Uganda American body gets board of trustees

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st April 2015 11:51 PM

The Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) recently announced Dr. Joseph E. Buwembo and Edward M. Otto, as the Chair and Secretary of the new UNAA Board of Trustees (BOT) respectively for two-year terms effective April 15.

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The Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) recently announced Dr. Joseph E. Buwembo and Edward M. Otto, as the Chair and Secretary of the new UNAA Board of Trustees (BOT) respectively for two-year terms effective April 15.

By Sebidde Kiryowa

The Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) recently announced Dr. Joseph E. Buwembo and Edward M. Otto, as the Chair and Secretary of the new UNAA Board of Trustees (BOT) respectively for two-year terms effective April 15.

The two will work with a team of five others.

In a release issued by UNAA late last week, Aisha Musoke Ogwang, the organisation’s Executive Secretary said:

"We are delighted to announce the Board members that will guide UNAA as it looks to consolidate its position as the largest grassroots Ugandan diaspora organization and become a powerful force for change".

"The expertise and experience of this collective group, we believe, leaves us best positioned to realize those goals."

The board serves as the custodians of the history, records, mission and purpose of UNAA. The UNAA President is an ex-official member of the UNAA Board of Trustees.

Dr. Joseph E. Buwembo and Edward M. Otto speak out

"I accept the role of Chair of the UNAA Board of Trustees with humility, and yet with a strong resolve to amalgamate UNAA and heal the fractures that are threatening to incapacitate this formidable and noble organization. The biggest challenge UNAA faces at this pivotal time is restoration and promotion of the democratic culture; democracy to me means being able to live and work in harmony with individuals that you have an opposing view on the same subject matter.

We shall pay particular attention to member voices, as well as have oversight over the UNAA Executive.  I am eager to commence on the great task ahead of us," Dr. Buwembo was quoted as saying upon his election by fellow Trustees last week.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to know that my fellow UNAABOT members have the trust and confidence that I am worthy of such an important responsibility. I am eager to begin my duties immediately, and already have a few ideas to propose to members subject to ratification.  Some of these ideas include a record keeping system and request for further disclosure of records from previous members.  Further, most importantly, I am open to new Ideas and I hope to learn from each one of you," Otto was quoted as saying,

Kwesiga (right) meeting UIA members was elected the youngest UNAA president in 2013


Dr. Buwembo, MBChB, MMed, FCSSA, FRCSC is a senior consultant neurosurgeon at Regina General Hospital in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada where he has been practicing since June 1996 and serves as an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

A graduate of Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; he is a Fellow of the College of Surgeons of South Africa and The Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.

He is a past President of the Regina & District Medical Society (2008 - 2010), Representative to the Saskatchewan Medical Association (1998 - 2011), and President of the Saskatchewan Neurosurgical Society (2009- 2014).

He is a Board member and Past President of the Uganda Canadian Association of Saskatchewan (UCAS) as well as an Executive Board member for the Uganda Canadian National Association (UCNA) and a former president of the Uganda North American Medical Society (UNAMS), 2004 - 2012. He brings a wealth of leadership experience to the board.

Edward M. Otto, Esq.  is the founder of Otto, Barrister, Solicitor and Notary and a partner and co-founder of Otto & Sherman Professional Corporation, a Toronto, Ontario, Canadian law firm.

He attained a Bachelor of Law degree (LL.B) from Makerere University and furthered his studies at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law 2005-2008. Edward's first attended the 2006 UNAA convention in New York and later served as UNAA Ambassador for the 2007 UNAA Convention in San Francisco. He brings a wealth of legal expertise, social and non-profit experience to the board.

Businessmen Hajji Musa Katongole (left) and Hajji Katongole of BMK during a UNAA dinner in the US in 2013

How the Board of Trustees was constituted

The seven eminent members appointed by the UNAA Executive Committee went through a vetting and confirmation process by the UNAA Council in fulfillment of Article 5 of the UNAA Constitution and will effective April 8 2015 serve their three year tenure through 2018 - as the organization celebrates 30 years of its founding in 1988.  Each Trustee is eligible for re-appointment up to two terms.
"We directed a comprehensive quest for people who would further strengthen our board's breadth of talent and background especially in the financial, legal, and community service areas, and we are delighted to have identified such outstanding individuals," Monday S. Atigo, UNAA's Vice President said.

UNAA is divided up into 18 different regions and the new seven members of the UNAA Board of Trustees come from six different regions.

UNAA EC speaks out on the new UNAABOT

"I'm confident that collectively they are going to make an important and positive impact on our organization." Atigo, said
"The UNAA Council is excited and looks forward to working with these very talented and able individuals who have exhibited such a strong passion for service beyond self." said Engineer Nicholas Kissesi Wakou, the Speaker of the UNAA Council.

"Over the past 27 years, it's been exciting to watch history unfold as UNAA emerged as the premier Ugandan diaspora organization in the world" said Ms. Rosette Serwanga, UNAA's first and so far only female President.

"The organization today is in the best shape that I have seen it, and Joseph's leadership of this strong team will allow UNAA to continue to be great going forward."

The biannual elections for the UNAA Executive Committee and the UNAA Council will also be held in New Orleans on September 6 during the convention weekend.

Members of the Executive Committee are universally elected by registered UNAA members in good standing, while council representatives are elected by the UNAA Members in their respective regions.

Other members of the new UNAABOT

Dr. Bakama Nume, PhD is an Associate Professor of geography at Prairie View A&M University in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Makerere University, the University of Windsor in Ontario, and the University of Minnesota.

Among his recent publications is an edited book entitled "A Contemporary Geography of Uganda" (2010).  He has served as editor of the journal Uganda Geographic Review, and was instrumental in founding of the African Geographic Review.

Bakama was one of the people to revive the Basoga Twegaite organization and organized the first Basoga convention. He brings a wealth of leadership experience to the board.
Dr. Michael M. Kisembo, DBA, MBA, MTS, EA is the Founder, President and CEO of Multi-Professional Consultants, LLC and an adjunct assistant professor in the Management and Leadership Program at Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts where he has served as interim director of the program several times.

A graduate of Hellenic College (BA '83) and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MTS '86), Dr. Kisembo also holds an MBA from Suffolk University ('85), and a Doctorate of Business Administration from California Coast University ('02), Michael.

He is the author of several articles on the role of finances in developing economies and has extensive financial work experience with Orthodox, Christian, and non-profit organizations in Uganda and the United States. He is married with seven children, all college educated. He brings a wealth of community service, leadership experience and a financial background to the board.
Martin Musinguzi, Esq. is the Principal Attorney and Founder of the Musinguzi Law Group (MLG) based in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. He maintains MLG's main offices in Uptown Charlotte, NC and recently opened a satellite office in North Carolina's Research Triangle Area. He holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from Harvard Law School.

Upon graduation, Martin stayed on as Clinical Fellow at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic for 2 years where he developed many close relationships with the Ugandan community in Boston, MA. While at Harvard Law he represented his class in Harvard Law Student Government and the Harvard African Law Association.

In East Africa, he championed an Access to Justice Project for the indigent, and continues his passion for the disadvantaged and has maintained a deep sense of social service. He brings a wealth of legal expertise, social and non-profit experience to the board.
Edward Nantamu, a Senior Environmental Health Specialist with Fairfax County Health Department, Fairfax, Virginia, United States since 1987. Born in Businda, Bugweri, Iganga District, he earned his master's degree in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland.

In Uganda, he worked briefly in Uganda at the Uganda People' Congress (UPC) Secretariat, Uganda House, Kampala, Office of Mass mobilization.  He was invited by Tanzania's ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) to attend the CCM Ideological College, Kivukoni, Dar es Salaam where he studied political ideology and national defense (siasa na urinzi was taifa). A long time UNAA member since 1997, he brings valuable member perspectives to the board.

Rosette Serwanga, M.Sc. speaks eight different languages, has worked in a half dozen countries and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Born and raised in Namugongo, Uganda, she holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Food Marketing from Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya and a M.Sc. in International Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Rosette is the recipient of the 2003 Peter Medoff Award and the 2004 Cambridge Cares about AIDS Illuminator Award. She served as the first female President of UNAA, 2003 - 2005 and was as a member of the inaugural UNAA Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2015. She brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and provides continuity from the previous board.

Uganda American body gets board of trustees

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