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Business News of Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Source: Kwadjo Mensah, Contributor

How Aker Energy's Kadijah Amoah broke the glass ceiling


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She recently made history in an industry dominated by men. She became the first Ghanaian woman to lead a major multinational oil firm.

We often use the phrase meteoric rise, Kadijah Amoah typifies the true meaning of that phrase. A woman who had operated, quietly but effectively, completely out of the public glare was thrust, almost suddenly into the public limelight when she was appointed Country Director of Aker Energy Ghana Ltd. She took office on 1 February 2020.

The oil industry is male-dominated and even more so at the very top where decisions are made, multibillion-dollar decisions. As a country director, she breaks a firm glass ceiling.

She will join the Executive Management Team of Aker Energy AS, the parent Norwegian firm in addition to heading the country office of Aker Energy in Ghana. She will also work closely with affiliated companies AGM Petroleum Ghana Limited (“AGM”) and Aker Ghana Investment Company (“AGIC”) in Ghana, two companies with the same majority owner as Aker Energy, and hold directorships in both companies.

Mrs. Amoah, a Ghanaian citizen, is a lawyer by training and holds degrees in law and political science, a master’s degree in international business from the University of Ghana. She also holds a diploma in legal practice from the institute of legal practice and development.

She awaits the award of a postgraduate diploma in strategy and innovation from the Said business school, University of Oxford. Prior to joining Aker Energy, Mrs Amoah was a Senior Foreign Lawyer at Clifford Chance in Germany, one of the largest law firms in the world.

What many have not realized and we are now beginning to learn after some digging in the rich public service experience she also brings to her new role.

She previously worked in the office of the Vice President in a technical capacity. She resigned her role at the vice president’s office to join Clifford Chance where she excelled in her work on power, oil and gas financing projects as a member of the banking and capital markets team.

Much of her work while in the Vice President’s office focused on improving the business environment. She for instance headed Investments and Business Development and was the Co-lead for the UK Ghana Business Council.

She worked on reform projects to ease doing business in Ghana. She was key in the reduction of the weighted average cost of gas in Ghana and worked on energy sector reforms, reforms at the registrar generals department and in automating the business operating permit.

She is not all hard work and no play though. She enjoys gourmet food and cooking. She takes a keen interest in mentoring young girls and reading.

If you believe in breaking the glass ceiling for women in an industry completely dominated by men, then you cannot help but appreciate the achievement of Kadijah Amoah for taking a seat at the table of men. And oh, she is married with two children and a devout Christian too.

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