United States Embassy Honors Ugandan Exchange Program Alumni | Press Release
Kampala, January 21, 2023 – Today, the U.S. Mission in Uganda hosted the inaugural U.S. Mission Alumni Impact Awards Gala as a way of honoring the impact of U.S. exchange program alumni as we celebrate 60 years of the U.S.-Uganda relationship. The red-carpet event featured an illustrious group of Ugandans from across the country who participated in U.S. government exchange programs over the past six decades. There were 13 award categories, and alumni were recognized for their dedication to selfless service within their local communities, the region, and the world.
“As we celebrate 60 years of the United States’ partnership with the Ugandan people, I can think of no better way to honor the work we are doing together than by celebrating the impact of U.S. exchange program alumni,” U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown said at the awards gala. “The U.S. believes in investing in people. We believe in partnership. We are proud to see you use the experiences, networks, and new perspectives gained through our programs, to thrive and positively impact the communities in which you work.”
Over 4,700 Ugandans have participated in U.S. government-supported exchange programs. From the first Ugandan Fulbright scholar to study in the United States in the 1950s, to the cohort of 2022 Mandela Washington Fellows under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), alumni of U.S. government supported exchange programs have made a significant impact in their respective sectors in Uganda, be it in business, academia, education, public management, civil society, the arts, medicine, public health, the media, and many more.
For more background on the awards, visit the https://ug.usembassy.gov/alumni-impact-awards-nominations/Alumni Impact Awards – Call for Nominations and watch the short video by filmmaker Hosea Jemba (Film Director – Swangz Avenue, and alumni of the U.S. government’s Hollywood in Focus program) via U.S. Embassy Kampala’s social media handles – Twitter @USMissionUganda and Facebook
For additional information, please contact:
Dorothy Nanyonga, Information Assistant
U.S. Mission Uganda, Tel: +256-772-138-194
U.S. Mission Uganda Alumni Impact Award Winners by Category | January 21, 2023
- The Dorothy Ngalombi Lifetime Achievement Award — Margaret Sekaggya, Executive Director of the Human Rights and Peace Center, International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Alumna: Ms. Sekaggya is the Executive Director of the Human Rights and Peace Center, an organization that she founded after an impressive record as chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission which she helped establish. She has been a leader in human rights for over 20 years both in Uganda and the world.
- Public Sector — Florence Nightingale Kuteesa, Founder Council for the Economic Empowerment of Women – Uganda (CEEWA-Uganda), Retired Civil Servant, Public Finance Management Consultant and Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumna: Throughout her impressive career in government and international organizations, Ms. Kuteesa has been instrumental in developing and instituting gender responsive planning and budgeting, reforms that have helped bridge the gap between policy and the empowerment of women and girls including gender-based advocacy enhancing the economic status of women through her NGO.
- Business and Entrepreneurship — Ronald Innocent Hakiza, Ugabus Founder and Young African Leaders Initiative –Regional Leadership Center East Africa (YALI-RLC) Alumnus: Mr. Hakiza has made a difference in Uganda’s transport sector through various ways. Mr. Hakiza was recently running East Africa’s fast growing transport startup known as UgaBus, which was later acquired by Treepz. He is currently the CEO Treepz Uganda.
- Health — Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu, Senior Lecturer and Psychiatric Epidemiologist at Makerere University, Head of the Consultation–Liaison Psychiatric Service at Mulago National Referral Hospital, and Fulbright Alumna: Dr. Nakimuli-Mpungu is a researcher and clinician doing innovative work in mental health and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. She has impacted Ugandan and world psychiatry by working to improve access to mental health care of stigmatized, marginalized, and hard to reach people.
- Innovation, Information and Communication Technology — Engineer Bainomugisha, Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Makerere University, AirQo Founder, and International Visitor Leadership Program Alumnus: Professor Bainomugisha is a winner of 2018 Google AI Impact Challenge for his innovative AI models and 3D boxes which make low-cost air quality monitors, currently used in 10 African countries to improve health through real-time clean air data and awareness.
- Agriculture — Omia Iganachi Razak, Founder of Omia Agribusiness Development Group and Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumnus: An agri-preneur, Omia is a leading provider of high quality, genuine, cost-effective agri-inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, farm tools and equipment and agricultural extension services based in Arua, Uganda’s West Nile region.
- Media and Journalism — Richard Kayiira, Program Editor, Bukedde Newspaper, International Visitor Leadership Program: Mr. Kayiira is a senior multimedia investigative journalist who has used his profession to promote human rights and has helped hundreds of vulnerable Ugandans to access justice. Through his investigative TV program “Fayiro ku Mmeeza” (Case Files) on Bukedde TV, he has created a platform where aggrieved citizens seek redress in media and eventually overcome systemic challenges in judicial processes.
- Creative Arts — Fred Mutebi, Artist and Fulbright Scholar: An artist and social critic, Mr. Mutebi advocates for the sustainability of raw materials, primarily Ugandan barkcloth, through his art. He has exhibited across Uganda and demonstrated traditional Ugandan arts at the2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC.
- Civic Leadership — Victo Nalule, Executive Director of Tunaweeza Foundation, YALI- RLC and Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) Alumna: Through her organization Tunaweza Foundation, Ms. Nalule has dedicated herself to ensuring inclusiveness of persons with disabilities and guaranteeing that they are treated equally in all aspects of society.
- Education — Elizabeth Rwabu, Training and Development Coordinator for Africa, JDO Foundation, International Leadership in Education Program Alumna: After her return from the International Leaders Education Program (ILEP) in 2013, Ms. Rwabu founded ILEP Uganda, an alumni organization in which she has worked with ILEP and Fulbright alumni to train over 700 teachers across all the regions in Uganda and has remained an active in teacher training across the region.
- Young Alum – Mercy Musingo, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Student at Makerere University and 2019 Pan African Youth Leadership Program Alumna: As an advocate for girls education in her home region of Ngora District, Ms. Musingo has demonstrated great leadership qualities in both her community service work and career. She is currently an advocate for women studying in the STEM fields.
- Outstanding Leader in the Alumni Community — Moses Obbi, Founder Grange Masticate LTD, and YALI-RLC Alumnus: A business man and former guild president at Uganda Management Institute and President of the YALI Uganda Chapter, Mr. Obbi has touched and inspired many alumni to be leaders in their fields and build a strong network across the YALI community.
- Alumni Booster Award — Raymond Musiima, Michigan Agribusiness Fellows Initiative (MFAI) Founder and Professional Fellows Alumnus: Mr. Musiima currently leads an alumni-based organization, MFAI, and has developed lasting connections with Michigan State University. MFAI involves other U.S. program alumni in their projects for community development, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), and civic education.