Reflections from the Huduma Fellowship Class of 2021 graduation weekend of 11-13 February 2022.
Public servants are the bridge between the state and citizens. They are the face of public institutions and deliver services to citizens. However, Africa faces a shortage of visionary service-oriented servant leaders focused on change and innovation with a global mindset.
The unique challenges of Africa‘s developing and promising public sector call for deliberate efforts to groom the next generation of public servants who will be bold enough to tackle these challenges.
With this in mind, the Huduma Fellowship annually enrolls 15 outstanding fellows who already work in civic and public service or aspire to do so in Uganda.
These multidisciplinary backgrounds fellows undertake year-long training on various aspects of leadership, public affairs management, and policymaking.
The program also helps fellows gain access to their own humanity by becoming more self-aware, self-correcting, and self-fulfilling.
A fellows “check-in” session facilitated by LéO Africa Institute Founder and Senior Director Awel Uwihanganye set the pace for the graduation seminar weekend of the inaugural Huduma Fellowship Class of 2021 with fellows reflecting on their intense one-year journey.
During a leadership conversation with the graduating fellows, Kwame Rugunda, Chief Executive Officer, Crypto Savannah, urged them to reflect on life beyond graduation.
In the same conversation, Agnes Igoye, Uganda’s Deputy National Coordinator, Prevention of Trafficking in Persons, tasked fellows to understand what it takes to be the face of public service leadership.
With fellows’ different personal and professional backgrounds in mind, Rugaba Agaba, Project Manager, Uganda Electricity Generation Company, called for strategy formulation and implementation from the fellows. “You must build capacity to design and implement effective leadership strategies in your various public sector settings,” remarked Mr. Agaba.
Pursuing a career in public service demands servant-leadership and a combination of many inter-personal traits that encompass an ideal public servant. This informed Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Uganda & South Sudan Country Representative Anna Reisman’s conversation with Huduma fellows.
“Konrad Adenauer Stiftung‘s investment in the Huduma Fellowship is based on contributing to the idea of building leaders that rise up to the occasion.” Anna added, “We are keen on nurturing quality decision-makers that advocate for moral standards in public institutions because it is those people that will be designing policies.”
Governance specialist Annette Mbabazi’s thought leadership session on achieving and managing success emphasized the essence of developing the self-awareness and emotional intelligence of contemporary public servants.
Over the next two years, fellows will commit to community projects as a requirement of the Huduma Fellowship. Fellows presented these community projects to the Faculty represented by William Babigumira, Chief Executive Officer, Pentascope Strategy Consult Ltd, for review and guidance.
The Yen Pire Yek “Trees Matter” Project comprises Bruce Amanya, Luke Ofungi, Luwedde Juliet, Karane Tuhirirwe, Edgar Mwine, and Lynna Abaho. It aims to solve climate change through planting 10,000 trees in Northern Uganda and partnering with different organizations to create awareness around environmental conservation.
The Inter-Generation Dialogue (IGD) Embassy project aims at provoking ideas among youth and the older generations that are important for meaningful engagement. Eric Diogo, Dinah Achola, Cynthia Kyofuna, and Zephaniah Kato are the first ambassadors and from them, other ambassadors will sprout and be nurtured.
Marvin Odongo, Preston Katungi, Daraus Bahikire, and Claire Nakazibwe drew inspiration from the Huduma Fellowship to conceptualize The Youth and Society Project.
They aim to mold the youth through policy and advocacy and plan to address issues hindering Ugandan youth from achieving their full potential socially, politically, and economically.
Upon her arrival as the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Country Representative for Uganda & South Sudan, Anna Reisman met with Awel Uwihanganye, and the first idea they shared was Huduma Fellowship. Two years later, they celebrate the graduation of the inaugural class of the fellowship.
In his remarks to guests and fellows, Awel Uwihanganye reiterated the three inspirations behind the creation of the LéO Africa Institute.
First is building a generation of Africans who live in a certain way, have particular value systems, and have clarity for purpose. The second is creating a forum where we can have African conversations. Lastly, shaping African stories and building our narrative.
Awel called upon the graduating Huduma Fellows to value networks such as those created by LéO Africa Institute and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, what it means to be a part of such networks and to commit to strengthening these networks.
Voted by his peers as the most outstanding fellow, Edgar Mwine is the Huduma Fellowship Class of 2021 valedictorian and recipient of LéO Africa Institute’s prestigious Magnus Mchunguzi Certificate of Outstanding Leadership by a fellow.
“Let us go out and get our faces marred in the dust of criticism, in the sweat from hardships but convicted that the measure of our worth is in daring unceasingly and that our place will never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.“ Edgar remarked in his valedictorian speech.
Uganda’s Designate Ambassador to Malaysia, Hon. Betty Bigombe, in her keynote speech, tasked Huduma champions to emulate her exemplary skills in negotiation and conflict resolution.
Young and Emerging Leaders Project fellow Aaron Akampa welcomed the graduating Huduma Fellows to the LéO Africa Network and reminded them of the underlying ideal of public service; getting the job done.
The Huduma Fellowship is an initiative by the LéO Africa Institute and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung to provide thought leadership training for emerging civic & public sector champions in Uganda.