Kuwait Energy’s Chief Executive Officer Sara Akbar joined top female leaders at the 4th Congress of Women in Warsaw, Poland, which meets annually to highlight the achievements of women in various aspects of society. The Congress was attended by several prominent figures including Danuta Wałęsa wife of the former President of the Republic of Poland, Henryka Bochniarz the President of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan, and Danuta Hübner a former European Union Commissioner and current member of European Parliament.
Akbar was invited to participate in a roundtable discussion organized by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs titled “Building the position of the country through entrepreneurship of women.” During her discussion, Akbar shed light on her experience as a female professional and entrepreneur in the male-dominated oil and gas sector in the Middle East.
First held in 2009, the Congress of Women gathers thousands of female leaders from around the world every year to focus on women’s contributions to social, civic and economic transformations within their societies, with an emphasis on the role of women in building modern Poland. This year’s congress gathered more than 10,000 women from various countries worldwide including Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
Akbar said: “I am very proud to see the number of women leaders growing year by year and overcoming the obstacles that stand in their way. I am extremely happy for my participation in the 4th Congress of Women, and to be representing Arab women here today. We came a long way and we have to keep going forward.”
In 2005, Akbar co-founded Kuwait Energy and took the helm as the CEO, becoming the only woman CEO and board member of an oil and gas company in the Middle East. Kuwait Energy is one of the fastest growing Middle Eastern independent oil and gas exploration and production companies, and has operations in eight countries, namely Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Oman, Ukraine, Latvia, Russia and Pakistan.
Akbar has over 25 years of experience in upstream oil and gas operations. She started her career in Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) and then joined Kuwait Petroleum Exploration Company.
(KUFPEC). KOC and KUFPEC are both subsidiaries of the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). During her career, Akbar worked on major oil exploration and production fields and was the only woman to lead one of the teams that extinguished oil fires of Kuwait after the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.