Morrison Rwakakamba, the 35-year-old CEO of AfT and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Uganda, reflects on his life so far.

Who is Morrison Rwakakamba? Where did you go to school?

Well, I am a 35 old from Nyeibingo, Kebisoni Rukungiri district in South Western Uganda. I was raised in a farmer household. I am married to Rita Rwakakamba. I am a father of Twins; Morgan Rwakakamba and Maguire Rwakakamba and two beautiful daughters Kobusingye Valerie and Melisa Karungi. It has been a life of blessings so far – and I thank Almighty God for my family. I hold a Masters in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies from Makerere University. I went through Rwabihurwa Primary school (My Grandfather’s school) and St. Geralds Secondary School in Nyakibale-Rukungiri Municipality.

At a young age, you are a C.EO of Agency for Transformation (AfT) and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Uganda. What is your inspiration?

Age 35 is not young. Well, I first became a CEO when I was 29 at the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCC). There are a couple of hugely young successful CEO’s – actually for me I should be retiring to go and tend to my small coffee farm in Rukungiri. Look at people like Mark Elliot Zuckerberg who founded Facebook Inc on February 4, 2004, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States and effectively became a CEO at 20 years of age. He was born in 1984, when I was already 5 years old! The man is now a multi-billionaire in dollars! But well, at the end of the day- it’s about the contribution we all make in our various capacities – for the betterment of humanity. Age and position don’t really count a lot. What inspires me really is people and their potential to change the world. My life gravitates around people, and if I can do little to make humanity better- I thank God and feel great. That’s what inspires me to wake up every single day.

29 years old Rwakamba during his tenure as UNCC CEO.
29 years old Rwakamba during his tenure as UNCC CEO.

What does it take for one to be a Special Presidential Assistant and has your research contributed to the shaping of government polices?

What it takes to be a Special Presidential Assistant? I would refer that question to the appointing Authority – The President of the Republic of Uganda. As for the role of my work in shaping public policy in Uganda, I also think that is for the Principle to really evaluate and for citizens to opine on. I will leave it at that.

Muwado understands that you recently won a scholarship from Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Tell us about it and its significance to your political career.

Mo Ibrahim Residential School on ‘Governance and Development in Africa’ happened in Mauritius – April 2014.  I applied like most people and perhaps I was selected on the basis of my experience. I was glad to join other 19 successful candidates from across the continent. It was a wonderful opportunity and I made the most of it by debating and picking brains of peers on some of the questions – e.g; What works in Africa? What doesn’t? What have been the most important developments in the last 50 years? How will Africa look like in the next 50 years? What really drives change? How do concrete ideas get formed and norms get established? What needs to be done? I managed to establish a certain degree of answers that will help me effectively contribute to the social economic agenda of transforming this Continent.

Rwakakamaba on a riding break with Jubilee's Lenson Njogu during SOAS Mo Ibrahim in Mauritius.
Rwakakamaba on a riding break with Jubilee’s Lenson Njogu during SOAS Mo Ibrahim in Mauritius.

What’s your life’s philosophy?

Well, I am not a philosopher! But I look at life in terms of what I do with my life. And I strive to make life about my family, myself and all citizens of the world. I just want to make a humble contribution. Recently, I read a book whose theme is the ‘Urgency of  now’- I liked it and I think we have to use every minute of our lives doing what we like and what we believe in. Does the foregoing sound like a philosophy? I don’t think so.

What are your thoughts on the anti-gay Bill?

With H.E President Y. Museveni appending his signature, it’s now Anti- Homosexuality Act and will be operational soon. You see, my views on this subject remain unchanged. Indeed there are giants of morality like Bishop Desmond Tutu who agrees with me. But there are also famous Pastors like Martin Sempa who disagree with me. This remains an evolving and contentious debate around the world. So should homosexuals be jailed? If they engage in the act with minors or engage in aggravated rape- they should be prosecuted in accordance with law as stipulated in Uganda’s penal code. But if they engage in consensual activities, their sexual choices should be respected and those who don’t agree with them can counsel or preach them the Word of God. But like I mentioned – this is an evolving debate.

Do you agree with the widely-held view that having too many presidential advisers, Museveni is putting an unnecessary burden on taxpayer’s shoulders?

I think what you call a widely held view is actually a subjective view. It shouldn’t really be about how many advisor’s or rather civil servants per se’ – It should be about their individual contribution in real terms if taxpayers are to have a deal. We should broadly look at whether government is more efficient or less efficient because of the number of civil servants. This is the question many nation states on earth are grappling with. You know this raging debate in America about big or lean government. For me I am not for or against. I am for efficient government of whatever form. In fact all civil servants should have indicators and expectations upon which their performance is reviewed, evaluated and rewarded. What I have been seeing in Uganda is partisan rhetoric about the issue. I think we should go deeper and address the entire question of government efficiency.

With Besigye shunning the 2016 elections, do you see a stronger candidate emerging from the opposition to challenge and even defeat Museveni?

Dr. Besigye cannot be trusted on this. He has always been talking about shunning elections, and without any form of nudging turned around on his word to participate in previous elections. I think Dr. Besigye is not a strategic politician. His utterances on shunning elections only serve to demoralise his supporters. I suspect he wanted to discourage his supporters from electoral participation with hope they can warm up to unconstitutional and insurrectionist means of removing government- but this has not worked and it cannot work in Uganda. 

Your last word?

I don’t have a last word. Let’s keep talking!

Written by Hustle Tales

The Hustle Tales (adapted from LifeHackers, How I Work series) asks people that are doing epic things how they go through their daily routines to make sure whatever is needed to get the job accomplished is done.

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