Last week, I visited Uganda Management Institute and met with top management led by Director General, Dr. James Nkata. We discussed a number of things but majorly the candidature of the institute’s Finance and Administration Director, Dr. John Nakabago as President of AAPAM. AAPAM is the African Association for Public Administration and Management, a premier international organization that promotes best practice and excellence in Public Administration and Management. Dr. Nakabago is the acting President following the passing on of the reigning president.
Uganda being at the helm of an entity like AAPAM means a lot for us. It not only sells the country for the right reasons amidst lots of negative publicity by the enemies of this government but also allows for productive lobbying. Being influential in major international platforms means we can easily deliberate for some major events to be held here and this puts us in the spotlight, brings in money and many other advantages of hosting foreign dignitaries.
While I served as the mayor of Hoima Municipality, I was privileged to be a member of the Global Parliament of Mayors and later moved on to be elected Vice President of the body. The fact that I was Ugandan and in the spotlight of all these city mayors from around the world got me answering frequent questions about Uganda to a whole lot of people and selling the country’s highs including our rich tourism potential.
Involvement of government and its entities in International platforms opens up the foreign world’s eyes about us. It is a gateway for bilateral business, institutional partnerships, and investment opportunities. Where there are chances for leadership like the one we have now at AAPAM, we need to throw in all our weight and grab them. A win for one of us is a win for the whole country. My experience with international engagements is that the camp most represented usually takes up positions of power. This is why we need to get involved and mobilize Ugandans to join international forums.
The Ministry of Public Service will fully support Dr. Nakabago in his bid for AAPAM Presidency which is in full line with Public Service. It will not be the first time to lead AAPAM in case we win this time; Dr. John Mitala is a past president of the organization. UMI as an institution is already doing a lot in its internationalization strategy. Among others, the institution, which is government owned, is building capacity for government officials in Liberia, South Sudan and Somalia. One of its own being at the helm of an international Professional Body will mean quite a lot for the institution and the country at large.
As we seek to support Dr. John Nakabago, I am therefore calling upon more Ugandans to join international bodies; leadership, governance, business or political but for the good of selling Uganda more. Ugandans are an excellent lot and the outside world has to know about that and more.