Glo­ria Magombo is full of en­ergy

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - ANALYSIS - De­bra Matabvu

FOR some­one who is in the en­ergy sec­tor, it is only right that Dr Glo­ria Magombo is pumped full of it.

Those who know Dr Magombo, Zim­babwe’s re­cently-ap­pointed Sec­re­tary for En­ergy and Power De­vel­op­ment, can tes­tify that the en­gi­neer has a pas­sion for en­ergy.

Her view is that elec­tric and pe­tro­leum en­ergy will over the next 10 years evolve sig­nif­i­cantly, and twice as much as mo­bile tech­nol­ogy has in the last decade.

She is happy to be part of the gen­er­a­tion that is chang­ing the en­ergy sec­tor for the bet­ter.

“I en­joy en­ergy and I love it. It keeps me go­ing. It is one sec­tor that I have fallen in love with. I un­der­stand it and it is sec­tor that is go­ing through a se­ri­ous tran­si­tion,” said Dr Magombo in an in­ter­view with The Sun­day Mail last week.

“The en­ergy sys­tems that we talked about 10 years ago are not the sys­tems that we will be talk­ing about in the next 10 years, and I am very ex­cited about it.

“I be­lieve that the fu­ture is brighter for en­ergy than any other sec­tor es­pe­cially if we un­lock the stor­age for the so­lar en­ergy in the coun­try.

“If you look at the way we are go­ing even in terms of mo­bil­ity, we maybe be suf­fer­ing to­day in terms of fuel, but the fu­ture move­ment of ve­hi­cles will be through so­lar en­ergy.

“I am pos­i­tive that the fu­ture has bet­ter of­fer­ings for Zim­babwe. If you look at coun­tries in Europe, they have plans on how to phase out in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines; and are al­ready ad­vanced on in­tro­duc­ing elec­tric cars pow­ered by re­new­able en­ergy such wind and so­lar .

“I am happy to be part of the peo­ple that are go­ing to change the coun­try in line with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa‘s Vi­sion 2030.”

Born in 1966 in Bu­l­awayo, Dr Magombo’s dream was to be­come a ge­ol­o­gist.

She at­tended Lu­veve Pri­mary and Mpopoma High schools, opt­ing for sub­jects such as Ge­og­ra­phy and Math­e­mat­ics in the hope of in­creas­ing her chances in tak­ing Ge­ol­ogy as a ma­jor at univer­sity.

The course of her life changed when she was awarded a schol­ar­ship to study Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing in Cuba soon af­ter In­de­pen­dence.

And she has never re­gret­ted that ca­reer path change.

How­ever, it was not as easy as she thought it would be, and at the time en­gi­neer­ing was male-dom­i­nated.

“I think we were a group of 25 Zim­bab­weans in Cuba and I was the only woman. It was not easy as I had to work twice as hard as my male coun­ter­parts to prove that I was up for the job,” she said.

“It was not easy be­ing a fe­male en­gi­neer at that time. I think that made me strong, ver­sa­tile and pre­pared me for what I am to­day.

“I felt at that time that I was get­ting the worst of tasks as peo­ple were throw­ing ev­ery­thing and any­thing at me.

“But I was able to out­class some of my male coun­ter­parts, and look­ing back now, I al­ways tell young peo­ple es­pe­cially, young women, to never play vic­tim in life, but em­brace chal­lenges and roll with the punches.

“I have also taught my chil­dren that with the right at­ti­tude one can achieve any­thing de­spite life chal­lenges.”

Over the years Dr Magombo in­creased her aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions, at­tain­ing an MBA from the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy. She has an hon­orary PhD in Lead­er­ship and Man­age­ment Stud­ies from the Women’s Univer­sity in Africa.

Dr Magombo has worked at the Zim­babwe Elec­tric­ity Sup­ply Au­thor­ity as head of op­er­a­tions and gen­er­a­tion plan­ning, has been MD at Nor­con­sult in Botswana, and re­gional en­ergy ad­vi­sor at South­ern Africa Global Com­pet­i­tive­ness Hub.

She has served as deputy chair of the En­ergy Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee for African Fo­rum for Util­ity Reg­u­la­tors.

How­ever, she reck­ons her most suc­cess­ful project was set­ting up of the Zim­babwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity.

“One of my big­gest achieve­ments was the es­tab­lish­ment of Zera. Af­ter the dis­bar­ment of Zim­babwe Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion, my duty was to start a new or­gan­i­sa­tion,” she said.

“I had to come up with a roadmap, op­er­at­ing sys­tems and the re­cruit­ment of staff from 12 to 60 by the time I left. It is now a fully op­er­a­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion which is about to get ISO cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“When I left, the or­gan­i­sa­tion had passed the first part and I am con­fi­dent all is well for it to pass the last hur­dle.”

She still finds time to re­search on busi­ness and lead­er­ship.

Dr Magombo is a de­vout Chris­tian whose lat­est read­ing in “God is My CEO: Fol­low­ing God’s Prin­ci­ples in a Bot­tom-Line World”, by Larry Ju­lian.

“What I love about this book is that it pro­vides cer­tain prin­ci­ples and val­ues, whilst you might be a leader and go­ing through chal­lenges, worldly leader will weaken un­der pres­sure, but if you are God fear­ing per­son you will get strength,” she ex­plained.

“If you are a God-fear­ing per­son, your char­ac­ter should strengthen over time, and I have seen that in my char­ac­ter.”

An on­line syn­op­sis of the book says it deals with con­quer­ing chal­lenges in the work­place and fo­cus­ing on goas.

Dr Magombo takes care of seven seven chil­dren and is mar­ried to an en­gi­neer.

“I have a big fam­ily, seven chil­dren of which two are from my late brother-in­law and an­other from my late brother,” she says.

“None of them is an en­gi­neer, they are in fi­nance and I guess that is where they be­lieve the money is,” she chuck­led.

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