NORED continues to electrify Namibia, ten years later

Covering 50% of Namibia’s population thus far, Nored still grows in leaps and bounds

Incorporated in 2003, the Northern Namibia’s Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored) has positioned itself on the world map as a reliable energy supplier.

This year, it will mark its tenth anniversary in style, to reward itself for fulfilling most of its mandates.

Nored was created as a direct result of a Government policy, which would focus on restructuring the electricity supply industry across the country. The company has since distributed electricity to thousands of consumers in Caprivi, Kavango, Kunene, Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto regions.

The chief executive officer (CEO) Gottilieb Amanyanga professes, the power utility distributor has managed to spread its wings to cover rural Namibia through the rural electrification programme.

“It was such a challenge to meet our mandate as a company when I came on board. However, we have since managed to implement a lot of programmes including the rural electrification. Some towns even had old infrastructure but we upgraded all of them,” he states, adding, “We have put advanced technology in place to make reliable electricity accessible to most of the population at affordable and stable tariffs.”

One of the biggest challenges they face, he says, is lack of large(r) power consumers, as our current clientele-base is mainly comprised of domestic households and irrigation farms.

Being the first ever regional electricity distributor to be established in the country, Nored started with less than 100 employees. With time, it became the local business with significant technological, industrial, financial and commercial presence.

Amanyanga has been at the helm of the organisation for the last eight years and believes that Nored will continue growing in leaps and bounds as long as there is electricity demand.

“Over the years, we connected about 50 customers annually. But that figure has hugely grown due to the electricity demand in the areas we already cover,” he says.

Amanyanga boasts; “Before independence, people never invested in the northern part of the country. Today, investors flock into the region in large numbers. Since 2011, we have been connecting between 200 and 300 customers per year.”

Driven by the vision to attract investors, foster economic growth and other developmental activities that stimulate the same, Nored has managed to satisfy its customers with the highest standards of service delivery.

“Because of its excellent performance, the Electricity Control Board (ECB) awarded a 25-year operational license to this company to supply and distribute electricity. Nored has a clear vision to uplift the living standards of people and promote economic growth and development that would increase employment opportunities.

“The organisation has also put in place advanced technology to make reliable electricity accessible to the majority of the people. We are pleased that there is no town in this region that has had its electricity cut off since we got on board,” he divulges.

Notably, Nored covers about 50% of Namibian households. The company buys energy from NamPower and then sells it through its network to end-users. The company’s employees are, thus, trained to provide professional services to its clients.

But just who is Amanyanga? Simply put, he is a visionary who has managed to transform a company that, a decade ago, had a balance sheet of N$43m, to its current billion-dollar status.

Born in the Omusati Region on the 23rd of December 1958, Amanyanga is the forth-born child in a family of six boys and one girl. The CEO was introduced to the village lifestyle of herding cattle before he enrolled at Ondukuta Primary School.

While attending high school studies at Okahao Secondary School, he dreamed of one day becoming a leader.

However, 12th of July 1977 saw him cross into Angola to undergo military training at the “Vietnam” camp, which was situated in the southern part of that country. The groups would soon split after which Amanyanga moved to Ghana in 1978.

Later that year, he took the long flight to Bulgaria in central Europe to further his studies and that was his golden foundation to becoming a leader par excellence.

“In Bulgaria, I took up a diploma course in Petroleum Engineering at a technical college. In 1985, I enrolled for a degree before garnering for my Master’s degree in 1992. Let me also point out that during the repatriation, I returned home and then went back to school after the elections,” he narrates.

He adds: “When I returned home to settle down, I started off as a teacher at Mwaala Secondary School, which is also in the Omusati Region. In 1994, I became a university lecturer, only to jump ship the following year to join the Ministry of Mines and Energy as an inspector. I was then promoted to the chief inspector position in 1999 before being promoted again.”

In May 2005, Amanyanga became the Nored CEO and has managed to achieve a lot of successes during his eight year stint at the company.

“As a company, we manage to harmonise the electricity tariffs. You must have noticed by now that all the tariff charges are now the same. Our IT department has improved and our vending stations are now at par with international standards. We now have 24-hour customer report centres and customers can purchase their electricity 24/7.

“There used to be some loss-making towns but since they joined Nored, they have been realising profits. The growth in our balance statement is just a milestone as it would be for any organisation. We have thus managed to pay off more than N$30m of dividends. When I joined this organisation, there were just 80 employees but that figure has since doubled. The number of offices has increased from just seven to 11. Basically, the investment we have done is huge,” beams Amanyanga.

But Nored is not all about making profit. To demonstrate a socially responsible attitude, it thus educates the community about the dangers associated with electricity usage and/or waste. It has a call-in programme on radio stations across all the seven regions it covers. This is because it strives to educate the nation about its products, services as well as respond to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

It has also established a development trust, consisting of the employees development and HIV/Aids trust funds. PF