Address by Bernard Mukhone

Remarks by Bernard Mukhone, Programme Manager at Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – Uganda &South Sudan, at the Huduma Fellowship Class of 2023 graduation on 4th November 2023.

On weekends such as this, I have been used to throwing on my jeans, torn shirt, gumboots and holding my stick to coffee fields to build relationships with farmers in the Elgon subregion, specifically Bulambuli. Why?

So that they can understand the importance of being a little perfect with the cherries on the trees, which leads to better ripening, more weight, more money, and a better cup or taste, which also improves the Uganda coffee profile and hence possibly higher value. In return, the coffee industry is able to pay more taxes.

It has been long since I stood before such a prestigious and influential group of Ugandans who promise a better future for our country. It is such a privilege for me to stand here on this special occasion when you graduate after several months of hard work and dedication to learning, unlearning, and re-learning differently on this journey. Let me pause here for a moment and congratulate the LéO Africa Institute for yet another milestone achieved in your contribution to building an influential workforce in Uganda. Awel, William, Kwezi, and the rest of the team at LéO Africa Institute, thank you.

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is pleased to be associated with this fellowship. We understand that this is one of our highest per capita investments, but we recognize the significant value it brings to our country. We invest in this because it is part and parcel of how we work – Shaping.Democracy.Together. While Shaping Democracy is very important in this equation, I would like to focus on the “TOGETHER” aspect today.

The reason why we choose to be part of this fellowship is simple – widen our network of resourceful people whom we can always refer to in the course of doing our work. While Konrad Adenauer Stiftung is the leading think tank network in the world, we attribute our success to our participation in initiatives like this one.

We are convinced that we can achieve more “together” by remaining connected and plugged.

Our expectation is simple: translate the values and knowledge that Huduma has imparted to you to your work. This way, there will be no need to explain what the Huduma Fellowship stands for.

Congratulations, once again. I wish you all the best. Go and continue to shine. We have more opportunities within our KAS network, so do not stop being in touch with us, your fellows, and the LéO Africa Institute.