Much loved and admired local businesswoman and CEO of the Electricity Control Board (ECB), Foibe Louise Namene, passed away on Sunday at a Windhoek hospital.
Namene’s unexpected passing leaves a massive void in the local electricity supply industry (ESI) where she had more than 20 years of experience.
“Namene was an exemplary executive and personality and it was a privilege to work with her for the past six years. May the love of the Lord consoles Namene’s family, friends and colleagues,” said Leon Jooste, Minister of Public Enterprises.
She had served on numerous boards, including the Rössing Uranium board since March 2016, before she was appointed as Rössing Uranium chairperson in December 2017.
“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the untimely passing of our board chairperson. On behalf of all at Rössing Uranium and China National Nuclear Corporation, we extend our sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” read a statement from the uranium mine.
Namene was a trained lawyer admitted with the Namibian High Court and was actively pursuing her PhD through the University of Namibia. She initially served in the justice ministry before joining NamPower in various senior management positions since 1996 until her deployment as CEO of the ECB in June 2014.
“She was instrumental in the development of several electricity supply industry related policies and regulatory tools such as the Energy Policy, Renewable Energy Policy, Independent Power Producers (IPP) Policy, Modified Single Buyer Market Model, National Electricity Support Tariff Mechanism, National Electrification and Funding Portfolio Mechanism amongst others. She also played a pivotal role in preparing the institution for its imminent transformation into an energy regulator,” read a statement from ECB’s acting CEO, Pinehas Mutota.
He added that her experience and expertise was in electricity regulation, energy trading and marketing, electrification and renewable energy development, and law.
“Her solid foundation in energy trading and marketing was built over years of service with NamPower where she served in various senior management positions.”
NamPower MD, Kahenge Haulofu, yesterday said “A colleague is described as someone that you work with. To us at NamPower and in the electricity supply industry, Foibe Namene was more than a colleague. We have lost one of the greatest pillars that the ESI has ever seen, in the country and the sub-continent.”
Haulofu noted that Namene contributed significantly to ESI over the years.
“She was instrumental in the drafting of the White Paper on Energy Policy in the 90s and also the drafting of NamPower’s first strategic plan. She was one of the first women to hold a general manager position in the ESI in Namibia, paving the way for women into the industry. We at NamPower will remember her for being strong, principled and standing her ground in a male dominated industry. It is truly a really great loss,” read a statement from Haulofu.
In her capacity as ECB CEO, Namene was tasked with leading the organisation in regulating the supply of safe, reliable and affordable electricity to all Namibian consumers, in addition to creating an enabling investment environment in the local ESI.
Besides Rössing Uranium, Namene was also a board member at Namsov Fishing Enterprises and the Namibian Community Trust and served as chairperson of the Namibian Member Committee of the World Energy Council.
She also served on several industry related regional and international platforms such as the Regional Energy Regulators Association of Southern Africa (RERA) and the Africa Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR).