Samantha Muhwezi takes charge of UNOC

On April 8, 2024, Samantha Muhwezi Kassami was named the Chief Operating Officer at the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC). This government body is responsible for the management of Government’s commercial interests in the Petroleum sector so that the resource is exploited sustainably. Muhwezi’s new role entails daily oversight and provision of strategic advice to UNOC.

Having previously worked as the legal head of Total Energies Uganda, she brings a wealth of expertise in the sector to her new role. While at Total Energies, she was part of the team that fostered negotiations for the oil pipeline and brought the project to a Final Investment Decision in 2022.

Samantha also graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), a Postgraduate Diploma, and a Master of Laws from BPP University London in the United Kingdom. In addition to her education, Samantha, who is a member of the Law Society in London, is also a qualified solicitor who practices in England and Wales.

“Samantha has broad technical and managerial experience across aspects of oil and gas and an intrinsic understanding of its framework and processes,” according to a statement from UNOC.

UNOC also acknowledged her previous experience as a senior leader at Total Energies who later went on to establish the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), establishing it as a reputable company. While there, she also set up the EACOP Women’s Initiative which provided a platform for women to network, but also mentor and receive mentorship.

Despite complaints about irregularities in the selection process from a top official at UNOC, Samantha emerged the top candidate out of ten shortlisted applicants after the rigorous process.

Also recently, the organization appointed a new board of directors who assumed office in a ceremony presided over by the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Hon Ruth Nankabirwa. The board led by Mr. Mathias Katamba along with six other members was vetted and passed by the Parliament Appointments Committee in March.


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