections, paving way for their construction in 2010.

Eng. Waako holds a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University and a Master of Business Administration in Leadership degree from Walden University, USA.

She is a Registered Engineer with the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE) and the National Engineers Registration Board and a Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) of New York, United States of America.

She is the First Female to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Eng. Waako is the Chairperson of the Independent Regulatory Board of the Eastern Africa Power Pool and has successfully branded Uganda to be entrusted to host the Secretariat of the Independent Regulatory Board effective 2023. The Independent Regulatory Board regulates the Regional Power trade across Eastern Africa countries, including Burundi, Djibouti, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Libya.

Eng. Waako was elected the Chairperson of the Energy Committee of the African Forum for Utility Regulators effective 2023, which demonstrates the trust the continent has in the Uganda Regulator.  It also shows appreciation for the Regulator’s contribution to putting in place the Best Regulatory Climate to support Accelerating Access to Safe, Reliable, Affordable and Modern Energy for All, across the continent in line with Sustainable Development Goal No. 7.

In her tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of ERA, Uganda has been recognized Five (5) times in a row (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for having the best Electricity Regulatory framework on the African continent from the Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI) Studies conducted by the Bank.

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