• Aug 04, 2021 . 4 min Read
  • My five 21st century relevant Museveni appointees

Collins James Okware
Collin James Okware


I try to live as apolitical a life as possible - at least since my disappointing 2010-2011 run for MP of Tororo County before the split into the current Tororo North and South constituencies. 

Like all humans, however, I remain a political creature by instinct. 

For that matter, please bear with me as I describe the best five, 21st century-relevant as well as 4th industrial revolution (4IR) literate political appointees of President Yoweri Museveni’s overly long, but scintillating political career, nevertheless. 

The five are Dr Ramathan Ggoobi (PhD), Dr Monica Musenero Masanza (DVM), Vice - President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo Epel, Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye and Jacob Oboth-Oboth, in that order. 

And why the five individuals? For the simple reason that each exhibits both 21st century and 4th industrial revolution economy literacies. 

And 21st century (21C), 4th industrial revolution literacies and the new political appointments? Well, because these eminent citizens, you and I, are all operating in the erratic 4th industrial revolution of current 21st century. 

We cannot solve 21st-century problems using only past 19th & 20th-century knowledge and skills. 

Indeed, each century (100-year period) demands its own set of skills and literacies; in addition to those of the past centuries for meaningful economic productivity. 

This is the reason all your university researches demand that you add to the existing body of knowledge. 

Well, my first of the five is Ggoobi, your new permanent secretary and secretary to the treasury (PSST). 

This economics doctor has 10 21st century and 4th industrial revolution competencies: life-long learning, creativity, critical thinking, pro-active problem-solving, change management, effective communication, culturally sensitivity, imagination, measured risk-taking, integrating theory to practice (praxis), empathy, ethics, patience, people engagement and team-building. 

For his critical thinking and life-long learning abilities, Ggoobi reasons in a circular and not a linear economic manner and has remained faithful to one of his mentor’s (Prof. Kabunakuki’s) caution that he practices economics which works. 

Ggoobi further stands out for his personal philosophy that conventional economics as taught in your universities is too neo-liberal, and, therefore, without much value in the 21st century and its 4IR economic contexts. 

This is in much the same way we copy and paste the meaning of conventional democracy, or should I say ‘demon-crazy’. 

Ggoobi is further 4IR-literate for knowing that in spite of ourselves, Uganda has all the ingredients to blaze her way into low, medium-income country status (LMICS) now, rather than the IMF’s convectional economic projection that this is 12 years away. 

He is, especially cognizant that all it takes are little pro-active adjustments and his acceptance of the difficult PSST docket is proof of this. 

He wants to see more Ugandans view themselves from the John F. Kennedy patriotic angle of: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. 

My second is Musenero Masanza. The good veterinary doctor exudes seven 21st century and 4th industrial revolution economy competencies. 

A combination of knowledge and skills is called competencies. The very first of her 21C and 4IR skill-sets is creativity. 

Just in case you didn’t know, Musenero is the originator of the phrase ‘pathogenic economy’; or at least co-author of it. 

I add the caveat of co-authorship so nobody sues the new minister for violating their intellectual property rights the way it is happening to Prof. Ogwang over Covidex invention.

My advice would be that the suing lot takes on the ‘lab manufacturers’ of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the pathogen causing COVID-19, instead. 

The other 21C and 4IR skill sets Musenero holds are humility, ethical conduct, empathy, incorruptible, pro-activity and problem-solving. President Museveni is especially fond of her pathogenic economic thinking. 

And one would be hard-placed to deny Musenero’s problem-solving abilities given her front-line handling of Ebola outbreak crises in Uganda, Congo, West Africa and now, the novel COVID-19 pandemic. My third is Alupo. 

The new Vice-President has the following 10 21C and 4IR competencies - emotional intelligence (EI), empathy, resilience, adaptability, patience, strategic planning, change management, ethics, virtue and incorruptibility. 

My number four of the five new political appointees is Nakyobe. Uganda’s new head of civil service boasts of the following eight 21C, and 4th industrial revolution competencies: incorruptibility, resilience, pro-active problem-solving, empathy, ethics, virtue, honesty and humility. 

My last, but by no means least of the five 21st century-relevant new political appointees is Jacob Oboth-Oboth. 

The first time defence state minister boasts six 21C abilities: circular thinking, effective communication, team-playing, strategic problem-solving, proactivity and resilience. 

That this dusty Uganda and not your governance idols of America and the west, in general, is poised to be the fastest-growing nation in the world will no doubt elicit a mocking grin from the faces of nay-sayers both within and without Uganda. 

But that’s okay though, especially since it is a proven fact that nay-sayers are also the top-most demanders of ‘what can my country do for me’.

The writer is an expert in the 4IR and PhD fellow in TVET 


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