FULL LIST: Uganda’s Most Outstanding 2023 CEOs

by Business Times
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Business Times Uganda unveils the most outstanding Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Managing Directors of companies basing on milestones and performance published in the media or shared in public spaces in 2023.

CEOs and Managing Directors make daily decisions of the institutions they lead, supported by an oversight role of the Board of Directors.

In no particular order, below are Business Times Uganda’s top 2023 CEO’s.

Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako – Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA)  

On 1st May 2023, President Yoweri Museveni awarded the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Crested Crane Medal in recognition of her outstanding service and contribution towards the growth of Uganda’s Electricity Supply Industry.

Under Eng. Waako’s leadership, ERA won the bid for Uganda to host the Independent Regulatory Board (IRB) of the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), a regional institution established in 2005 to coordinate cross-border power trade and grid interconnection among nations of the Eastern Africa region.

Additionally, Uganda through Eng. Waako, was elected the Chair of the Energy Committee of the African Forum for Utility Regulators effective 2023, which demonstrates the trust the continent has in the Ugandan Regulator. 

George Arodi – Uganda Baati

Founded in 1964, Uganda Baati Ltd is a Safal Group member, the largest steel roofing company in Africa. Owing to the able leadership of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. George Arodi, Uganda Baati has re-established itself as the market leader in building solutions in the Ugandan market.

One of the most successful things George has done is to build a professional Ugandan team; he leads a creative and talented Ugandan team; previously, the company had up to 30 expatriates, and now the company has 99% homegrown talent.

Infrastructure is the other most significant vivid transformation at Uganda Baati. This has intensified under George’s leadership in the last three years, in Kampala and the different branches in Tororo and Arua.

Currently, there are 14 showrooms across the country, with 2 community clinics one in Kampala and the other in Tororo; the company has also introduced new and innovative steel products to the market, providing customers with a broader range of options and solutions; it is the first steel company to give customers a choice to transact business through the e-commerce/online platform, introduced Safal Building Solutions which offers the gold standard in steel building technologies that are cost-effective, durable, and complete in record time, ready for use, like SAFBuild the pre-engineered buildings, SAFSolar and ULTRASPAN steel trusses which are the ideal alternative to wood, the latest innovation being the new stone coated elegant sheets – Lifestile.

The Company is also the leading high-quality steel-producing company with international and national quality certifications and accolades.

In addition, the profitability growth of Uganda Baati has gone above 300 per cent over the last 5 years.

Under Mr George Arodi’s leadership, the 60-year-old company has implemented sustainable practices in its operations, such as adopting energy-efficient technologies, reducing waste, or implementing recycling initiatives. 

Mumba Kalifungwa – Absa Bank

Mumba Kalifungwa is the Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda.

In April 2023, Absa Bank Uganda released its financial results for the year ended December 2022 in which it indicated that its profits grew by 28.9%.

The bank’s profit after tax grew to shs141 billion attributed to a 12.5% growth in revenue by shs46 billion.

Absa’s total lending to the agriculture sector stood at UGX158 billion, reflecting a growth of 40% from 2021, trade at UGX306 billion growing by 25% from 2021 and manufacturing at UGX196 billion growing by 14% from the previous year.

Absa paid UGX 87.8 billion in tax in 2022.

The bank also reported a 19.8% growth in customer loans to shs1.6 trillion – a state of affairs attributed mainly to increased demand for credit following the resurgence of the economy from the effects of COVID-19. 

The bank’s total assets grew by 5.6% to shs4.23 trillion.

Manoj Murali – Airtel Uganda

In 2020, Airtel Uganda announced Manoj Murali as the new Managing Director. Manoj has a diverse background, having held various roles in India and overseeing international operations in Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and the Channel Islands.

Under Manoj, Airtel Uganda launched its share sale on 29th August 2023 to promote broad ownership of company shares.

Airtel said it was selling 20% of its equity in a move aimed at raising 800 billion Ugandan shillings.

The issued shares of Airtel Uganda would be listed on the Main Investment Market Segment of the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE) on November 7, 2023.

Airtel Uganda has now become the second telecom company to be listed on Uganda’s stock exchange, following MTN Uganda.

Emmanuel Iyamulemye – UCDA

Iyamulemye is the Managing Director of Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA).

Under Iyamulemye’s leadership, Uganda registered the highest coffee exports ever with 743,517 60-kilo bags worth 121.64 million dollars in August 2023 at an average price of US$ 2.73 per kilo which is 2 US cents higher compared to July 2023 (US$ 2.71/kilo), and US cents 36 higher than US$ 2.41/kilo in August 2022. This was an increase of 48.19% and 70.73% in quantity and value respectively compared to the same month last year

By comparing quantity of coffee exported by type in the same month of 2022, Robusta increased by 50.95% and 84.76% in quantity and value respectively, while Arabica exports increased by 20.29% in quantity but a 6.61% reduction in value.

Uganda’s coffee exports for 12 months (September 2022 to August 2023) totalled 6.08 million bags worth 918.76 million dollars compared to 5.94 million bags worth 872 million the previous year.

Philipe Groueix – TOTAL E&P 

Total Energies has played a very significant role in the development of Uganda’s oil and gas sector which comprises of several projects, including; Tilenga (190,000 barrels of oil per day – peak production), Kingfisher, EACOP and the refinery.

Tilenga project located in the Buliisa and Nwoya districts in the Lake Albert is operated by TotalEnergies (56.6%), in partnership with CNOOC and UNOC. It includes the development of six fields and the drilling of around 400 wells from 31 locations.

EACOP project consists of the construction of a buried 1,443 km oil pipeline from the town of Kabaale in Uganda to Tanga port in Tanzania for export to the international market. 

The 3.5-billion-dollar EACOP project – a collaboration between TotalEnergies EP Uganda with 62% shareholding, UNOC with 15%, Tanzania government with 15%, and CNOOC with 8%, is very vital in developing Uganda’s oil and gas sector that is scheduled to pump its first crude oil in 2025.

Patrick Ayota -National Social Security Fund (NSSF)

Patrick Ayota is the Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

In the Financial Year ended June 30, 2023, the Fund’s revenue increased by 15% from 1.9 trillion to 2.2 trillion shillings.

Income from the Fund’s real estate projects also increased from 13.4 billion to 14 billion and 16 billion was earned from other income.

NSSF recorded the above progress despite the investment environment in Uganda and the region being challenging over the last Financial Year.

NSSF Assets Under Management increased from Ugx 17.26 trillion in Financial Year 2021/22 to Ugx 18.56 trillion in Financial Year 2022/23. 

The Fund’s member contributions increased by 15% from 1.49 trillion in Financial Year 2021/22 to 1.72 trillion in Financial Year 2022/23, while the cost of administration reduced from 1.18% to 1.02%.

On September 26, 2023, Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija declared a 10% interest rate for NSSF savers for financial year 2022/2023.

Jane Nalunga – SEATINI

Jane Nalunga is the Executive Director of Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) – a Non-Governmental Organization that works to promote pro development trade, fiscal and investment related policies and processes for sustained equitable development and improved livelihoods in Uganda and the East African Community region.

Through raising awareness, research, alliance building and partnerships, public interest litigation, building stakeholders’ capacity and joint advocacy, SEATINI Uganda under the leadership of Jane Nalunga has stimulated dialogue between stakeholders and government and promoted indigenous alternatives for improved livelihoods and sustainable development.

SEATINI-Uganda has successfully championed issues of trade, tax and development and strengthened stakeholders’ capacity to influence policies and processes for the realisation of sustainable development and improved livelihoods in Uganda and the East African region.

SEATINI has also made significant contributions towards promoting trade and tax justice, meaningful integration of East Africa and Africa in general in the global economy.

Eng. Harrison Mutikanga – Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL).

Eng. Mutikanga has been the CEO of UEGCL since December 2014.

Under Mutikanga, UEGCL has registered a growth trajectory by posting a growth in revenue of 63% to UGX. 343.7 billion from UGX. 210.9 billion in 21/22 FY. Consequently, the company’s Profit After Tax grew by 22%, reaching UGX. 34 billion, from UGX. 27.9 billion in 21/22 FY.

UEGCL’s operational footprint has significantly expanded, spanning from the Isimba (183 MW) and Namanve (50 MW) facilities to encompass the Karuma (600 MW) project, with 4 units (400 MW) already synchronized to the grid. Additionally, the Nalubaale/Kiira plant (380 MW) was successfully retransferred to Government in April 2023. Amid this remarkable growth, the meticulous operation and maintenance of these power plants underpins UEGCL’s core agenda. 

Thomas Pelletier – CFAO/ Toyota

Thomas Pelletier is the Managing Director of CFAO Motors in Uganda.

CFAO Motors recently introduced the all-new Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Electric, marking a transformative addition to Uganda’s automotive landscape.

This self-charging hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) seamlessly blends Toyota’s expertise in hybrid technology with the country’s increasing focus on eco-friendly driving.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid Electric stands out as a top-tier compact SUV, combining style, comfort, and versatility. Its innovative Hybrid Electric technology and continuously variable transmission (CVT) engine promise a seamless and efficient driving experience.

This vehicle, positioned for practicality and advanced technology, integrates Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) for superior driving dynamics and engineering prowess. 

Fred Bamwesigye – Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA)

In October 2021, Bamwesigye was appointed Director General of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.

Under Bamwesigye, International passenger traffic through Entebbe International Airport has risen tremendously. In August 2023, the Airport recorded 93,560 arriving and 97,947 departing passengers, making a total of 191,507 passengers. This is an average of 6,177 passengers per day, which is the highest figure to be ever recorded in a single month in the history of the airport.

In relation to cargo, the airport handled 3,669 metric tones of exports and 1,705 metric tones of imports in August 2023, a total of 5,374 metric tones. In the period between January to August 2023, Entebbe International Airport handled a total of 26,822 metric tones of exports compared to 27,905 metric tones in the same period of January to August 2022, 26,118 metric tones in January to August 2021, 23,436 metric tones in January to August 2020 and 28,971 metric tones of exports in January to August 2019.

Anne Juuko – CEO, Stanbic Bank

Anne Juuko is the CEO of Stanbic Bank Uganda. After a tremendous performance characterized by a record profit run, Juuko, the first female to head Uganda’s largest commercial bank is set for a regional role at Standard Bank Group under which Stanbic Bank Uganda falls.

Recently, Stanbic Bank announced its profit after tax for 2022, the biggest in its history at 366 billion shillings, and total revenue of 1 trillion shillings. At the macro economic level, Juuko has steered the bank to play a critical role as a responsible entity, for the development of Uganda.

“We know, without a doubt, that this economy is run by the revenues that we collect through taxes. So, what have we done as Stanbic in that effort? First, we paid close to 270 billion in taxes as an institution in 2022 alone. Beyond that, we have also helped the Uganda Revenue Authority to collect north of 7 trillion shillings within the same period,” she says.

Jack Chebet – Stabex

Stabex International Limited Uganda is becoming a force to reckon with in the energy sector. The Gas and Fuel company has embarked on a major expansion across the country.

Stabex launches new fuel stations almost every week across the country.

Recently, Stabex has opened new stations in Bunga, Nkoma, Soroti, Nsambya, Fort Portal, Busunju, Kinawataka among other areas across the country.

Stabex is surely in a good position to Uganda’s old major players like Vivo Energy (Shell) and Total Energies.

Julius Kakeeto – Post Bank

Julius Kakeeto has transformed Post Bank – a government owned bank into a full-fledged commercial bank.

In 2022, PostBank reported a net profit of 15.1 billion shillings up from the 12.2 billion shillings net profit posted in 2021.

The Bank’s total assets grew by 21.3% from 745 billion in 2021 to 946. 6 billion in 2022.

The Bank’s total income also increased from 144.5 billion in 2021 to 159.2 billion in 2022, which the Bank attributed to the its digital transformation journey that began in 2020.

In 2020, 90% of PostBank transactions used to be in the banking halls, and only 10% was on digital channels. In 2023, it is the other way around. Only 15% of PostBank transactions are happening in the banking halls. The other 85% is self service channels. The whole idea is that PostBank wants to improve the customer experience so that customers can enjoy services wherever they are, without having to come physically to the bank.

Brij Gagrani – Tororo Cement

Brij Gagrani is the Executive Director of Tororo Cement Limited.

Under his leadership, Tororo Cement Limited has expanded its plant to increase production.

In September 2023, President Yoweri Museveni commissioned the Tororo Cement Vertical Rolling Mill Plant, which is expected to produce over 1.2 million tons of cement annually, increasing the industry’s total production capacity to 4 million tons per year. 

The plant is set to significantly boost cement production in Uganda, adding 1.2 million tons annually to the existing 2.8 million tons capacity.

Tororo Cement, which currently employs over 1,500 Ugandans, stands as one of the largest employers in the country.

Jennifer Bamuturaki – Uganda Airlines

Jennifer Bamuturaki is the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines.

On October 7, 2023, Uganda Airlines launched direct flight to India’s financial capital, Mumbai which it serves three times a week. The route, first promised two years ago, is Uganda Airlines 12th destination and the second off the African mainland.

This is the first time in more than 50 years that India and Uganda are connected by a non-stop air service.

Uganda Airlines direct flights to Mumbai have increased options for travellers along the East Africa-India air corridor, and also put regional airlines in a quadrangle of competition.

After the Mumbai launch, Uganda Airlines also launched direct flights to Lagos, Nigeria.

Uganda Airlines currently operates flights to Dubai, Johannesburg, Bujumbura, Nairobi, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Juba, Kinshasa and Mogadishu, Mumbai, and Lagos.

Simpson Birungi – Movit

Founded in 1997, Movit has been a pioneer in the cosmetics industry, consistently delivering top-notch products that cater to diverse hair and skin types and styles.

Movit is a testament to journey of growth, success, and deep-rooted connection with the Ugandan community.

For the second time in a row, Movit was in July 2023 recognized by Brand Africa as the Most Admired Ugandan Personal Care Brand and Most Admired Brand Doing Good for People, Society, and Environment.

In 2022, Movit scooped the award of the Best Admired Personal Care Ugandan Brand.

Michael Atingi-Ego – Bank of Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni appointed Mr. Michael Atingi–Ego to serve as Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda on April 23, 2020.

Under Ating-Ego, Uganda has registered the lowest inflation in 15 months.

Uganda’s annual inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped to 3.5% in the 12 months leading up to August 2023, down from the previous 3.9% recorded in the year ending July 2023.

The 3.5% is the lowest inflation rate Uganda has registered since February 2022 when the country registered an annual inflation of 3.1%.

Annual Services inflation declined to 2.0 percent for the year ending August 2023 compared to 2.5 percent registered for the year ended July 2023.

Xie Qiuxiang – Huawei Uganda 

Huawei has been instrumental in providing digital skills to Ugandan people.

Through its DigiTruck project launched in 2023, the Chinese technology company has offered digital training to thousands of Ugandans, and aims to train over 10,000 people in the next three years.

In Teso sub region, Huawei’s DigiTruck project has equipped over 1000 youth, women, Jua-kalis, local district officers among others with digital skills to enable them engage in e-commerce and market their produce.

The DigiTruck project has promoted digital foundation skills, enhanced digital communications and information, digital transactions, using the internet for problem-solving, online safety, civic responsibility, and data privacy in the informal sector (Jua-Kali) enterprises for productivity and job growth in the country.

Proscovia Nabbanja – Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC)

Proscovia Nabbanja has 20 years of experience in oil and gas industry. Formerly served as a Principal Geologist in the Petroleum Exploration & Production Department under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. She headed the Technical Division and was at the forefront of reviews of technical proposals especially field development plans and petroleum reservoir reports.

Proscovia holds a BSc (Chemistry, Geology) -MUK, MSC Petroleum Geoscience- Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, DIC, Dip Petroleum Management and Operations, MBA-Imperial College Business School.

With a two-decade experience in the oil and gas industry, Proscovia Nabbanja was recognized for handling the Government of Uganda’s commercial interests with the utmost professionalism and innovation within the petroleum sector, while ensuring that the country’s resources are exploited in a sustainable and profitable manner.

Julius Mukunda – CSBAG

Julius Mukunda is the Executive Director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) – a coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) formed in 2004 to bring together CSOs at national and district levels to influence Government decisions and effectively participate in setting national budget priorities.

CSBAG under the leadership of Julius Mukunda has influenced Government decisions on resource mobilization and utilization for equitable and sustainable development.

CSBAG has advocated for increased transparency and accountability in national priorities, financing and public spending at all levels.

Ramathan Ggoobi – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance

Ramathan Ggoobi is a Ugandan Policy Analyst, a political economist who spearheaded the arm ‘economics that works in Uganda’, economics lecturer, author, consultant and the current Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance. 

Ggoobi co-authored several studies on Uganda’s economy. He has lived his dream as an economics teacher and is so passionate about imparting and sharing knowledge with others, particularly the young generation.

 He tried to change the economic face of Uganda from a complicated and mathematized discipline to user-friendly. Ggoobi says at school, economics appears to be like rocket science, the way it’s taught yet it deals with real-life which would have been embraced by everybody.

Ggoobi has vowed to cut public expenditure.

MTN Uganda- Sylivia Mulinge

Sylvia Mulinge is the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Uganda.

Ms. Mulinge whose tenure in office commenced on 1st October 2022 is the first-ever female CEO at MTN Uganda. She has a track record of executive business experience spanning close to over 20 years, 15 years of which is in the telecom industry.

Ms. Mulinge who had been serving as the Chief Consumer Business Officer at Safaricom PLC since 2018, is credited for driving the company’s customer obsession strategy to deliver long-term shareholder growth as well as creating preference for the Safaricom brand.

Since joining Safaricom PLC in 2006, Ms. Mulinge served in various roles including Prepay Product Manager, Head of retail, Head of Safaricom Business – Sales, General Manager, Enterprise Business, and Director, Consumer Business.

Lilly Ajarova – CEO, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).

Uganda Tourism Board Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is a statutory organization whose mandate is to promote and market Uganda across the region and internationally, promote quality assurance in tourist facilities through training, grading and classification, promote tourism investment, support, and act as a liaison for the private sector in tourism development.

Under Ms Ajarova, UTB and its partners such as the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities have initiated domestic tourism campaigns aimed at interesting Ugandans to visit the uniquely prized tourism sites and attractions in the country.

The campaigns such as “Explore West”, “Explore Elgon” among others, have created awareness of the various potentially untapped prized tourism sites and attractions strewn across the countryside and neighbouring places as part of the synergies to encourage domestic tourism in Uganda and also as a strategy for tourism recovery post-Covid-19 and the Ebola epidemic, among other catastrophes that affected the Country’s tourism industry.

Annete Nakawunde Mulindwa – Finance Trust Bank Uganda

She holds a Masters in Business Administration majoring in Finance, a postgraduate diploma in financial management and an honors degree in BA (Arts).

She has also attended a number of trainings including the Advanced Leadership training in Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania in USA, Coaching Program for Mission, Leadership and Performance by Creative Mether, Oxford, England, Women in leadership by Women’s world banking centre for microfinance leadership, New York where she got the Financial Woman’s Association’s Women in Leadership Award for 2008, Balance score card training and Basic banking by Institute of Bankers.

She is passionate about women and youth empowerment, as well as ensuring best practice in banking and microfinance and creating value for customers. She is result oriented and an excellent team player with strong leadership qualities.

Dr Eng Silver Mugisha – National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC)

Eng. Silver Mugisha assumed the role of Managing Director at NWSC in August 2013.

In October 2023, Mugisha announced a new water project initiative dubbed the “Water for All program” in line with NWSC strategic corporate plan, which seeks to achieve 100% piped water coverage in about 22,000 villages under NWSC.

Under Mugisha’s leadership, the number of towns under NWSC jurisdiction has increased from 23 to 268 and is expected to increase to 350 by 2028.

The number of people served by piped water in areas under NWSC has increased from 4.5 million to 18 million and is projected to increase to 28 million by 2028.

The number of customer connections has increased from 296,000 to 874,000 and is expected to increase to 1,250.000 by 2028.

Pipe network length has increased from 5,073 km to 22,000 km and is planned to increase to 32,000 km by 2028.

Annual turnover has increased from UGX 155 billion to UGX 519 billion and is projected to increase to UGX 700 billion by 2028.

Mercy Kainobwisho – Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB)

Mercy Kainobwisho is a Ugandan lawyer, business administrator and corporate executive, who serves as the Registrar General and Executive Director of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), effective December 2020. Prior to her current position, she served as the director of intellectual property at URSB.

In September 2023, URSB, the national business registry, launched its mass business registration campaign aimed at promoting formalization among entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The initiative simplifies the registration process, raises awareness about the benefits of formalization, and drives economic growth.

Dubbed “kiri easy, formalize today”, the initiative targets registering an additional 873,546 businesses by 2026/27.

Sanjay Rughani – Standard Chartered Bank 

Standard Chartered Bank has been focusing on cloud, automation, and open banking to digitally transform its operations.

The bank has earmarked a major share of its spending for acquiring software, network and communications, and hardware from vendors.

Standard Chartered bank is tapping into big data, analytics, cloud, and open banking technologies to improve customer service. The company has launched cloud and open banking-based digital services and a mobile app.

Standard Chartered is utilizing several emerging technologies including AI, cloud, big data, cybersecurity, blockchain, open banking, and fintech among others to enhance its operational and service capabilities.

Standard Chartered Bank provides financial services such as personal, wholesale, private, SME, and business banking solutions. Its portfolio of products includes savings and current accounts; fixed and term deposits; credit and debit cards; and loans for personal needs, home purchases, and corporate requirements. The company also provides transactional banking, mergers and acquisitions advice, investment advice, wealth management, Islamic banking, and private banking. 

Eng. Irene Batebe – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

Eng. Batebe has helped Uganda establish an ambitious Energy Transition Plan to enable the country harness its significant energy and mineral reserves, stimulate economic growth, eradicate energy poverty, and guide the nation towards a fair and equitable transition in the energy sector.

Eng. Bateebe says the country has ambitious plans to decarbonize and, by 2065, become Net Zero while, at the same time, making sure no Ugandan is left behind.

The country’s energy transition plan for its oil and gas sector takes measures to reduce its carbon footprint by decarbonizing the oil and gas projects in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan protects the carbon sink forests of the East African nation and dramatically reduces the country’s current carbon emissions, which are driven largely by biomass consumption.

Selestino Babungi – Managing Director, Umeme

Selestino Babungi previously served as Umeme’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), where he was responsible for driving the Company’s business and financial strategy, leading to the overall growth in Umeme’s financial performance over the years.

Under Babungi, Umeme says electricity demand is projected to post a third consecutive year of strong growth post COVID-19 pandemic. The company is projecting a 9.6% growth in demand in 2024, having come from 2020 when COVID-19 hit, and the company could not register any growth. For 2024, Umeme projects to sell 4,218 GWh of electricity sales which is addition of 1,000 GWh from 2020. 

Umeme connected 171,000 customers in the 11 months of 2023. The company projects to add 193,000 customers in the year 2024, reflecting a 58% growth versus 2022.

Umeme has increased its capacity to connect, doing an average of 20,00 connections per month, and its target is to grow that to 30,000 per month.

Kin Kariisa – Next Media Services

He is the CEO, Next Media Services, whose flagship brand-NBS TV continues to grow to greater heights. With Kariisa at the helm, Next Media Services continues to shape Uganda’s media landscape in addition to aiming to establish an international reach.

Under his leadership, the conglomerate launched successful new ventures including NBS Sport, Next Com, Hill Com, and Next Productions. This strategic expansion consolidated the conglomerate’s position as a comprehensive hub for media and marketing solutions, ensuring their continued success and growth.

In July 2023, Next Media signed an MoU with Serbia’s media giant, Alo! media system.The agreement facilitates creation of content through various platforms to reach millions of people in Serbia and the entire Balkan region.

Fabian Kasi – Centenary Bank

Fabian Kasi is the Managing Director of Centenary Bank. He assumed the bank’s leadership in August 2010 and has led it through some of the best times in its 40-year history

Under Kasi’s leadership, the bank has grown from strength to strength.

Centenary Bank’s performance report released last year reveals an 18% growth in net profit, from UGX211.5 billion in 2021 to UGX249.6 billion in 2022- an increase of UGX38.1 billion. The increase in profits was underpinned by an 11.4% rise in total income from UGX 864 billion in 2021 to UGX 962 billion in 2022, an increase of UGX98.3 billion.

The ratio of Non-Performing Loans moved to 3.40% in 2022, compared to 5.16% in 2021.

The number of agents increased by 37.9% from 4,446 in 2021 to 6,132 in 2022; Cente-mobile users by 24.7% from 826,201 in 2021 to 1,030,628 in 2022, and internet banking users by 1.3% from 5,268 in 2021 to 5,338 in 2022.

Amos Wekesa – Great Lakes Safaris

Wekesa is the CEO of Great Lakes Safaris, a tourism and travel company. Wekesa has relentlessly marketed Uganda as a top tourist destination. He has also inspired many people into business through his regular posts and tweets about business management.

He has also empowered his staff to execute business duties even when he’s not around. Wekesa has also expanded into value addition in agricultural sector.

Patricia Ojangole – UDB

Patricia Ojangole is the Managing Director of Uganda Development Bank (UDB).

In July 2023, Ojangole was recognized for her efforts in making UDB sustainable, and her exemplary role internationally in contributing to the field of sustainable finance.

Ojangole won the sustainability leader of the year award at the prestigious Annual Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards.

By winning the award, Ojangole said, “demonstrates the bank’s intentional effort to prioritize and mainstream holistic sustainability in our practices, promoting this approach and inspiring all other stakeholders to raise awareness of sustainable development.”

Ojangole has positioned the Uganda Development Bank as one of the key drivers of sustainable development.

Tetteh Ayitevie Obuampong – Prudential

Ayitevie has over 20 years industry experience with varied roles in Sales Management, Operations and Strategy in both Life insurance and pensions management.

Prudential is one of the biggest life insurers in Uganda.

Prudential Uganda announced a bonus of UGX 13.382bn issued to all qualifying life insurance policy holders for the year 2022. The declared bonus represents a 14% growth from the UGX 11.747bn in 2021 and a 35% compound annual growth rate from 2020 (7.361B).

The bonus declaration highlights Prudential’s commitment to secure the financial growth of its clients in a dynamic and ever-changing economic environment.

Stephen Asiimwe – PSFU

Stephen Asiimwe is the Chief Executive Officer of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

Asiimwe has recognized that Uganda has one of the youngest populations globally with approximately 78% of its population under the age of 35 years, and that young people are still largely marginalized, specifically when it comes to participating and contributing to decision-making in society.

To find remedies to this, PSFU launched a Youth Engagement Campaign with a renewed commitment to the creation of a new generation of Young and Successful Entrepreneurs.

Through this campaign, PSFU provides young people with a platform to express themselves, advocate for their interests, and actively influence policies and decision-making.

Relatedly, PSFU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pride Microfinance Limited aimed at enabling easier access to finance for the youth.

This enables the youth to save easily, access loans without the need for collateral.

Ezra Rubanda – UMA

Ezra Rubanda is the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA).

In October 2023, UMA hosted the 29th Uganda International Trade Fair.

The exhibition provided a platform for Ugandan manufacturers, innovators and startups to showcase their new products, services, and solutions that have the potential to revolutionize industries and drive economic growth in Uganda.

Over 30 countries, including; India, South Korea, Taiwan, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, UAE, Lebanon, Iran, Pakistan, China, South Africa, Rwanda, among others took part and exhibited their latest products and technologies at the trade exhibition.

The exhibitors said the expo helped to promote trade and investment in Uganda.

The exhibitors further said that the fair acted as an engine to increase Uganda’s exports by showcasing Uganda’s products and services to potential buyers from around the world.

Simon Harvey – Hariss International Limited 

Simon Harvey is the Chief Executive Officer of Hariss International Limited.

Hariss international limited contribution to tax revenue has grown bigger under Harvey’s leadership.

Hariss International’s tax revenue which had grown from 40 billion Shillings to 50 billion Shillings and then to 70 billion Shillings through the years of its operations, suddenly hit 115 billion shillings in 2022.

As a key player in the Ugandan food and beverage industry for over 18 years, Hariss International limited takes pride in producing a diverse range of popular products, which includes Rockboom, Oner Fruit juice, Skyview sodas, Krystal Natural Mineral Water, RIHAM biscuits, sweets, and more. 

Hariss International has consistently invested in cutting-edge technology, sustainable practices, and has made significant contributions to job creation and the nation’s economic well-being.

Don Wanyama – Vision Group

Don Wanyama is the Chief Executive Officer of Vision Group.

Since his appointment to head Vision Group in 2021, Wanyama has been endeavouring to make the government owned company register pre COVID-19 pandemic profits.

Slow business recovery from the COVID-19 negatively impacted the newspaper sales. It also caused a huge drop in advertising. The recent price hikes of inputs like newsprint and other raw material inputs resulting from global supply chain disruptions also negatively affected Vision Group’s profits.

For the New Vision, advertising revenue declined by 3.15 per cent, while circulation sales were down 12.5 per cent in the first half of the financial year 2022/23. The highest decline was recorded in publishing revenues at 77.7 per cent. However, there was an improvement in the revenue from commercial printing of 29.9 per cent.

Ernest Rubondo – PAU

Ernest Rubondo is the Executive Director of Petroleum Authority of Uganda.

In November, 2023, PAU revealed a Hi-Tech satellite technology for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to minimise environmental threat after climate activists intensified campaigns against the construction of the pipeline.

PAU revealed how a cocoon of electrical and fibre-optic cables along EACOP’s entire 1,443 km length will provide heat and real-time satellite surveillance to prevent leaks.

With its extensive fibre-optic network allowing online connectivity, EACOP promises to be one of the world’s smartest and safest bulk pipeline with real-time monitoring along its entire length via satellite.

Rapa Ricky Thomas – Safe Boda

Rapa Ricky Thomas is the co-founder of Safe Boda, a consumer services app that offers ride-hailing services, and also allows users to make and receive payments via mobile money, pay bills, have packages delivered, make food and shop orders, and allows users to buy airtime.

Rapa is hailed for revolutionizing Uganda’s taxi industry. 

On top of Safe Boda, Rapa launched also launched a car-hailing service, SafeCar.

Rapa believes that the future of urban transportation is about community, supporting drivers to make more money, enhancing their welfare and giving customers a convenient, world-class cashless experience.

Michael Mugabi – Housing Finance Bank

Michael Mugabi is the Chief Executive Officer of Housing Finance Bank.

According to the 2022 performance report released in May 2023, the bank reported that net profit grew by a record 42.7% from UGX41 billion to UGX58.5 billion.

The bank increased its share of industry profits from 3.2% to 4.5%. 

Housing Finance Bank also broke another record, entering the fold of only 10 of 25 banks with a customer deposit base of above 1 trillion shillings. Deposits grew by 36.7% from UGX818 billion to UGX1.12 trillion. 

Rapidly increasing deposits powered a 15.4% growth in lending, from UGX674.3 billion to UGX778 billion a growth of UGX103.7 billion. Interest revenue from lending influenced total income to grow by 16.4%, from UGX191.5 billion to UGX258.1 billion.

 Total assets grew 24.2% from UGX1.3 trillion to UGX1.62 trillion.

Housing Finance Bank also became Uganda’s 5th most profitable bank.

Irene Birungi Mugisha – CEO, Presidential CEO Forum

Presidential CEO Forum (PCF) is a presidential initiative purposely to support development work, harness and popularise private sector involvement in existing local and international initiatives. These include but not limited to Presidential Investors’ Round Table (PIRT), African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA); the East African Common Market (EACM), as a means of driving national productivity and inclusion.

Under Mrs Mugisha, the Presidential CEO Forum has assisted in coordination and the shaping of a growing portfolio of private sector led empowerment programs.

The Forum has become the voice of the private sector on social and economic conversion and key promoters, on behalf of government, on policy direction. 

Andrew Kilonzo – Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL)

Kilonzo is the Managing Director of UBL.

Despite the shocks of COVID-19 pandemic, UBL is one the biggest taxpayers in Uganda, contributing hundreds of billions in taxes to the Government.

UBL contributed 430 billion shillings in taxes in 2021/22 financial year. That is equivalent to the budget of the Ministry of ICT, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Department of Minerals combined. 

UBL’s Corporate Social Responsibility has extended water to many areas in this country.

UBL has grown investment in farming communities to the tune of 52 billion shillings annually.

UBL now sources 95% of its raw materials locally from Uganda, making the company, one of the largest contributors to the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) initiative.

Venkatesh Kumar – Mandela Group of Companies

With a proud heritage stretching over three decades, Kampala based Mandela Group of Companies is a diversified family-owned conglomerate with interests in manufacturing, fast moving consumer goods, food and beverages, retail, automotive and financial investments with an expanding global presence.

Mandela Group of Companies’ core businesses; city oil, city service, city tyres, mandela millers, city retread, cafe javas, mandela auto spares, the food hub, and on the go have proved to be one of the most successful businesses Uganda has witnessed post COVID-19 pandemic that crippled countless businesses beyond revival.

Under the leadership of Kumar, the Mandela Group of Companies successfully penetrated the Kenyan market with its Cafe Javas brand opening more branches in Nairobi and establishing a strong presence in the broader East African region. Entering the Kenyan market was a significant success for Mandela Group of Companies solidifying its position in the East African region.

CPA Derick Nkajja – ICPAU

CPA Derick Nkajja is the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Council of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) since October 2010. He is a member of the Tax Agents Registration Committee of Uganda Revenue Authority.

He also serves as a member of: the Finance Committee and Trade Committee of the board of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda, and the Finance Committee of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU). He was Board Treasurer of Uganda Cooperative Savings & Credit Union Ltd. He also previously served as a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP), representing the Africa region for six (6) years, having been nominated by ICPAU.

He represented the Eastern Africa region on the Board of the Pan Africa Federation of Accountants (PAFA), as an ICPAU representative, and a founding PAFA board member, for four years. As a member of the PAFA board, he served on the Planning, Human Capital and Finance Committee. CPA Nkajja holds a Master of Business Administration of Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University UK, a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) of Makerere University and a Diploma in Business Studies.

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