EXCLUSIVE: Women, Men ‘fixing’ Northern Uganda


Map of Northern Uganda. Courtesy photo.
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  • This is our inaugural edition, subsequent editions to follow

Dear our ardent readers, advertisers and everyone around the globe, we kindly inform you to get a cup of hot coffee, a glass of water or juice with some snacks while you read this edition. It will take your time, more 6,400 words ahead. Thanks

Universally, there are people whose commitments have caused constructive impacts in the lives of many, on top of corporeal development – all to their visions.

Their initiative, selfless to do so, aimed at transforming the region has never been for self gains, but ‘society first’.

In our inaugural edition of “Women, Men ‘fixing’ Northern Uganda, TND New Team spoke to these people while others we researched on them.

Today, we share with the globe the selfless efforts and commitment of these women and men, and how they are destined and prepared to transform northern Uganda in general, and their sub-regions.

Paul Omara

Who is Mr. Paul Omara?

Paul Omara is an economist as well as a banker, and now an entrepreneur and a community transformer or a developer, so very many titles as you may know. In the past i worked for banking  institutions for 23 years; working for Bank of Uganda, Bank of Baroda and Standard Bank Group where, I stayed for 11 years. Total banking period is 23 years. Currently, i sit on the Board of Housing Finance Bank and as a non-executive director and also at ICA Alliance as a board member.

NTH Ltd CEO Paul Omara [2nd from right] and Lango MPs during launch of Virgin Gold Cooking Oil in Kampala last year. A NTH Ltd photo.

 Omara also undertake very many philanthropic responsibilities. His company, Ngetta Tropical Holdings Ltd has sponsored the Maroons Football Club in a one year deal worth shillings 130 million. We support very many institutions and clubs in Lira, so we do a lot of community development. So that is who I am and I am also married with beautiful daughters.

Not to digress, many people are concerned Omara opted to support Maroons FC but not a local club here, of which he had this to say: “Yeah. We are considering that we want to first finish the one of Maroons which runs for a year, but also we have been giving shillings five [5] million here, shillings 2 million and shillings 1 million here for different groups but the other one was our big one but we have not ignored the local clubs. Right now, just right now for the Volley ball team, we have just given them a million shillings, for Lira University who are supporting Northern  Tourism  we have given them shillings 5m million, for building Akii Bua stadium we have also given shillings 3 million in constructions materials, so we continue to be very philanthropic in supporting our people.

After quitting bankingbut with Ngetta Tropical Holdings Ltd in mind, Omara left for elective politics in 2021 polls but lost. On what informed his decision to go for politics, he said: “I ran as a candidate for a parliamentary election for Otuke constituency in 2016.What informed my opinion was the kind of leadership deficit that we have not only in Lango but in Uganda as a whole. One time when I was still in the banking sector, i visited Otuke and in this side of Okwang, the road was impassable, there were no government infrastructures, it was so terrible and i remembered i was driving my wife’s car and the aerial got entangled with Abii the [elephant grass] and it had curved into the road and i was alarmed because you know I was coming from an environment where roads were just a no brainer and here i was coming to my home village where i was raised and there were no roads.”

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“And secondly was poverty. I realized there was no sense of direction in terms of mobilizing people to overcome poverty and disease and ignorance. So I said you know may be, and what I wanted was not money because i had the money. What i wanted was the power that the office brings, so with that power I would then be able to use it to galvanize for support and to fight in Parliament to ensure that there is a budget appropriation because remember this region was coming out of war and I said you know I can go and work together with my other colleagues in the country and I can may be do something for the constituency and Lango but as you know I was “defeated”, I came second out of seven candidates. I came second, so as a result I didn’t win, people preferred a runner…….[laughs heartily], a man who doesn’t talk in parliament when you ask him. The issues are here he says no, I am still going to run for money. So that is what propelled me to run.”

 On if he feels betrayed by the people of Otuke, Mr Omara says “No” “I don’t feel betrayed. There is a saying that people deserve the kind of leaders they have, may be this is the time they chose the kind of leadership that they need….[laughs again]…may be am not that leader….[he laughs again].

After politics, Omara opted to establish Ngetta Tropical Holdings Ltd now producing Virgin Gold Cooking Oil. He tells TND News how he arrived at that decision

The idea of starting Ngetta Tropical Holdings, remember this place was a ginnery, so when we acquired the factory, the ideas was to make sure that we have a contribution in transforming  agriculture in Northern Uganda and also as a consequence create wealth for the people. We looked around and asked ourselves, what is it that the people of Lango and the greater North are doing that could bring money into their pockets? So we needed to understand that one first, so we discovered that oil seeds were the main cash crop now for northern Uganda, more than cotton which used to be the main cash crop.

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So from a strategic point of view, we said let us invest in oil seed crops sector and we link it up to the production value chain of our people; promoting the oil seed sector we will be directly promoting transformation of our people. And so that was really the deciding factor for choosing oil seed rather than other crop.  

Currently, the Chief Executive Officer of NTH Ltd, Mr Omara says they are operating in Lango sub-region, Acholi, Teso sub –region and they have moved to Ssebei and climbing into West Nile and cornering into Bunyoro.

 “So what you call the greater North enclave is going to be our area of jurisdiction but most importantly, this people now constitutes over 50,000 famers that we are dealing with and this are people whom we bring seeds, we make seeds available for them, then they produce the grains  for us and we buy back. So it is something that is really helping to transform our communities and our people,” he added.

On if he’s to rate in both short and long-term, how he would quantify the transformation that NTH has had on the farmers’ livelihoods and economically, he explained: “I can only put that may be in three aspects. One is that the farmers have been organized into cooperatives which is a very powerful thing because we have over 58 cooperatives already, trained, developed so they have now a spirit of togetherness and they have come together with a common agenda of production and for increasing wealth within the members and their communities, so for me that is a big success story.”

“Two, in terms of money values, we have invested so far coming to over 5 – 6 billion shillings within the region for the time period we have started. Now that money has gone to the communities which means as a private sector we have contributed to the cash flows of our communities. But then the third one which is important, as a company, we have established a value chain, supply chain into our factories so we know where our grains are coming from, we have trained our famers who will be producing   for us what we want and as a consequence  there is sustainability of our production; you know there is consistency. Most of the time you find that in the past somebody would start, they don’t have enough grains, they don’t have enough capital, they produce three months, they stop then they wait for another period then they restart so, the benefit has been in both ways to NTH and to the community in terms of organizations.”

On what he has realized with farmers as their biggest challenges that affect their ability to progress from subsistence to commercial farming, NTH CEO says they are too many.

They are many, number one is leadership. Leadership is a big issue, people don’t trust even their elected leaders and I think because of corruption practices it makes people to mistrust their leaders as much, some are selfish, they want to work for themselves, and they want to use cooperatives as a ladder to climb.”

“Number two, the challenge that we are seeing is the dependency syndrome, you know because of the 20 years of war that took place in Northern Uganda, the NGOs came and started this thing of giving people things for free, transport reimbursements, allowances for traveling to meeting and so forth. So the issue of self-determination, people doing things on their own has become very weak. So every time you invite people to train them to do things for themselves, they want you to pay them, so instead of working for themselves, they say what is it that we are going to get. I think that has been a kind of a hindrance to the formations that you are seeing. So for me those are the two main reasons but there are a couple of reasons.

On Virgin Gold Cooking Oiland why it is the best in the market, he recalls that, “The Virgin Gold was launched first in January 29th last year and was re launched here in the region here I think about August last year, so it is a new product in the market but am happy to say that we have established a big presence in Kampala, so we are in the big supermarkets in Kampala like Capital, Quality Supermarket, Game, Tuskeys and so on. So we have built a big presence in Northern Uganda, Eastern Uganda and West Nile. What makes our oil special is that it has no chemicals, it is authentic, it is extra-virgin sun flower oil, it is unadulterated, we have not mixed it with any other oils, so it is a pure sun flower cooking oil and it has this beautiful natural aroma and even our production process is mechanical, it is not a chemical process, and so that makes a big difference with our competitors who use the chemical process of refining their oils.”

NTH and Virgin Gold cooking oil in the next five years

I think in the next five years we would want to be the biggest producer of oil in Uganda. I know you people talk about Mukwano, Mt. Meru, Bidco, and I think we would be among the biggest giants, we are going to build a refinery here which will process sunflower oil, palm oil ,soya beans, sesame and groundnuts, so we are going to build a very big refinery here and that will put us in a very strategic position really to compete not only in Uganda but within the region and we want to make our people proud that a Ugandan, a black  Lango tall man can do it other than our Indian and Pakistani brothers.”

On what other investment opportunities he envisages are untapped in the region, Omara tells TND News further that “there are a lot of opportunities in Northern Uganda which is untapped and one thing I see is a gro-tourism. Tourism sector is not well built, we have Tyen-olum and very many historical sites and traditional sites like Kabalega, Muwanga sites, the Otuke hills, Ngetta hills and they are so many. The Lamogi Northern Uganda, so there are big historical sites that we should explore for Northern Uganda.”

“The second one is a gro-processing. We have only promoted the oil seeds, if you see the factories which are here, are concentrating only on oil seeds but there are a lot of other crops which can be developed for Northern Uganda. In the areas of animal husbandry, rice and other crops, maize fruits and honey-bees, so there are a lot of crops and as NTH once we are well established with oil seeds we will shift ourselves to other areas of pulps, etc.

On what he would want to share to the world, the former banker, ‘retired politician’ and now a farmer says: “I would want to tell the community especially for the greater North where we are; one, what is for us this season is to grow a lot of sunflower crops, we have available sunflower seeds going for 55,000 shillings a kilogram, we promise to buy literally every sunflower that will be produced, so we want people to use this three months to embed themselves into production. And we encourage people to buy Virgin Gold Cooking Oil which is unadulterated. It’s a Lango product, so let’s keep the money here because the money that comes to NTH remains here to develop Lango and to our leaders let’s develop the infrastructure to link NTH to farmers.”

Emily Akullu Omacara

A politician and a policy maker working with CRIID Consults Uganda as head of policy and research and current woman council representative for Alebtong district and vice chairperson NRM Alebtong district, Emily is committed to seeing Lango sub-region developing.

Emily Akullu Omaraca. File photo

“I look at the future of northern Uganda and Lango sub-region as something that needs joint efforts from government and citizens because the problem of northern Uganda is much bigger because of the constant war situation we have gone through – tracing from Karamojong-Kony rebellions,” she tells TND News last month.

Whereas she says “we should demand as much as possible from government”, Emily advised people should continue to work hard, educate children, promote girl child education, and maternal health.

“Health and education is what I aspire people, government and donors to give to the people of Lango,” she added.

Known for co-convening the first Lango International Tourism Conference held in 2018 with Prof. Opio Okaka Dokotum of Lira University, Ms Omacara says the now popular Wiotem (cultural gathering place for Lango), Lira City Magazine and investors are now coming on, following the 2018 Tourism Conference.

Following the conference, she says hotel owners in Lira are improving on their sanitations and entire hotel services because of dream Tourism.

“People are now giving us information voluntarily on Lango and we have noticed that there is a lot of information. Since we have been able to get/identify Lango heroes and heroines,” talking to TND News last month, she says.

According to her, some Lango heroes like John Akii Bua (RIP), Gideon Okello Field Marshal (RIP) have been nominated to UNESCO. “We have done that to UNESCO something nobody can do it.”

“We have families of Lango heroes coming out and giving us information willingly and we have built trust.”

“We have been able to manage the relationship between public and traditional institution using the conference. As Lango International Tourism Conference Conveners, we have been able to keep it off politics, cultural issues and it’s a success.”

On partnership, she says companies like Ngetta Tropical Holdings Limited, Stanbic Bank and the public have come on board to support the initiative to transform Lango and its tourism potentials.

“We need to unite because a stronger voice is bigger than a divided one,” she says, revealing that this year’s conference, “we will invite our sons (Lango community) from Sudan and maybe Ethiopia.”

Daniel Omara Atubo

Much is said of him, and too much of him can be attained from his Book: “Calming the Storm”. Daniel Omara Atubo went to Kisubi Senior Secondary school during Obote I in 1966. During 1969 crisis, he says he “saw Obote being shot” – he was in Makerere University until 1971 coup.

Former Lands Minister Daniel Omara Atubo speaking to TND News from his Kampala office last month.

That aside, Mr. Atubo is a distinguished politician, lawyer and educationist – more to say. He served as a Member of Parliament, right from Constituent Assembly, till 2011 when Fr. Jacinto Ogwal defeated him as Otuke County MP. Then, he was the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister in Museveni’s government.

Speaking to TND News on 25, August, 2019, Mzee Daniel says: “I’m so proud to have contributed to the ending of the war both by dialogue and legislation. Rebels activities ceased in Lango sub-region in the 1990.”

“In 1991, I was arrested by government after Lango(i) rejected rebel activities and government didn’t want to compensate people for the lost cattle,” he added.

“Through UPC, we tried our best to see restoration of multiparty democracy,” Mr. Omara, who left UPC for NRM, said.

“In 2006 when Mr. Museveni invited me back as a Minister, i accepted with blessings of my people but it was to restore peace,” he said.

He added that President Museveni should be blamed for the current quality of MPs, revealing that “the generation of the Obotes has gone now. These were selfless leaders. The next generation that followed Obotes – the Nyereres – post colonial leaders started becoming greedy.”

Mr. Atubo opines that the current generation (MPs) use politics for business – reiterating: “I think he (Mr. Museveni) has contributed a lot in seeing poor MPs elected, those who can’t challenge him.”

Citing the current Otuke County MP, Julius Achon Bua, Atubo says he’s the worst MP ever elected.

Asked if he intends to bounce back to politics, he proudly said: “I have no ambition to contest in electoral politics; I will criticize bad governance, I will promote quality education in the sub-region and region at large.

On education, Atubo said he contributed a lot in Adwari and Okwang secondary schools and that he worked hard to see Lira University established when he was a Minister.

Still on education, Atubo established a secondary school, Leo Atubo College in Ngetta sub-county, 8km from Lira Town on Kitgum road.

Started in memory of his late father, Leo Atubo, the veteran politician says Leo Atubo SS school is offering quality education in Lango and northern Uganda and Uganda.

Edwin Atukunda Beekunda

He’s not from the sub-region or region but a Ugandan. His love for entire northern Uganda is unrivalled. Edwin the “tea man” is the founder and executive director of the Edwin Foundation Tea Initiative Limited (EFOTI), a private company that deals in tea and fruit nursery establishment and management.

Northern Uganda Minister Grace Freedom [L], Atukunda Edwin [2nd from L], Alur Kingdom Highness Philips Olaker Rauni III, deputy CAO Zombo Muhwezi David and other leaders excitedly hold green tea last month. File photo.

He’s the first man to introduce tea farming in Kamwenge district, and four years later, EFOTI collaborated with Rwebitaba Tea Research Station to conduct tea filed management, nursery establishment and raising plantlets.

After his passion and commitment, seeing more than 2,000 farmers commit to tea farming in Kamwenge district, Beekunda had northern Uganda at heart.

For nearly three years now, Mr. Atukunda Beekunda has transpired, is demystifying and a champion of tea farming in the region.

Starting with Acholi sub-region and Oyam district in Lango sub-region where there currently exists nearly 200 tea farmers in Loro sub-county, he moved as far as West Nile, a place he has turned to be people’s savior.

Not that West Nile people were not growing tea, but because there was little morale, lack of motivation and no body, even government to train them, empower them with all processes and conduct research for them.

Edwin was soon welcomed like a “lost son” as written in the Bible for his love in transforming the region via tea farming, value chain, research, willingness to getting market for processed tea, and commitment to see both Lango, Acholi and West Nile sub-region acquire a tea factory.

“Tea farming is a good venture. I thank the people of northern Uganda for welcoming me. I did it for the West and now am here in the north where soil is fit for tea and people are willing. Tea will eradicate our poverty,” Mr. Atukunda told TND News recently.

Atukunda’s effort has seen Zombo Tea being processed and sold to as far as Democratic Republic of Congo’s market[s], and first, within Zombo district.

In a draft MOU between Zombo Tea Growers Cooperative Society Limited and The EFOTI for Joint Public Private Partnership to Improve Tea Research, Production, Productivity Marketing and Value Addition in Zombo District, the following framework [plans] are to be undertaken.

One, collaboratively establish mother gardens in Zombo district

Two; building capacities of nursery tea operators especially in places where tea growing has started in recent years.

Three, acquiring and introducing good quality tea clones for easy access by farmers

Four, conducting soil analysis in areas where tea has been recently introduced

Five; conducting comprehensive trainings on agronomic and good agricultural practices of tea growing to all stakeholders.

Six; enhancing value addition and marketing in tea value chain, manufacturing, packaging and marketing of green tea and other products.

Also, recently, Alur Kingdom endorsed Mr Atekunda to use his foundation to popularize tea farming within the Kingdom and entire region [West Nile].

Talking to TND News last month, he says he received overwhelming support from Alur Kingdom to train her subjects on tea farming.

This comes after West Nile Business Symposium held at Muni University where many products, including tea were exhibited.

“The foundation has been given full powers to spearhead tea development in Zombo,” he told TND News.

“All tea farmers in the district will be trained by the foundation on general tea management, value addition and marketing of tea products,” Edwin told TND News

In summary for now, Edwin’s mission is to see poverty, idleness among people in the region a history and to ensure everybody are empowered and ready to challenge other problem without money at hand people are depressed.

Bonny Ferdinand Okello Alele

Now 34 years old, Bonny Ferdinand Okello Alele is interested in transforming the education sector in Lango sub-region and northern Uganda at large. When he was 22 to 24 years, Mr. Alele had got his degree and was working with Lira based NGO, ADINA Foundation. “My passion wasn’t about money but looking at how kids with fractured legs should be rehabilitated,” he tells TND News.

Bonny Okello Alele

“At that time, even when I was working for an NGO, I wanted to employ myself. We young people should get out of comfort zones and challenge ourselves,” he added.

“If you have vision and you don’t implement it, you will implement for other people,” Mr Alele who says he’s passionate about education, says.

He adds: “I’m interested in education sector were we are running a nursery school, primary school, Uganda Christian Institute for Professional Development, Uganda Christian Institute of Nursing and Midwifery.”

Alele, who is a co-director of the numerous companies and schools established in Lango sub-region says their major focus is to train personnel who can uphold the values of the region.

Through his initiative, he founded Cafe Milliana, the only best coffee shop in Lira town, he says is rivaling with counterpart coffee cafes in central Uganda.

“The overall goal is looking at the employability of the local people,” he adds.

According to Alele, they are in talks with Lira district local government (leaders) to raise 5000 farmers and engage them in coffee farming – looking at value chain, production up to export.

“We are looking at politicians, technocrats and the locals to be engaged and that’s 5000 hectares of coffee plantation.”

He further says Cafe Milliana is now the leading consumer of coffee in the region.

On why the region needs people like him more, he says: “Look at the independency mind, people who are not only depending on government. We are donors ourselves. People like you (interviewer) should look for opportunities even when there are challenges.”

Looking at Lango sub-region and region in the next two years, he says Cafe Milliana should be able to attract tourist, stating that tourist who have come to can also get good coffee like in Kampala.

“I want to improve tourism through service and Cafe Milliana is doing that,” determined Alele told this contemporary online newspaper.

“Five years from now, we want to have a coffee fact in Lango. How do we get this? We are now mobilizing farmers to get raw materials.”

On health sector, Okello says Uganda Christian Institute of Nursing and Midwifery is looking forward to having a teaching hospital.

“We are grateful to Lira University Teaching Hospital.”

To many people, to teach a child and to train a child are two different things. Right from primary schools they established, Mr. Okello Alele says pupils in P.6 and P.7 will be trained how to make candle, motor vehicle repair, among others.

“We should not have very many bread eaters but more bread winners,” he asserted.

Mr. Alele also appealed to government to back local investors and donors by giving them tax holidays of two years, at worst.

According to him, the various institutions he established, among them True Vine Vision, a money lending company situated at LPC Lira, Cafe Milliana, Prime Nursery and Primary school, UCI, among others have employed 216 staff.

Daniel Roy Odur

Who is Daniel Roy Odur and how old he’s? He’s a 34 year old project management specialist with seven years of experience. Mr. Odur is a qualified social worker, and a graduate of All Saints University Lango (ASUL).

Daniel Roy Odur

He belongs to the fraternity balanced scorecard and he has been instrumental in Lango, especially Lira Municipality when he was a project officer of the USAID funded project in Lira Town. Codenamed “Strengthening Health Service Delivery in Lira Municipality”, the project started in 2016-2017.

Who were the beneficiaries?

Over 8000 people within Municipality and 157 who were HIV+ were linked to Charis International Health Centre, he says.

Odur also at that time developed “Project Risk Database” to help in identifying HIV+ mother’s within the Municipality and be linked for care and treatment.

Through his position, Odur says they trained a number of Village Health Team (VHTs) who was responsible for linking mothers to care and treatment.

How his efforts further helped the sub-region

“We used community outreaches and we would move from trading centre to another, talked to population, talked to expert clients (those who were already HIV+ and we’re free to help educate to others),” he said.

According to Mr. Odur, as a Service Manager with Charis International Health Centre, he ensured ARVs were available and never out of stock. For that, he rose to a new position, Project Manager.

At Plan International, Odur worked as a Community Scorecard Consultant whose role was in charge of leading the process of disseminating results at the sub-county and district, while documenting the proceedings on issues and agreed action.

Mr. Odur is currently the Regional Manager for Aids Care Education and Training (ACET UGANDA).

Lastly, he’s one of the administrators and a moderator of a Think Tank, “Lango Development Agenda”, a WhatsApp group of Lango natives at home and in the diasporas.

The forum discusses topical issues affecting Lango sub-region, and some say it has helped leaders to respond.

Amina Hersi Moghe

Amina Hersi Moghe, born in 1964 is a Kenyan entrepreneur. She has launched several multi-million-dollar projects in Kampala. She is the owner of the first sugar factory in Northern Uganda, Atiak sugar factory.

Amina Hersi – owner of Atiak Sugar Factory

Economists say she will not only bring revenue and growth to the region but her project is seen as the first large scale industrial project for Northern Uganda. Amina was born in Bungoma in the Western part of Kenya, where her mother, Sarah Hersi Ali, is a prominent businesswoman.

Adam Hersi Ali, her uncle, who was another inspirational pillar in Amina’s life, served as a Financial Secretary of Treasury in the Kenya’s Ministry of Finance in the late 1980s.

As a young girl, Moghe and her sister regularly joined their family in the cross border trade between Kenya and Uganda. The two girls were sent to accounting school by their mother, where they built on their entrepreneurial skills. Having a strong entrepreneurial mother led her to be business savvy not afraid of making big business risks.

Her biggest risk was closing her successful hardware store in Bungoma Kenya and venturing in a start up business in Uganda after the stabilization of the country in 1996 and most prominently when the northern Uganda war ended – she acquired a land in Amuru where her company, Horiyal-Investments-Holding Company Limited has built a sugar processing factory.

Moi Daniel

Daniel Moi is a radio persona with zeal in presentation, and sports commentary. Talking to TND News recently, he says, “I started feeling the ambiance of being a media person from my Uncle Moses Ongu Etum (RIP) who followed to my mother, Sofia Awino.”

Second from left is LEA’s CEO Moi Daniel, Director of Program Allan Obua and other staff last year

“I wanted to copy everything about him but unfortunately he died in 2004 when I was still in senior four but that did not stop me from following his footsteps. My intentions of joining media wasn’t to benefit myself but to benefit all of us the people of my generations that’s why, when I joined media in 2009 I started figuring out how can I be part of a development within my reach. Not until in 2016 when I came out with an idea of bringing all the northern artistes together through Lango Entertainment Awards [LEA]. By starting to award the best performers within a period of 12 months, I was paying back to them why I joined media.”

“That idea went so successful in that first year, people welcomed the idea with their two hands though with a lot of challenges that I got because I needed to use over shillings 35 million each year to organize it,” Mr. Moi recalled.

“Thanks to Plan International Uganda who supported me in the 3rd Edition of LEA 2018 now we are not yet very sure of 2019 but with God’s Grace, we will make it,” he added.

“Am happy of artists in entertainment industry within Lango, Acholi, Teso, Karamoja and West Nile where LEA is operating and being recognized worldwide since we are now in partnership with local, national and international TV stations, radio stations, promoters, awards companies, companies and individuals.

“I am planning to make it bigger to benefit our artistes the more; I only need sponsors to come in,” he added.

Moi the PRO

Mr.  Moi Daniel is also the current Public Relations Officer, Northern Uganda Regional Football Association and also the Media Officer, Lango Province Team of the FUFA Drum Competitions.

“I accepted all those appointments not for my personal gains but for our young talented players like now, I plan to open a soccer academy in the name of Moi Academy. I’m inspired by Edger’s Academy and Football for good Academy. Edger’s Academy is for FUFA CEO Edger Watson; I am also too close to FUFA, they listen to me a lot for the good of football in Uganda. if i open Moi Academy it’s obvious that I will get bigger support from them, I trust our FUFA President Moses Magogo via developing young talent. I want to do it now when am still close to them and they are still close to me and to us as Northerners and when Magogo is still there. And as i talk now, am looking for a good land to build my own stadium for my academy in the name of Moi Stadium; this is still a big project under LEA but into sports sector and it’s not a one day or two days plan, it’s within five years and above.”

“I have open ways for many young talented players I don’t want to mention their names here. Am happy that am continuing with my study on that sporting areas and am now going for professional agents study, i want to have international contact and starts giving our players to clubs like Man U, Barcelona, Arsenal, etc, that’s where am heading to now.”

“I’m happy too that I present sports on one of the biggest radio stations in Northern Uganda, Voice of Lango, 88 and for several years.”

“As LEA, we have taken some of the artistes to different countries for example; Brazen Rule went to Kenya and Tanzania in two consecutive years 2018 and 2019 in a LEA partnership with Nyino Mugisha Niyabo Foundation based in America. Ashaan, one of LEA female artistes of the year 2017 and Hip pop artist of the year 2016 signed under Talent Africa, one of the biggest artist promoters in Africa but base in America, all these came through LEA.”

Because of the competitions that LEA has brought now, MR. Moi says the qualities of our songs are international with no doubt. Our videos are competing with that of Davido’s not even Babe Cool’s, so thanks to West Nile, Acholi Lango, Karamoja and Teso musicians and general entertainers.

Steve Ayeny

Steve Ayeny is the director of Atonga Entertainment Limited. He’s a producer and a musician, although he’s too much into film industry.

Steve Ayeny has won many awards – gearing for Oscar Award

He grew up a humble boy, very simple and ambitious – which ambition has today opened him a way.

His movie, “Kony Order from Above” has been selected for this year’s Oscar Awards, to take place in the United States.

After the selection news of his movie, Steve Ayeny, the movie director said he was so happy to achieve such a landmark.

“I feel like God has been faithful to Uganda. This is the first of its kind and I am very happy about this. This is bigger than me as the director and producer. God was in it from day one. I want to thank my crew, cast and everyone who supported this film. As someone who hails from Northern Uganda I wanted to tell our story our own way just to spread love and encourage people to forgive each other focus on the transition and development in Northern Uganda,” revealed Ayeny.

Morris Chris Ongom

Morris Chris Ongom, the GLOFORD Executive Director

Morris Chris Ongom is the Founder and CEO of GLOFORD Uganda. He is an Economist and leadership development expert with other specialties in youth and community development.

Mr. Morris has Masters of Economic Policy Management of Makerere University. He worked with Lango College, St. Mary Magdalene, Kings way High School as Mathematics and Economics teacher before joining Compassion International, World Vision Uganda and now GLOFORD Uganda.

From his school days Morris has been a leader. He was a leader in various school clubs including debating. He led the students as Head prefect, Guild President and Secretary for Finance, Uganda National Students’ Association. These experiences prepared him to work closely with leaders at an early age and this has greatly shaped him to work with the youth and leaders at all levels.

In 2009, Morris together with his wife Susan Ongom and other seven young professionals (Wilfred Okello, Juliet Arica, Claudia Otto, Benard Acuma, Angwech Lydia, Sandra Auma, Denis Emor, realized a big gap in the raising of leaders for their communities and nation Uganda. They were determined, came together and started an institution that would harness youth potentials and shape them in different fields of professional careers and life.

This is how Global Forum for development GLOFORD Uganda was born. On April 7, 2010, GLOFORD was registered with Lira district Local Government as a not for profit organization and on 27th March 2015, the organization got registered at national level as a local organization.

As a politician in last years, Mr. Ongom’s vision for the people of Oyam County South was to shape the future of new generations, those who would be good leaders and accountable to the electorates. His idea to run for elective politics though was not successful as voters chose otherwise.

He changed his mind, strategies and decided to focus on rebuilding the sub-region and region in broad-spectrum.

Opio Okaka Dokotum [PhD]

Who’s Dokotum?

He is the associate professor who was appointed the pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs of Lira University in June 2016. Sourced from Kyambogo University where he served with distinction for 23 years, Professor Dokotum Deputizes the Vice Chancellor of Lira University assists the VC and provides leadership to the academic and academic-related units of the University.

Prof Okaka Opio Dokotum addressing journalists at Lira University ahead of The 2018 Lango International Tourism Conference. File photo

The Deputy Vice Chancellor is responsible for the strategic intelligence of the university, university-wide policy and operations related to academic programmes and teaching and learning and in particular, maintaining and advancing the University’s academic vision, practice and profile.

As the pioneer Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, especially in the absence of a Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Professor Dokotum has the huge task of building and reinforcing foundations and standards and setting up effective and efficient academic systems for the Global Centre of Academic Excellence—“The Beacon”—that Lira University aspires to be.

He assists the VC in determining the best modus operandi and resources needed to achieve this institutional dream.

Dokutum’s other expertise

Besides being a distinguished academic leading light, he’s also a prolific multidisciplinary researcher, author, playwright, poet, filmmaker and multilingual education advocate. Dokotum brings enormous synergy and inspiration to the staff and students at Lira University and the local community.

He will deeply be remembered as the first initiator, chief convener of The 1st Lango international Tourism Conference 2018, an event that showcased Lango sub-region to the globe. Through him and Emily Akullu Omacara, the pair, with support from other Lango passionate natives, both home and abroad, the 2018 inaugural tourism conference revealed gaps in promoting Lango as a tourism destination, and came out with solutions for it.

As an actor, a movie he featured Laury Lawrence Ocen, “Wek Abonyo Kwani” literally meaning Let Abonyo Study inspired many parents and girls child in the sub-region.

Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny 

She’s a politician, a minister in charge northern Uganda and a tea farmer in her native district Zombo.

Northern Uganda Minister Freedom Grace Kweyucwiny

Whereas there are a lot to talk about her, we have summarized Freedom’s hard works and commitment as a person, and as a public servant, especially to the people of northern Uganda.

To start with, she’s committed to increasing food security, maternal and child nutrition. All those has been proven when she ensured Uganda National Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in partnership with Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and Uganda Capital Development Bank (UCDB) Limited launched the Support to Agricultural Revitalization and Transformation (START) project for Lango, Teso, Karamoja, Acholi and West Nile sub-regions.

Northern Uganda Minister, Freedom Kweyucwing Grace launching new AYINET project last year in Lira town. File photo

Under her supervision, START is expected to contribute to increase food security, improved maternal and child nutrition, and enhanced household income as a key outcome of the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU).

DINU is a government of Uganda programme supported by the European Union for an amount of 132.8 Million Euro which is approximately 603 billion Uganda shilling.

In Zombo district where she’s a Woman MP of the district, Minister Grace is simple, approachable and down-to-earth. She’s a committed tea farmer and doing all possible to see West Nile take up tea farming as the only venture to kick off household’s poverty.

This Edition was made possible by the following people. James Ouko, Frank Oyugi, Milton Emmy Akwam and the entire Editorial House. We are grateful to those who gave us their time, to be interviewed and we ask for the same in coming weeks.

EDITORIAL: Our Journalists strive for accuracy, but on occasion we make unintended mistake. Have issue with our journalism, articles? Reach us now: tndnewsnow@gmail.com, WhatsApp +256700702961


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