By Lule Eriah
Wabwire Emmanuel is the newly elected chairperson for the UCU Alumni Association. He replaced Paul Amoru, the Member of Parliament for Dokolo North, in northern Uganda
It is not the first time Wabwire’s name is being etched on walls of UCU-associated leadership. He once sat at the helm of UCU Guild leadership. He was Guild president-2012-201 and he molded a regime that may have been a sunny one, given the good report some students, then, have of it.
‘’That man and his government was one of the best! He created a bridge between student leadership and the administration which was quite a bit hard during that time”, said Awany Ronald former student and now a Communications assistant at UCU.
Currently the Executive Director of Faraja Africa Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, that deals in Digital story-telling and Youth leader-mentorship. Wabwire also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Catholic University of Milan.
His is quite a heavy shoulder- decorated with strings of responsibility: Currently the Gold Award Winner of the Duke of Edinburgh International award and Uganda Youth Chairperson to Uganda. The former is non-formal education and learning youth award program operating in more than 130 countries. It was founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Wabwire is the third of four children born to the late Wabwire Henry Nicholas from Mbale. Growing up from a simple, God-fearing background, Wabwire’s spirit for leadership erupted at a tender age. His rich leadership pedigree dates as far back as elementary school.
“I have been a leader at all stages ranging from Nursery I was the class monitor, in primary I had various posts in the prefectural body up to the Head Boy, in high school, I was the Deputy Head Prefect in Bukedi College Kachonga and chairman of over 6 associations in school,”
While in a vocational high school in 2008, Wabwire was elected General Secretary for his village Bugema B and later held the same position at Parish level.
Between 2008- 2009, he worked with the Red Cross as National Youth Council Treasurer for Mbale district. Wabwire would later, in the same organization, be assigned to lead the task force that oversaw rescue and rehabilitation at the occurrence of a major landslide that had left many homeless in Bududa and Butaleja districts, in the Eastern region of the country. He also served as the District General Secretary for the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) for Mbale district.
Wabwire believes his service with Red Cross dug within him a soft spot for charity and social works. “Initially, I wanted had to be a lawyer, but after the Red Cross experience and exposure that I reflected my ego and then decided to do a course that will easily serve the community directly,’’ Wabwire said.
“This aroused and shaped my passion for charity and I think that’s how I survived becoming a politician and ended up a social worker,” he added.
It was no wonder that in 2011, Wabwire joined UCU to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies. This molded the 30-year-old into the fully-fledged social worker he prides on being now. His leadership talent and skills were seemingly put to the greater test during his undergraduate studies. In his first year, he was the Speaker of social sciences, Chairperson Red cross-UCU chapter 2011-2012.
Like many other students, Wabwire did not survive the perils of financial inhibitions. During one of the semester he had failed to raise due tuition fees and was headed to a major academic hiccup had it not been for the intervention of Uganda Partners. “At some point, I struggled to raise tuition. But, I was saved by Uganda Partners Organization which topped up for me by Shs.500, 000,” Wabwire said. “Actually, I give them credit for their support toward students,” he added.
Besides his impeccable leadership background, Wabwire’s also credits his tech savviness for giving him an edge over his competitors in the race for UCU Alumni association chairperson. They had to campaign digitally for the online elections.
“I know it was a low turn-up but still I was very sure I had to win because I had campaigned very well and my voters knew what I cooking for them, my manifesto said it all. He said.
Based on his Manifesto, Wabwire wants to establish a leadership and business incubator for both UCU alumni and the entire UCU community. He intends to use the incubator as a means for resource mobilization from within and without UCU in order to avail UCU alumni, among other beneficiaries of loans and/ or grants.