Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy today appointed Rutty Paola Ortiz as the agency’s new vice minister. An economist by trade, she will oversee matters related to electricity and hydrocarbons with a priority placed on making the necessary improvements to the nation’s electrical generation capacity, including from renewable sources.
Paola will also be responsible for leading a review of Colombia’s electrical institutions to ensure energy security continues to improve, confronting the major challenges currently facing the oil sector, and maintaining progress on the governmental PaZa La Corriente program.
Photo: Rutty Paola Ortiz (L) is introduced as Colombia’s new Vice Minister of Mines and Energy by Germán Arce Zapata (R), the nation’s Minister of Mines and Energy.
This program, launched by the Minster of Mines and Energy Germán Arce Zapata in August, has a goal of bringing power to an additional 150,000 homes over the next three years and 173,000 households in four years. Colombia has many departments that remain underdeveloped after years of conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and other guerrilla groups, and this initiative is designed to improve electricity delivery in places like Chocó, La Guajira, Putumayo, and departments in the Amazon.
“We have a great challenge to bring light to the most remote and poorest areas in the country, where women and men are still cooking with firewood and children are studying by candlelight,” said Arce upon unveiling the PaZa La Corriente. “We must advance energy coverage because it is the best way to improve the quality of life of thousands of Colombians. In 1995, there was a 77% coverage. 2014 already had 97%. And with PaZa La Corriente, that gap can be closed even further.”
Paola was trained as an economist, and a lawyer, at the University of the Andes in Bogotá. She specialized in public management and administrative institutions, and has worked in various government positions with the Adaptation Fund, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, and the National Planning Department.
“The energy sector should continue strengthening its institutions and contributing to regional development and the competitiveness of the country,” said new Vice Minister Rutty Paola Ortiz. “In the coming years, we will proceed in expanding gas and electricity coverage to contribute to the equity of the country and consolidate projects that are needed to improve competitiveness.”