The career of Robert Kahimise started at the Ministry of Mines and Energy as an Assistant Accountant and later Accountant in the payroll and creditors section while studying part-time at the Polytechnic of Namibia/ NUST.
By the time, he left the Ministry of Mines and Energy, he had created a computerised commitment register to manage and monitor Ministry’s budget, the first of its kind.
After 5 years at the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Kahimise moved into the private sector at Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine as an Assistant Management Accountant where he assisted the management accountant in compiling the mine’s budgets and monthly management reports.
While at the mine, an opportunity arose to further his studies (MBA Finance) at Stellenbosch Business School on the mine’s full bursary.
After completing his MBA in Finance, he joined Alexander Forbes as a Consultant tasked with advising trustees on employee bene ts and investments. He left and joined Air Namibia as Manager responsible for budget compilation and management, revenue collection and optimisation.
In 2004 he re-joined the energy sector at the Electricity Control Board (ECB) as part of a team of professionals (of Financial analyst, Tariff analyst, Power engineer and Quality engineer) who served on the ECB management team.
While at the ECB, Kahimise developed the first electricity supply industry performance framework to implement performance benchmarking in the industry. He served on tariff review and licencing committees at ECB and in the SADC region under RERA.
He got certified as a regulation specialist through University of Loughborough (UK) by passing the board exam after collecting sufficient experiential credits. He was instrumental in the implementation of GRN policy on EDI restructuring by designing the shareholding framework for REDs and advising the technical teams.
Before leaving ECB, he was promoted a new portfolio as manager responsible for industry performance, licensing and knowledge management.
In 2010, Kahimise was appointed General Manager: Commercial Services at Erongo RED responsible for budget compilation and management, tariff setting, metering, revenue collection and protection as well as customer service.
Erongo RED at the time faced possible closure due to poor customer service and unaffordable tariffs. Kahimise implemented the first ever call centre in the industry and revamped tariffs completely to respond to customer needs through inclining block tariffs and introduction of pensioner tariffs.
In 2013, the Board appointed him as CEO of Erongo RED.
The company struggled to raise funds in the market due to uncertainty that prevailed over the company. The majority shareholder (Walvis Bay) reappointed their board members under his tenure as CEO after being withdrawn for two years. With his team, the RED raised N$280 million from DBN for the first time to upgrade Walvis Bay main supply and he further raised an additional N$30 million through the NEF (National Energy Fund) to finance rural electrification.
The culture of the company was toxic when he took over with entropy levels of 42% but he managed to reduce this negative energy to 15% in three years’ time using the Barreth Culture model.
The revenue of Erongo RED grew from N$700 million in 2012/13 to over N$1 billion in 2016 under his leadership.
Robert Kahimise created a PR & Marketing section to develop a stakeholder engagement strategy aimed at improving on stakeholders’ relationship and the image of the company. He implemented a Performance Management System for the first time at the RED in 2013. Since taking over, Erongo RED won energy HPGSB (NUST) Customer Service awards for both 2014 and 2015 as well as PMR Diamond arrow award for 2014 and 2015.
He is currently serving on NEI (Namibia Energy Institute) board; and Distributech Africa Advisory Board. He is also a member of IODSA (Institute of Directors of Southern Africa).
At the time of writing this profile, Kahimise had just completed his first 100 days as City of Windhoek Chief Executive Officer.