Villas&Golfe Angola
· Oil Sector · · T. Joana Rebelo · P. Rights Reserved

Natacha Massano

«The oil sector is hostile in nature when it comes to the placement of women»

PMmedia Adv.
Natacha Massano was born and raised in Luanda, but was later whisked off to England by way of a scholarship that led her to graduate in Business Management and Control. Today Massano is the mother of three children and an Executive Director of the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG). She reveals to us that she entered the world of oil 26 years ago, having started her career at Sonangol P&P. On reflection, Natacha bridges the gap between two worlds: that of women and that of oil. Stay with us and find out what unites and divides these two realities in the Angolan country. 

Tell us a little about yourself. 
I am married, a mother of three, born and raised in Luanda, a graduate in Business Management and Control from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom and, today, the Executive Director of the National Agency for Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG). I have worked in the oil sector for 26 years. I started at Sonangol P&P and then moved to Sonangol EP. In 2019, with the concessionaire role moving from Sonangol to ANPG, I was transferred to this body. 

What is your academic background?
I attended primary and middle school in Angola, at the São José de Cluny School. I majored in Mathematics at secondary school and in 1991 I got a scholarship to England, where I graduated in Management and Business Control at the University of Salford. In what context did the oil world come into your life?In 1991 I applied for the chance to get a study scholarship from Sonangol. I was selected and, as already mentioned, I got a scholarship to study in England. After finishing my education in 1996 I returned to Angola and went to work for Sonangol, and in particular in its subsidiary Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção [Research and Production]. I was placed in the Finance Department, as an Accounts Analyst in the Accounting Department. In 1998 I was appointed Head of the Accounting Department and in 2008 I was appointed Finance Director. I stayed at Sonangol P&P until 2012, when I was transferred to Sonangol EP as Director of Concessions Economics, a position I held until July 2018. In August of the same year, I am appointed as a member of the Installation Committee of the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency, which came into being in February 2019, as part of the reorganisation process of the Angolan oil sector. 

Is the workforce in the oil sector still mostly male in Angola?
Yes. The oil sector is hostile in nature when it comes to the placement of women, a challenge that is mainly linked to the context in which the activity is developed. The working population is mainly male and the integration of women continues to be less than desirable. Three years ago, the Ministry of Social Action, Family and Promotion of Women (MASFAMU) conducted a study on Diversity in Organisations, with the objective of lowering barriers and increasing the inclusion of more vulnerable social groups. It discovered that women represented around 15% of the workforce in the oil sector and of this percentage, just 9% held management positions.

And has the representation of women in the sector been growing?
The representation of women has been growing, but not at the speed you would desire yet. The existing statistical data clearly show that we have a lot to do to ensure an inclusive and equitable future. 

«The representation of women has been growing, but not at the speed you would desire yet»

Is this a strong indicator that Angola is moving towards the consolidation of gender equality? What still needs to be improved?
The Angolan oil industry needs to be increasingly aligned with major sustainable development goals, and should continue to work on strengthening human capital enhancement policies, giving everyone the opportunity to contribute to their growth and development. At a time when the world embraces the challenge of energy transition, and where in terms of Africa we have positioned ourselves in favour of regional collaborations and solutions, I consider it essential to put the plan for women’s participation on the agenda.

You are the founding president of Muhatu Energy Angola, a networking platform for women in the oil sector. Can you tell us a little about the project and its objectives?
The National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG), in its capacity as the National Concessionaire, in coordination with women in the sector, has established a network of Women in the Oil Industry called Muhatu Energy Angola (MEA), the official launch of which took place on November 23, in Luanda. The MEA is a network dedicated to the promotion of career opportunities and leadership development in an inclusive manner, having as its players, and also its target audience, women connected to the oil sector and who work in the country. The initiative’s mission is to boost, train and give visibility to women professionals to help them rise to leadership levels in the oil sector, investing in their empowerment. Its main areas of activity are the promotion of equality and equity in the workplace, the promotion of events to share experiences, the development of a Women’s Centre of Excellence, as well as engagement and communication for a culture of greater inclusion in the oil sector. 
To this end, the governance of Muhatu Energy Angola is provided by a Management Committee, with term rotation, which is composed of members from the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas (MIREMPET), from the National Agency of Oil, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG), from the Association of Exploration and Production Companies of Angola (ACEPA), from the Association of Native Companies for the Oil Industry of Angola (ASSEA) and the Association of Contracted Companies of the Oil Industry of Angola (AECIPA). 

Complete. Angola’s future lies in...
Angola is the country of the future and of opportunities, but we must always bear in mind that the future is already tomorrow! This means that we have to give our best today. The future lies in our hands (Angolans); we are the ones who need to believe in Angola and in our capacity to do much more and, without doubt, much better for what is ours: Angola. 

We are celebrating the 13th anniversary of Villas&Golfe magazine, in Angola. What have these last few years represented for you in your life and in the country?
The last 13 years have been full of challenges, of ups and downs, in which every experience has served as cornerstones for a solid, mature and evolving present, even though with many more challenges, difficult decisions to take and choices to make, in the full certainty of a future of continuous growth and prosperity!
T. Joana Rebelo
P. Rights Reserved