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Heroine of the Week

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Dubai-based Shimi Shah was waiting in line at a supermarket check-out when she saw a construction worker – in his overalls – in front of her fumbling with a handful of coins and some notes to pay for the items in his basket. It was obvious he didn’t have enough money for the few things he’d chosen – a packet of crisps, apples, milk and a few packs of fruit juice. He was on the verge of putting some back, staring at the crisps that would surely have to go. Instinctively, she moved forward, telling him to keep them. “I paid for his groceries almost like a reflex action,’’ says Shimi, director of Carousel Solutions, a business consultancy firm.

The reason? She is a big fan of the Pay It Forward movement that took off from Catherine Ryan Hyde’s best-seller of the same name, which also spawned the Hollywood hit starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. Shimi was so taken with the concept of doing little acts of kindness which may inspire the recipients to pass on the acts to others, that she’s hoping to spread the movement in the UAE. The look of surprise on the man’s face turned to delight as he tried to thank Shimi. “It cost me less than Dh100, but more than the money, it was lovely to see the effect my act had on him,” she says.

“It gave me tremendous satisfaction that I was doing something directly for a person rather than giving to a charity where a chunk of it would likely go towards costs for paying incidental expenditures of the organisation.” Shimi explained to the man why she’d paid for his shopping, and what she hoped would come out of it. “I told him I didn’t expect him to do the same, but that if he could help anybody in any way, that would be enough,” she says. “He was immensely relieved and grateful, and promised me he’d pass on the act of kindness. I am sure he has already.”

Can we resolve to be like Shimi today? Did you notice the colleague who has not gone out for lunch break for some days now? He might not be on a fast. How about your domestic workers? Do you go out of your way to try to see how you can kindly impact on their lives away from their wages which can barely take care of their basics? Can you offer to pay their kids fee for a term? Or let their kid spend one midterm break with you and feel what life is like on the other side? If you think deep, you will see ways to show little acts of kindness like Shimi. Remember, while it may be little to you, the recipient of such acts might remember for the rest of their lives.

Norah AlOtaibi

The Female Engineer Challenging Perceptions in Saudi Arabia

The 23rd of January 2020 was a special day for CELD and Amazons Watch Magazine. It was the official launch of the engineering for girls’ network in Abuja, Nigeria. The network is an initiative of Mrs. Furo Giami, the publisher of Amazons Watch Magazine.  

The magazine is no doubt interested in seeing more female take up courses in STEM, especially in Engineering which has recorded the lowest number of female participation in STEM courses. It is little wonder then that our ‘’heroine of the week’’ is fittingly a female engineer who is challenging the wrong perceptions that most people have about women in engineering. 

We invite you to meet Eng. Norah AlOtaibi.

34-year-old Norah AlOtaibi is a respected female planning engineer who is making major decisions in an engineering and construction company based in Saudi Arabia. Day-to-day, Norah is on site, managing and monitoring the daily progress of projects for the business. This does not stop her from enjoying time with family and friends which is one misconception people have about female engineers. A typical weekend for Norah involves spending quality time with family and friends. 

Norah sees a co female engineer, Nabilah al-Tunisi who was recently recognized as one of the 25 most influential women in project management as a hero and role model. 

Norah hopes that Saudi women will raise their voices and get inspired by other talented and powerful women in the region.

Amazons Watch Magazine through the ‘’Engineering for Girls Initiative’’ hope to produce more female engineers like Norah. We unitedly say ‘’Yes’’ Females can Engineer’’.

The news of the appointment of Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi as the UN Special Representative for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of United Nations -Energy, was an exciting way to end the last decade.

Ms. Ogunbiyi is the immediate past Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency. With an extensive leadership experience and a track record of supporting energy access in Sub-Saharan Africa, we felicitate with her and are convinced she is a perfect fit for her new roles.

With a track record of firsts (first woman to be appointed as Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency,  and first woman to be appointed as the General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board)  She is credited for implementing the Nigerian Off Grid Electrification Programme and successfully negotiating the Nigerian Electrification Project, to rapidly construct solar mini-grids and deploy solar home systems across Nigeria. She also developed the Energizing Economics Initiative and Energizing Education Programme, which provide sustainable and affordable off grid power solutions.

Amazons Watch Magazine is thus glad to unveil the undaunted, brave and very forward-looking Ms. Damilola Ogunbiyi as our ‘’Heroine of the Week’’ and first heroine of this new decade.

Keynote speaker at the just concluded SADC Women Summit organized by CELD in collaboration with CLGE.

Honourable Gladys Kokorwe , born 28 November 1947 is a Botswana politician who has been the Speaker of the National Assembly since November 2014.

Prior to entering politics, Kokorwe was a senior civil servant. She was elected to the National Assembly at the 1994 general election, and served as an assistant minister in the government of Festus Mogae from 1999 to 2004. She was deputy speaker from 2004 to 2008, and then a minister in Ian Khama’s government from 2008 to 2009, when she left parliament. Kokorwe served as Botswana’s ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2014, and then re-entered politics after the 2014 election, when she was the successful BDP candidate for speaker.

Kokorwe was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where her father (originally from Botswana) was working. She was sent back to Botswana at the age of 10, and went to primary school in Thamaga, Kweneng District. Her secondary schooling was completed at Moeng College, a boarding school in the Tswapong Hills. After leaving school, Kokorwe joined the public service, where she initially worked as a typist and minor clerical worker. She eventually came to hold various high-level administrative positions in local government, serving for periods as the commercial officer for Lobatse, the town clerk of Sowa and Gaborone, and assistant council secretary for the Kgatleng District. After a term as the chief training officer for local government officials, she returned to the Kgatleng District as its chief executive officer (CEO).

At the 1994 general election, Kokorwe was elected to the National Assembly for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), representing the Thamaga constituency previously held by Peter Mmusi (a former vice-president who died just before the election). She switched to the new Kweneng South constituency at the 1999 election, and was subsequently appointed Assistant Minister of Local Government (under senior minister Margaret Nasha) by President Festus Mogae. Kokorwe was left out of the ministry after the 2004 election, but was instead elected deputy speaker, becoming the first woman to hold the position In March 2004.

In April 2008, Kokorwe was appointed Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture in the new cabinet formed by Ian Khama, who had succeeded Festus Mogae as president. She served as a minister until the 2009 general election, at which she retired from parliament. In August 2008, Kokorwe had become the first parliamentarian in Botswana’s history to have a private member’s bill become law. Her bill, which she had tabled before being appointed to cabinet, aimed to better protect victims of domestic violence, and was passed into law in September 2008 as the Domestic Violence Act. A few months after leaving parliament, in December 2009, Ian Khama appointed Kokorwe as Botswana’s ambassador to Zimbabwe. She was based in Harare, but also had non-resident accreditation to Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar.

In November 2014, after the 2014 general election, Kokorwe returned to politics as the BDP nominee for the speakership of the National Assembly.

Honourouble Kokorwe is the Keynote Speaker for the maiden edition of the SADC women forum and leadership excellence award.

With the growing call for gender inclusiveness and the global cry for women to be mainstreamed into the activities in the corporate world, Nigeria’s Bank of Industry has been a leading light in championing this cause. The bank has piloted and scaled up some of its programs to suit this front-burning issue.

Mrs. Adebisi Ajayi is the Head of Gender Resources at the Bank of Industry and a very influential personnel in driving this agenda as the focus of this department in Nigeria’s oldest and largest Development Finance Institution which is currently operating in conjunction with the nation’s ministry of finance.

In her capacity in the BOI, the bank has seen a year-on-year increased lending rate to women and skill-based female entrepreneurs. This initiative aimed at increasing liquidity and accessibility of business finance for those classified as high-risk borrowers. Matter-of-factly, the bank’s had increased its capital base from N90 million to N160 million, to increase its risk asset to women and maintain a single digit interest rate so as to maintain a robust distribution and stimulate

In 2007, gender financing commenced with N90 million. It generated 51 businesses in seven sectors and created 600 jobs. Cumulatively, that seed money is now about N160 million. These were to microcredit businesses. The BoI realized we cannot stay with micro-credits because there are women who have the capacity to do big business. In 2015, a gender enhancement desk was set up to focus on only women big businesses. This has led to the bank’s risk assets increase in women. The N13billion supported 232 women business.”

In 2017, the Nigerian government as a part of its Social Investment Program in conjunction with the Bank of Industry (BoI) launched an interest-free loan for women artisans, market women and smallholder farmers under the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF) intervention scheme by the Federal Government. NAWEF, as designed by the Federal Government’s Social Intervention Programme (SIP), was exclusively for women and administered by BoI to issue interest-free loans to successful applicants.

According to Mrs. Ajayi, businesses done by women have created over 57,850 jobs nationwide, adding that the bank has set up a desk which focuses only on women entrepreneurs. In her words, “Women have played a vital role in the development of Nigerian economy and BoI has increased women and youth entrepreneurship capacity by encouraging the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to boost businesses”.

Mrs. Adebisi Ajayi was inducted into the Centre for Economic and leadership Development global Hall of Fame at the South America-Africa-Middle East-Asia Women Summit (SAMEAWS) 2014; she was also a panelist both at the Nigerian Power Women Conference in Nigeria 2015, and the U.S-Africa Women Forum, New York, 2019.

The health and prosperity of humanity are directly tied to the state of our environment. We are at a crossroads. Do we continue on our current path, which will lead to a bleak future for humankind, or pivot to sustainable development? That is the choice our political leaders must make, now, said Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) during the fourth UN Environment Assembly meeting held at the organizations’ headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The 51-year-old Msuya is Tanzania’s top import to the global environmental organization.

Appointed 15 August 2018 by UNEP’s Secretary-General António Guterres, this mother of two initially served as an Adviser to the World Bank Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region while based in Washington, D.C.

Not much is known about the private life of Msuya which is testimony of how guarded she has been to date, avoiding personal scrutiny as she has steadily ascended the top global echelons.

Holding a Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology degree from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Immunology from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, Msuya also holds an Executive General Management Certificate from Harvard Business School (USA) and a Public Health Certificate from Johns Hopkins University (USA). Bottom line, she is solidly schooled.

Tellingly, within Africa’s patriarchal society, education acts as a catalyst, accelerating the pace of girls to tap into the mainstream  marketplace and Msuya, a mother of two, is certainly a typical symbol of this axiom.  

Prior to joining UNEP Msuya served as an  Adviser to the World Bank Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region in Washington, D.C. She brought to the position more than 20 years of extensive experience in the field of international development spanning corporate, strategy, operations, knowledge management, and partnerships, with diverse assignments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

From 2014 to 2017, Msuya served as the inaugural World Bank Special Representative and Head of the World Bank Group (WBG) Office in the Republic of Korea, where she established and developed office operations. She led on expanding and deepening the partnership between the WBG and the Government of Korea.

Before this Msuya held a series of high-level positions at the WBG, including the World Bank Institute’s East Asia and Pacific Regional Coordinator based in China, Principal Strategy Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services Department, and Special Adviser to World Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Lord Nicholas Stern.

At the WBG Msuya led several strategic initiatives within complex organizations at global, regional and country levels. These including ,creating an innovative blended finance fund , namely ,the Food Fund in response to the 2008 global food crisis; leading the development of the IFC’s growth strategy for Africa, which helped IFC achieve a historic increase in private sector investments in Africa; and managing the China-Africa Knowledge Sharing Program, the World Bank’s most successful South-South program, which leveraged the WBG’s environmental and social standards to inform sustainable business practices of cross border investments into Africa.

Before joining the World Bank Group in 1998, Msuya worked as an International Health Policy Analyst with the Liu Center for Global Studies, presently the Liu institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Previously she worked in Tanzania on various assignments, both in the private and public sectors

Msuya joined the World Bank in 1998 as a Health Specialist. She went on to build expertise in development economics as well as lending operations in the health sector during her tenure with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development .In 2001, she joined the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency as Advisor to the Senior Vice President  and Chief Economist, Professor Lord Nicholas Stern

From 2005 to 2011, she worked at the International Finance Corporation, in the Departments of Operational Strategy and Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, where she rose to the position of Principal Strategy Officer.

In 2011, she was assigned to the Beijing office of the World Bank Institute as Regional Coordinator for East Asia and the Pacific, focusing on support to the Bank’s operational work in its efforts to “fight poverty and promote shared prosperity”.

In April 2014,  Msuya was selected by senior management to establish and manage the first World Bank Group office in the Korea, serving for three years as the World Bank Special Representative to the Republic of Korea and Head of the World Bank Group Office based in Songdo, Incheon, South Korea.

At the time of her appointment to her present assignment, she served as an advisor for the World Bank’s Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific region, based in Washington DC.

And if her career trajectory so far is anything to go by, Msuya is slated to become a phenomenal figure with clout and influence in the globe.

On 15 August 2018, she was appointed to be the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Mr Solheim announced he had quit with effect from November 20 in the wake of an internal audit report that said he had gobbled up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in just 22 months.

Ms. Joyce Msuya was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) on 15 August 2018.

Tanzanian national Joyce Msuya has been appointed as acting head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) after Erik Solheim, the executive director abruptly resigned on Tuesday in the wake of accusations of misuse of funds.

On 15 August 2018, she was appointed to be the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Prior to joining UN Environment, Ms Msuya served as Adviser to the World Bank Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region in Washington, D.C.

Ms Msuya however, wouldn’t find her new role a walk in the park especially coming in the wake of Solheim exit with the UN body attracting more scrutiny in the way it runs its affairs.

Mr Solheim announced he had quit with effect from November 20 in the wake of an internal audit report that said he had gobbled up $500,000 in unnecessary and budgeted travel expenses in just 22 months.

Prior to joining UN Environment, Ms. Msuya served as Adviser to the World Bank Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region in Washington, D.C. She brought to the position more than 20 years of extensive experience in the field of international development spanning corporate, strategy, operations, knowledge management, and partnerships, with diverse assignments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Msuya served as the inaugural World Bank Special Representative and Head of the World Bank Group (WBG) Office in the Republic of Korea, where she established and developed office operations. She led on expanding and deepening the partnership between the WBG and the Government of Korea.

Before this, Ms. Msuya held a series of high-level positions at the WBG, including the World Bank Institute’s East Asia and Pacific Regional Coordinator based in China, Principal Strategy Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services Department, and Special Adviser to World Bank Senior Vice President & Chief Economist (Lord Nicholas Stern).

At the WBG, Ms. Msuya led several strategic initiatives within complex organizations at global, regional and country levels. These include:

  • Creating an innovative blended finance fund (the Food Fund) in response to the 2008 global food crisis;
  • Leading the development of the IFC’s growth strategy for Africa, which helped IFC achieve a historic increase in private sector investments in Africa; and
  • Managing the China-Africa Knowledge Sharing Program, the World Bank’s most successful South-South program, which leveraged the WBG’s environmental and social standards to inform sustainable business practices of cross border investments into Africa.

Ms. Msuya started her career with the WBG as Health Specialist, Africa Region in 1998. As an author and publisher of multiple articles in the health sector, including in peer-reviewed journals as well as a background paper titled “Making Services Work for Poor People” for the 2004 World Development Report (WDR), she delivered both sustainable development projects and leading analytical products.

Before joining the WBG, Ms. Msuya worked on various public and private sector assignments at the University of British Columbia in Canada and in her native country of Tanzania.

Ms. Msuya holds a Master of Science in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Immunology from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. She also holds an Executive General Management Certificate from Harvard Business School (USA) and a Public Health Certificate from Johns Hopkins University (USA). Ms. Msuya is married with two children.

By Charles Wachira

Maria Kiwanuka, widely thought to be one of the richest women in Uganda, embodies a commitment to achieve personal success while avoiding gloating in an era where narcissism has become a byword for the uber-rich.

As it’s popularly acknowledged, an apple does not fall very far from a tree.

Maria’s old-man, an engineer, helped set up the Public Works Department in Uganda that built major projects including Entebbe Airport and array of residential flats before branching out to do private consultancy.

Currently, Maria, formerly a politician who served as Uganda’s Finance minister for four years beginning May 2011 ending in March 2015 plays the role of Senior Advisor to Yoweri Musevini, President of Uganda on matters touching the delicate docket of finance and singularly fixated on the Bretton Woods institutions.  

This a-lister was initially enlisted to study medicine at Makerere University, a regional premier institution but despite the prestige associated with the profession, she opted instead to study commerce.

Always playing the role of a contrarian, Maria while transiting to read for her A-level had the mind of dropping out of class to pursue the less rigorous course of secretary but wisdom prevailed.

“I was tired of school,” she says. “I was always interested in business.”

With the business bug egging her to engage in commerce, Maria moonlighted as a make-up artiste at a beauty parlour in Kampala, the capital while still a university student.

Her first port of call after university was at the Bank of Uganda, referred elsewhere as the Central Bank of Uganda, as a graduate trainee, attached to the commercial banks supervision department before going on furlough and heading to the London Business School (LBS), a prestigious institution.

“It was mama’s chequebook,” she says when asked if she won a scholarship, “and I thought it was going to be a two-year holiday” but London was intense “and very different from Makerere”, Maria reminisces

Towards the end of her master’s degree at LBS, the World Bank held recruitment fair and Maria was one of two scholars picked from the UK to join the lender that year.

One highly visible woman who was an alumnus of Maria at the World Bank was Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, formerly also Finance Minister, of her country, Nigeria (2003-2006, 2011-2015) and Managing Director of the World Bank in charge of, Operations (2007-2011.

Ms. Kiwanuka, as she prefers to be called nowadays after marrying  a proverbial alter ego underlines the essence of aligning oneself  with a mate who inherently shares similar traits as oneself as a minimum requirement for eternal happiness and peace within the marriage fold .

Clearly, Mohan, the man who won the heart and mind of Marie, is equally smart in the head having also attended Makerere University where he read law, later on travelling to Switzerland’s   IMDE, Lausanne, a top-shelf global institution where he bagged an MBA.

Mohan is the Chairman and founder of a conglomerate of several of several organisations in Uganda spread in several sectors including media, horticulture, property development, plastics and paper and sits on several boards.

He has over 30 years’ experience at senior positions in various sectors. Between 1975 and 1990, he worked at the Uganda Development Bank and rose through the ranks to Bank Secretary and later to Deputy General Manager. He has been involved with steering Uganda’s financial sector restructuring since 1980.

Mohan holds an LLB from Makerere University and a Diploma in Legal Practice (Law Development Centre, Kampala). He also has an MBA from, Switzerland.

 

’d become then, (she resolutely refuses to discuss her husband or her family throughout the interview) spent almost a decade at the World Bank, working as a policy analyst and advising on bank projects in Africa (including Uganda) and Asia, before deciding to return home.

A music fan, mainly of 70s and 80s music, she set up Radio One with a promise of ‘Great Songs, Great Memories’ because none of the other radios at the time, Capital and Sanyu FM, spoke to people of her generation.

She ran the radio with an iron fist but she was also a good spotter of talent (for instance, Philip Besiimire, CEO of MTN Swaziland, and Richard Kavuma, Editor of the Observer newspaper both started out giving traffic reports on the radio)

She was very hands-on, she admits, and intensely competitive. Whenever there was a problem with the radio mast, she’d drive there and “show solidarity” with the engineers even if she wasn’t really needed.

She still listens to Radio One in her car but Ms Kiwanuka now spends more time in meetings or on planes than listening to her radio.

The meetings are unrelenting, she says, as one of her two mobile phones constantly goes off, never mind that it is a Saturday morning. The next day, she is due to drive to Rwakitura for a meeting with the President, then it is off to some foreign meeting.

Where many fight to get into Cabinet for perks like business-class plane rides, Ms Kiwanuka has had to downgrade from the occasional first-class to the government-regulation business class on foreign trips.

But she is not complaining.

“Uganda has been good to me,” she says, “it’s not been a sacrifice.”

When she speaks about agriculture, she becomes more animated, clearly relieved that the questions about her family and private life – the questions, she says, that are “trying to climb over the wall of her privacy” – are over.

Bringing a business ethic to bureaucrats
Ms Kiwanuka wants to bring a business ethic to government, spending money in productive areas like agriculture, infrastructure, and progressive reforms.

“We have a potential solution [to slowing economic growth] by becoming a bread basket for the region,” she says. “But we must prioritise and invest in the right areas.

“We must work for the greatest good for the greatest number.”

Economic growth is projected to drop to its lowest rate in almost two decades; inflation remains high at 21 per cent and there is an unemployment crisis among the youths. Fixing the economy is going to be much harder than anything Ms Kiwanuka has ever done. And she knows it, pointing out that over the last 10 years the country spent more than it could afford.

Can she achieve more production and less patronage in government? Her second Budget Speech (the first she’s been fully responsible for) is due in two weeks and will offer the best evidence of her efforts.

No free lunch
She is alive to the politics – the government, after all, needs to be re-elected, she says, – but also speaks with frustration about the politicking that has delayed the Youth Venture Capital Fund.

“Once you get politics into business, it dies,” Ms Kiwanuka says ruefully. She is hoping to create “a mindset shift” within government through prioritisation, accountability and enforcement.

“There is no free lunch,” she says. “To enjoy the niceties, you need to grow the purse.”

Once, many years ago, Maria’s father turned down a request by her young brother for some toy, saying he did not have money. Pointing to his father’s chequebook, the young boy contested the claim, saying as long as there remained leaves in the book, there was money.

Ms Kiwanuka now finds herself with one admittedly large chequebook, but even larger bills to pay.

“Do we cut money from education to spend on salaries? Or health? Those are some of the tough questions we need to ask.”

And the end of the interview she gets into her pristine white Mercedes Benz to run errands around town. She does not use her official car for private journeys and she gives her driver time off at the weekend so she can drive herself.

Grabbing a bunch of keys, she drives out to her office, to put in some work ahead of her meeting with the President. If anyone can drive the economy out of its current slump, it will have to be an outsider like Ms Kiwanuka – but only if those on the inside are willing to shift gears and change their mindsets.

 

For all the speculation surrounding who would make President Yoweri Museveni’s latest cabinet, Maria Kiwanuka, the proprietor of Radio One and Akaboozi Kubiri wasn’t in many people’s wildest dreams. But she was appointed Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, replacing Saida Bumba.

However, while her academic qualifications, a Bachelors Degree in Commerce put her in good stead for this position, more importantly than not, Kiwanuka has played a major role in inspiring many people’s lives. Kiwanuka is a successful business woman, who has built her media house from scratch into one of the most powerful and success stories of our time.

Kiwanuka has been the fulcrum of Radio One’s success since 1997 when it was established. It was during a very hostile period of the emergence of FM radios in Uganda. It was not clear how Radio One would have faired against major competitors like CBS FM, Capital FM and Sanyu FM. Well, she clearly had a plan.

Mark Ssali, a prominent Sports journalist was one of the first people to work for Kiwanuka at Radio One. He, therefore speaks of how she inspired him. “The first thing I learnt about her was her awareness of what was happening in the industry she had come into. She was not only focused but very knowledgeable. She did not settle for second best and that is why she went out there hiring people she believed were good,” says Ssali.

Ssali was part of the Sports talk show, The Locker-room, the first of its kind on Ugandan radio, which was a hit. This, Ssali says, was because Kiwanuka came up with so many ideas on how to make the radio’s programming the best around. Such is her brilliance, Ssali adds, and as such thinks he learnt a lot. Kiwanuka’s unrelenting nature to be the best, Ssali says, has made him give his all to improve as a sports journalist.

Ssali has had many suitors like the former Gateway Television from the UK that was telecasting the English Premier League, Italian Serie ‘A’ and the German Bundesliga between 2007 and 2009. Ssali has become a household sports pundit with wide knowledge of Ugandan and foreign sport.

One could say that the ambitious nature of Kiwanuka left an indelible mark on Ssali. Michael Kigozi, a staff at Radio One opines that one thing he has picked from his boss, is the non-discriminative nature. “She has no stereotypes. She never judges people on the basis of religion, age difference, tribe or skin colour. For her, it is about your performance and to me, that is a good trait in a leader,” Kigozi says.

Kigozi continues that while Kiwanuka is result-oriented, she speaks to her staff with a parent-like approach and is always advising them in case they go wrong. Ismail Dhakaba, who has been working at Radio One since 2009 says that the number one thing Kiwanuka emphasises is the listener or the customer.

She wouldn’t tolerate losing a single listener, which is why she always arms her employees with the best skills to keep the listeners glued to her radio station. But all this has been achieved through making sure that her employees are good time-keepers and can do self-policing to get their work done as required.

“Her approach always makes you feel a sense of ownership to your work and as such, this brings the best out of you and ultimately, the radios succeed,” said Dhakaba. In a nutshell, Kiwanuka has a lot to tell and for someone who has made a number of keynote speeches, expect her experiences, that she will most definitely share with the guests that will attend the Uganda convention UK on 27th August at Troxy -London, will not leave you the same.

.[2]

Overview

Prior to her appointment to cabinet, she was the Managing Director of Radio One and its sister station Radio Two known locally as Akaboozi FM, in Uganda, in which her family owns majority shareholding. She also served as a non-Executive board member on the Board of Directors of the Aga Khan Foundation (East Africa), the Nabagereka Development Trust, Nkumba University, Uganda Development Bank and Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited.[3]

Background and education

She was born in Kampala, the capital of Uganda on 12 May 1955.[4] Maria Kiwanuka attended Gayaza High School, a prestigious all-girls boarding high school, located about 26 kilometres (16 mi), by road, northeast of Kampala, graduating in 1973. In 1974 she entered Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest institution of higher education. She graduated in 1977 with the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (BCom). She later pursued further education at the London Business School in the United Kingdom, graduating with the degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA).[5]

Work experience

Beginning around 1980, she worked for more than ten years with the World Bank, as an Economist and Financial Analyst for the East Asian and Southern African regions. Specifically she covered projects in Burma, Malawi, Swaziland and Uganda. After she left the World Bank, she returned to her native Uganda and went into private business. Together with members of her family, she founded businesses in the areas of broadcasting, publishing, real estate and economic consulting. She has served as a financial adviser to the Nabagereka of Buganda since the early 2000s.[6] In a cabinet reshuffle on 1 March 2015 she was dropped from Cabinet and appointed Senior Financial Advisor to the President.[2]

Personal details

Maria Kiwanuka is married to Mohan Kiwanuka, the Managing Director of Oscar Industries Limited. In 2007, four years prior to Maria Kiwanuka’s being appointed Finance Minister, her husband was listed as one of the wealthiest people in Uganda.[7][8]

Maria Kiwanuka is a Ugandan economist, businesswoman and politician who served as Minister of Finance in the Cabinet of Uganda from 27 May 2011 to 1 March 2015.Since 2015 she has been Senior Advisor to the President of Uganda on financial matters, responsible for the Bretton Woods Institutions.

She was born in Kampala, the capital of Uganda on 12 May 1955.Maria Kiwanuka attended Gayaza High School, a prestigious all-girls boarding high school, located northeast of Kampala, graduating in 1973. In 1974 she entered Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest institution of higher education. She graduated in 1977 with the degree of Bachelor of Commerce (BCom).

She later pursued further education at the London Business School in the United Kingdom, graduating with the degree of Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Maria Kiwanuka is married to Mohan Kiwanuka, the Managing Director of Oscar Industries Limited. In 2007, four years prior to Maria Kiwanuka’s being appointed Finance Minister, her husband was listed as one of the wealthiest people in Uganda.