The Forum for South African Businesses in Uganda has held a farewell dinner in honour of Ms.Thozama Gangi, the outgoing Eskom Uganda Managing Director who ably steered the 20 year concession of operation and mantainance of Nalubaale and Kiira power plants to a successful conclusion .The event took place at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
The host of the event, Her Excellency Lulama Xingwana, the South African High Commissioner to Uganda said Ms. Thozama Gangi’s steller performance at the two plants has reinforced the good will and friendship that South Africa has with Uganda.
The High Commissioner particularly thanked Thozama for skilling young Ugandans who worked with her at the two plants to carry on the task even as Eskom exits the stage.
“ Thozama has deligently and successfully performed her task in the eight years of tour of duty in Uganda as Eskom Uganda Managing Director. South Africa is proud of you for the job well done and particularly for carryong both the South African and Ugandan flags so high. You did a remarkable job in skilling young Ugandan Engineers who will ably carry on even as Eskom exits. Even as you return back home in South Africa, be assured that the two countries; Uganda and SA are proud of the work you have done in managing the concession very well and leaving a lasting legacy. Indeed The continent looks forward to more contribution from you”, the High Commissioner said.
Paying a glowing tribute to Thozama, Mr. James Onyoin, an Eskom Uganda Member of the board described Ms Gangi as God fearing leader with a zeal to accomplish her vision, resilient, smart and quite focused to the task ahead with a good measure of emotional intelligence.
He said Thozama’s major success was staying calm and focused even at a time when there were unforeseeable challenges such as the floating island which came with tonnes of water hyacinth the challenges that came with COVID-19 pandemic and number of other stumbling blocks.
“She is one of a kind. Through her, Eskom is leaving a lasting legacy. She worked selflessly and the fruits are there to show. She is leaving behind much better projects than they were. We thank her most especially for training young Ugandans and equipping them with necessary skills to carry the legacy forward”, said Onyoin.
Speaking on behalf of FOSABA Mr. Andrew Machanda from Stanbic Holdings spoke about the enduring spirit of South African Corporates as something commendable adding that FOSABA has continued to support Uganda’s economy over the years..
“Thozama played a role in the most catalistic sector for the growth of the economy of Uganda. Her contribution for the training of young Ugandans is quite commendable. We salute you as you return back home and pray that God continues to raise your hand high up”
On her part, MsThozama Gangi highlighted the five objectives of her mission to Uganda which included ensuring there was Plant Availability for Uganda’s economic progress a task she has achieved,
“At the commencement of the concession, a number of targets were set by government such as improving the plant availability that was below 80% characterized by endless power blackouts, a phenomenon that posed, a serious challenge for development and economic growth to above 94%. At the time of handover of the complex to GOU on the 31st March 2023, the plant Aailability was at 99.6%” Thoama said.
Investing in the plants to leave them in better state than they were when Eskom took over, a task she said were achieved,
“This stellah performance necessitated implementation of prudent utility practices that were indeed comfirmed by an Independnet Engineer Hatch Ltd of Canada, followed by investments into the obsolete technology and by the end of the concession, US$52 million (87% 0f the set target) had been invested as verified by the Office of the Auditor General of Government. The key improvemnts that were made to the two substations include cables ugrade, Transformers, Governors, Main dam refurbishments, Protection upgrade and Circuit breakers among others.
The other objectives areTraining young Ugandans a task she takes pride in, seeing that the Engineers she trained now run major generations projects which include Karuma and Isimba,. Improving the lives of communities who live around the project areas. Her vision saw Njeru Primary School and Kimaka Health Center 3, and Gulu War Affected Training center receive substantial support from Eskom, and lastly, protecting the Eskom Brand.
Thozama thanked the South African High Commission for the support it provided Eskom at a political level adding that she feels hononoured to have been given opportunity to serve in Uganda.