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Mentoring plays a vital role in nurturing individuals to achieve excellence- President Museveni 

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has emphasized the importance of understanding the story of nature, society, and the human race to provide accurate and effective mentorship.

Museveni revealed this on Thursday evening March 28, 2024, during a National Mentorship luncheon that he was hosting at State House-Entebbe to recognize the invaluable contributions of elderly and retired men and women who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of Uganda. These 16 esteemed individuals, recognized for their incredible achievements and long-standing service, were awarded for their immense role in shaping the country’s progress. The luncheon was also an opportunity to pay tribute to Jacob Oulanyah, the former Speaker of Parliament for his dedication and commitment to public service.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addressing guests at the luncheon

The 2024 Mentorship luncheon ran under the theme, ‘Modeling the right behavior for the youth of Africa in the 21st Century” and was attended by high-ranking government officials, diplomats, and esteemed guests from various sectors.
“Having a deep understanding of the human race, its history, and evolution helps mentors comprehend the unique strengths, weaknesses, and potential of each mentee. This knowledge forms the foundation for providing personalized and impactful mentorship.” President Museveni noted during his speech.

He also urged guests to embrace science and technology in mitigating societal challenges. “To receive accurate guidance in mentorship, individuals must understand the role of humans as agents of societal change and the significance of science and technology in addressing societal challenges. I salute Odrek Rwabwogo and his team (Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development- PACEID) for recognizing senior citizens. If you don’t reward those who do well, then you are letting down society. I am happy Odrek Rwabwogo and his group have taken up this responsibility. Congratulations to all the awardees for their contributions and recognition of the late Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah.”

President Museveni with Mzee Christopher Gala, one of the awardees

The sixteen recipients of this year’s National Mentorship/Leadership Award were; Justice George W. Kanyeihamba, Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, Hon. Kintu Musoke, Prof. Ezra Suruma, Amos Nzeyi, Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, James Rwehabura Tumusiime, Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Mzee Christopher Gala, John Wycliffe Karazaarwe, Prof. Frederick Kayanja, Moses Matovu, Pastor Gary Skinner, Dr. Mercy Mirembe Ntangaare, and Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.

John Wycliffe Karazaarwe with family receiving his award from President Museveni

Museveni welcomed and thanked Rt. Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo, the Speaker of Ethiopia’s House of Peoples Representatives for gracing the occasion and accepting to deliver a keynote address at the National Mentorship Awards ceremony.

Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko receives her award, accompanied by Dr. Rev Florence Muranga and Dr. Eve-Kasirye Alemu

In his keynote speech, Hon. Tagesse extended his sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Uganda for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to me and his delegation upon arrival. He took the opportunity to appreciate R. Hon. Anita Annet Among, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, for welcoming him from the moment he disembarked from the plane.

“We must empower and pave the way for African youth to assume their rightful positions through the right mentorship and guidance. As we strive for Economic growth, innovation, peace, and stability, we must not just include young African leaders but also actively engage and empower them. Their unique perspectives and talents can significantly contribute to these vital goals of our well-being. We must also acknowledge their outstanding achievements publicly on such a decorated platform.”

Hon. Tagesse Chaffo Dullo, delivering his keynote speech at the National Mentorship luncheon at State House-Entebbe

“I would also like to congratulate the family of the late awardee (Jacob Oulanyah) for leading by example. Regrettably, he could not accept this honor in person and spend more time with his loved ones while serving his beloved country. But his loved ones, those who survive him, are honored by his services, and I believe they will carry on his legacy. Seeing Hon. Andrew Oulanyah, his son, following his father’s example fills me with immense pleasure. This is a testament to his father’s leadership and values passed on to the next generation, who deserve recognition.” Stated Hon. Tagesse.

Oderk Rwabwogo, the Senior Presidential Advisor Special Duties who doubles as the PACEID Chairman highlighted that mentorship extends beyond just words.

Odrek Rwabwogo with Vice President H.E Maj. Gen Jessica Alupo at the awards ceremony

“Mentorship involves observing and understanding individuals’ actions and thoughts to provide effective and meaningful guidance. This observation allows mentors to assess mentees’ strengths, weaknesses, and challenges, enabling them to tailor their guidance toward specific needs. Rather than simply imparting knowledge or advice verbally, mentors should actively engage with mentees’ experiences, encouraging growth and development through hands-on guidance.” he remarked.

Prof. Ezra Suruma, accompanied by his wife Specioza Suruma, receives his award from Vice President Jessica Alupo

“The National Mentorship Awards ceremony is to remind the young generation of the value of dignified and exemplary service by the older retired public servants, who exit Uganda’s public service to pave the way for the young ones,” Rwabwogo added while urging youths to strive to achieve a national collective ethic.

Archbishop John Baptist Odama prayed for the smooth running of the ceremony. He was one of the awardees. Besides him is Matthew Bagonza, Head of Secretariat-PACEID

Hon. Andrew Ojok Oulanyah, son of the late speaker, revealed that Jacob Oulanyah always wanted to do the right things, the right way and at the right time implying that he was committed to ethical behavior and always acted in the best interest of the people he served. “Our father was no doubt a mentor to many which aligns with today’s theme of ‘Modeling the eight behavior for the youth of Africa in the 21st Century’. Thank you, Your Excellency, for opening your doors to not only hosting this ceremony but also making sure so many young people are involved”.

Atim Karen Oulanyah (C), Hon. Andrew Ojok Oulanyah (L) and Harold Oulanyah (R) gave moving speeches about their late father, Jacob Oulanyah

Karen Atim Oulanyah, daughter of Jacob Oulanyah said, “Our father was a man who always strived for unity. We, as young aspiring leaders, have to strive for the same. Thank you all, it doesn’t go unappreciated. I hope we all immerse ourselves in my father’s values. Thank you, Mr. Odrek Rwabwogo for this initiative”.

Yubu Onyong (C) mobbed by Gen. Katumba Wamala (L) and Hon. Mmary Grace Mugasa

Yubu Onyong, one of the young people mentored by Jacob Oulanyah paid tribute by encouraging young people out there to emulate the late Speaker of Parliament. “A plan without action is just a gamble. The future of this country is dependent on the youth. And the youth need to be mentored. Let’s stick to the mentorship values that Jacob instilled in us. I would like the youth to encourage themselves that everything is possible.”

Brenda Ker, Jacob Oulanyah’s Press Secretary for many years remembered the late as a forgiving man and never vindictive. “What I learned from my boss (as we always called him) is to forgive, nothing you can ever do on this earth is worth it if you don’t forgive one another”.

H.E Etsegenet Bezabih Yimenu, Ethiopia’s ambassador to Uganda

Some of the guests included; Hon. Norbert Mao who revealed that Jacob Oulanyah mentored so many people and always surrounded himself with young people, H.E. Maj. Gen. Jessica Alupo, H.E Etsegent Bezabih Yimenu, Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Hon. Mary Grace Mugasa, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, Lt. Col. Bright Rwamirama, Rt. Hon. Kasule Lumumba, Hon. Richard Todwong, Hon. Rose Namayanja, Hon. John Nasasira, a considerable number of legislators, family members, religious leaders, friends and well-wishers from all walks of life.

Belinda Amanya, speaker of the EACYC got the opportunity to address the audience.

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Museveni to host luncheon honoring legacy of late Jacob Oulanyah

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is set to host a luncheon to pay tribute to Jacob Oulanyah, the former Speaker of Parliament, for his dedication and commitment to public service. The event will double as a Mentorship awards ceremony for twenty (20) men and women who have diligently served and contributed to the development of Uganda in their respective fields.

This was revealed on Wednesday, March 20th, 2024 at a press briefing at the Kampala Serena Hotel organized by Odrek Rwabwogo, the Senior Presidential Advisor- Special Duties.  

Friends and relatives of former Speaker Jacob Oulanyah in a group photo after the press briefing

At the event themed, ‘Modeling the right behaviour for the youth of Africa in the 21st century’, Rwabwogo, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), announced that the recipients of the Mentorship/Leadership Awards for 2024 will be unveiled at the luncheon scheduled for Thursday, March 28th, 2024 at State House-Entebbe.

These prestigious awards aim to recognize individuals who have shown exceptional service and leadership in their respective fields, making a significant positive impact on Uganda’s development.

Rwabwogo waxed lyrical about Oulanyah noting that the late has become a role model for many young people in Uganda, serving as an inspiration through his integrity and principled leadership. “His influence extends beyond Uganda’s borders, as Oulanyah’s leadership style has become a template for leaders across the African continent. As Uganda moves forward, it is inspiring to see individuals like Jacob Oulanyah and the award recipients leading the way. Their integrity and principled approach to leadership serve as guiding lights for future generations, driving them to strive for excellence and make a difference in their respective fields.” Rwabwogo stated.

The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon Norbert Mao drew bouts of laughter from the audience as he satirically reminisced about the good times he spent with Oulanyah going as far back as university at Makerere University when they were laying foundations for their political careers. “Jacob was confident and that is why he went for the positions he occupied. It goes to show that God does not choose the qualified, He qualifies the chosen. On March 28, 2024, President Museveni will host the Mentorship Luncheon at State House, Entebbe. H.E. continues the journey of sowing the mustard seed. You don’t have to be NRM to be a believer in the values that Museveni stands for. I am one of those who have caused him a great headache. His mission is to gather true believers from everywhere because they serve Uganda. We want to thank the President for agreeing to host this event and honor Jacob (Oulanyah) and the other twenty men and women who have served the country exceptionally.”

Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao

Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director at Uganda Media Centre urged all aspiring young leaders to emulate Oulanyah in whatever career they choose. “He was a man of integrity, was fierce and courageous but most importantly he was principled.”

Hon. Andrew Ojok Oulanyah the Omoro Country Member of Parliament and the Late’s son revealed how Oulanyah was a wonderful father who will forever be missed and that his legacy shall live on.

Uganda Media Centre Executive Director Ofwono Opondo with Hon. Andrew Ojok, son to the late Jacob Oulanyah

The announcement fell on the day that marks two years since the former Speaker of Parliament passed on, March 20, 2022.

Atim Karen Oulanyah, the daughter of the late thanked Rwabwogo for the initiative that is shining a spotlight on her father’s legacy. “Please, let us celebrate the man that he was and aspire to be like him”.

Atim Karen Oulanyah, daughter to Jacob Oulanyah speaks at the briefing

Matthew Bagonza revealed how blessed he is to have shared some wonderful moments with Jacob, “Jacob Oulanyah spoke peace. He trusted people. That is the kind of man he was. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for sparing time to attend this event that is honoring the legacy of the late Speaker, and also recognizing other men and women who have contributed immensely to the growth of Uganda.”

Matthew Bagonza, Head of Secretariat- Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development

In his concluding remarks, Rwabwogo explained the purpose of this year’s theme which is to build better role models for the youth, not only in Uganda but Africa at large. “The purpose of this theme is to encourage and build better role models in Africa for the youth who often draw examples from the rest of the world, especially with the pervasive internet and its social media, without a robust cultural and ideological interest that seeks to build Africa. The topic will cover economic change, and political and social tools required to prepare the continent for competition in the 21st century.”

Brenda Ker, Press Secretary to the late Jacob Oulanyah

Others present at the press briefing were Oulanyah’s relatives and colleagues including; Brenda Ker, the late’s Press Secretary, and John Paul Kiffasi from Irene Gleeson Foundation representing many youths who were mentored by the former Speaker of Parliament among many others.

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