Business, efficiency-driven leaders on Tanesco's board of directors

Sunday September 26 2021
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Omari Issa Tanesco board of directors chairperson

By Louis Kalumbia

Dar es Salaam. The newly appointed board of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) is likely to change the attitude of the power utility which is currently struggling in its business.

The board members and top management include members of the profit-hungry private sector and officials who previously worked with the President’s Delivery Bureau that implemented the disbanded Big Results Now initiative which was formed to ensure quick and efficient results in the priority sectors.

The list of new members include board chairman Omari Issa, managing director Maharage Chande. The board members include Nehemia Mchecu, Lawrence Mafuru, Zawadia Nanyaro, Aboubakar Bakhresa, Mwananidi Maajar, Abdallah Hashim, Cosmas Massawe and Christopher Gachuma.

Here is a brief profile of some board members:

Omari Issa, chairman


Mr Omari Issa has extensive business experience from both the public and private sectors, having worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

He served as the first Chief Executive Officer of the President’s Delivery Bureau (PDB) which was established to oversee implementation of Tanzania’s Public Delivery Transformation Programme termed as Big Results Now (BRN) from 2013 to 2016.

Previously, he was the CEO of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), responsible for managing seven year programme to improve Africa’s investment climate and remove barriers to growth.

Mr Issa also worked as executive director and chief operating officer of Celtel International.

Mr Issa spent fourteen years with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and six years with the World Bank (WB).

He also chaired the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) health Africa international board, a member of the International Advisory Council of China Investment Corporation as well as the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Previously, he served as a board member of Geita Gold Mining (GGM) Company in Tanzania as well as independent non-executive director at the Millicom International Cellular SA.

In his interview with Uongozi Institute in 2013, Mr Issa was quoted hailing Tanesco’s high levels of commitment in the 1970s.

He recalled a burning house close to his home caught around midnight and Tanesco officials managed to arrive in 30 minutes and restored electricity by 1:30am.

“So, this is doable in Tanzania. I think the question we need to ask ourselves is what happened. We lost that discipline and accountability,” he said.

According to him, Tanzanians have changed and the discipline to implement projects has gone, noting that most importantly citizens miss the skills set required for implementation of projects.

He outlined the four principles of beliefs as punctuality, don’t talk, do it and no exception.

Maharage Chande, managing director

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the yesterday appointment, Mr Chande was the Multi Choice Africa’s regional director in charge of East, Central and West Africa since 2018.

He joined MultiChoice Tanzania in June 2016 as managing director and has been successful in driving the business growth.

Before joining MultiChoice Tanzania in 2016, Mr Chande worked as Vodacom Tanzania Limited managing executive of IT and Data from 2004 to 2010.

He previously also worked at the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) as chief operating officer from 2010 to 2014 before moving to the PDB as the director of corporate services.

He has a Bachelor degree in Electronics and Communication from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Master in Business Leadership from the University of South Africa.

Nehemiah Mchechu

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Mr Mchechu is the former director general of National Housing Corporation (NHC) who joined it from 2010 to Jun 2018 when his appointment was revoked.

Previously, Mr Mchechu worked as the managing director of the Commercial Bank of Africa Tanzania (currently NCBA) between 2006 and 2010 and was recognised as the youngest CEO in the banking sector in East Africa.

In a year, he managed to transform CBA from loss to profit making.

Mr Mchechu also worked with the Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Limited from 2000 to 2006.

Under him, the global market division business grew from Sh3 billion to Sh15 billion profit and led in the market share from the second position.

He has also worked for Citibank and Barclays Bank Tanzania Limited as well sitting in several boards including the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Tanzania Limited, and Tumaini University where he heads the board’s audits committees.

He is the currently the chairman of the Rightway Schools, a director and founding member of the CEO Roundtable.

Mr Mchechu (48) is a graduate in Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Dar es Salaam.

He was placed on special leave from December 16, 2017 before termination of his appointment, just two days after being praised by former President John Magufuli for transforming NHC, but criticising him for financial irregularities in the corporation.

Lawrence Mafuru

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Mr Lawrence Nyasebwa Mafuru is a seasoned banker who started his career at Standard Chartered Bank in 1998.

Mr Mafuru is currently the founder and managing partner at Bankable Tanzania - a firm that partners with clients to assist them to procure, innovate, and execute banking products and services more efficiently.

He served as the CEO of the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) and chairman of the Tanzanian Bankers Association (TBA) between 2010 and 2012.

Mr Mafuru was the Treasury Registrar at the ministry of Finance from Jan 2015 to Dec 2016 and serves as the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation member of the board of trustees since September 2019.

His position as Treasury Registrar was replaced on December 07, 2021, replaced by Dr Oswald Mashindano, in a wide-ranging reshuffle touching on key positions in the government.

Mr Mafuru also served as the director of resources mobilisation and economic sectors division in the President’s Office - President’s Delivery Bureau (PDB) from Jan 2014 to Jan 2015.

Mr Mafuru is a holder of Master degree in Business Administration from the University of Dar es Salaam.

Zawadia Nanyaro

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Ms Nanyaro is a former EPZA worker who currently serve as the vice chairperson of the DCB Commercial Bank board as well as a board member of UAP Insurance Tanzania where she chairs the strategy and finance committee.

Ms Nanyaro has over 25 years of experience in accounting, auditing and finance as well as a little bit in the business aspect.

She worked for five years at PWC and reached the level of senior officer before getting employed by another firm at the managerial level.

She worked with Exim Bank as a manager in charge of internal auditing for two years, moved to Tanzania Breweries as the head of internal audit for four years.

Later, she worked with Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) for 8 years director in charge of development, investment promotion and investment facilitation.

She holds a degree in Accounting as well as a graduate in MBA.

Abubakar Bakhresa

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Abubakar Bakhresa is a son of Said Salim Bakhresa, a Tanzanian business tycoon who is the founder and the chairman of the Bakhresa Group of Companies whose net worth is amounted to about $800 million as of 2021.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management-Finance from George Town, Washington DC USA.

He is charged in overseeing the Bakhresa Group of companies’ all milling activities in Malawi; Rwanda; Mozambique and South Africa. He is responsible for wheat processing and procurement.

Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar

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Ms Mwanaidi Majaar worked as a senior legal officer with the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) between 1978 and 1983), then business manager with the first PricewaterhouseCoopers- the Coopers & Lybrand from 1983 to 1991).

She worked as the High Court advocate demanding for special acts on mineral cooperatives, partner at the Rex Attorneys that was established in early 2006 following the merger of MRN & M and Epitome companies.

She was the Tanzania High Commissioner to the UK from April 2006 to July 2010, before being posted to the US as ambassador at Washington DC in the US.

She was a founding member of the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (Tawla) in 1990 and served as its chairperson between 2001 and 2003.

Ms Maajar is a professional in cooperative, banking and financing, natural resources and energy laws.

She graduated with her first degree in law in 1977 and masters in the same profession at the UDSM in 1982.

Other board members who were appointed from the private sector include Abdallah Hashim, Cosmas Massawe and Christopher Gachuma.