Dr. Kosea Makwasi Wambaka
Famous American children’s author and cartoonist, Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, once remarked that “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
His quote was inspired by his constant search for knowledge, which saw him read a lot, the result of which was a globe-trotting routine as he traversed several countries around the world on fun-filled work trips.
While Dr. Seuss emphasized the adventurous value in education several decades ago, little did he know that several years later and thousands of miles away in the small African country of Uganda, an ambitious young man would live by his quote.
Dr. Kosea Makwasi Wambaka is this ambitious man. Born in Bugwagi village Buwasa Sub County in Sironko district 46 years ago, Wambaka crafted for himself a rags-to-riches life journey which has seen him turn from a poor boy who was perennially on the verge of dropping out of school to now Bugisu and Uganda’s most educated icon. Because of this, he’s an acclaimed colossus of knowledge who has also globe-trotted the different corners of the world on a knowledge search and display mission.
While Wambaka is not your popular Tiktok celebrity, he is a respectable figure in the serious world of academia, where he has achieved feats which even the most privileged of this land can only dream about.
Precisely, Wambaka is the proud holder of a whopping 28 academic qualifications, all of which have been acquired in about 20 of his tender 46 years of age.
The common paradox which many highly educated people face is that of ‘knowing too much of too little’ due to extensive research in single disciplines of specialization.
But while Wambaka was pursuing his knowledge, he also focused on unshackling himself from such academic ego-centrism. This explains why all his 28 academic qualifications are spread across varied disciplines including economics, law, human resource management, events management, environmental conservation, among others. This essentially makes him a small genius who knows too much of so much!
Uganda’s Robert Mugabe?
A quick scan through Dr. Wambaka’s CV shows that he has 7 degrees including one Bachelor’s, 4 Masters and 2 Phds. It is for this reason that his contemporaries refer to him as Uganda’s Robert Mugabe, in comparison to late Zimbabwean president and independence icon, Robert Gabriel Mugabe who achieved a similar feat by the time he died in 2019.
On closer analysis though, one would rightly argue that Wambaka is an upgrade on the fallen politician since Mugabe’s seven degrees were all at bachelor’s level. Mugabe is thus dwarfed by the academic legend of Uganda, whose academic improvement on Mugabe’s qualifications is 4 Master’s degrees and 2 Phds.
Dr. Wambaka is also a rare genius, given the long catalogue of certificates — both pre and post-graduate, which he has to his name. Totaling to 21, these certificates of technical knowledge are majorly professional development certificates in an array of fields including strategic management, global diplomacy, climate change, environmental protection, poverty eradication and trade and economic policy, among others.
A complete, all-round entrepreneur
One of Africa’s biggest dilemmas is having very highly educated elites who can hardly translate their vast knowledge into jobs or tangible accomplishments.
Luckily for Uganda, Dr. Wambaka isn’t one to be bundled within this shameful statistic. To his credit, this Ugandan ‘modern King Solomon’ is a prolific entrepreneur who has used his extensively acquired knowledge to found several companies now trading under the Strategic Group of Companies which is incorporated in Uganda, Washington DC and Hong Kong. These firms are spread across various business interests including financial solutions, events management, R & D, among others.
While many people would ideally struggle to keep even one company afloat, Wambaka has seamlessly kept his six businesses in perfect health, a thing which is attributed to his enviable ability to multitask.
This 21st century skill in him was identified by his first PHD don and supervisor, Dr. John Mutenyo who in a glowing tribute to him, said; “Wambaka stands out from many people because of his rare ability to multitask yet remain efficient and produce excellent results in all the things he will be concurrently doing.”
Wambaka is also a highly committed family man who has been stably married for the last 22 years.
A call from home
Despite his busy schedule especially with a rigorous academic schedule, Wamabaka is a man of the people who spares time to touch base with his people back home in Bugisu.
It is therefore surprising that his kin and kith back home have beseeched him to join the political fray and represent their interests at the national level.
“What’s enviable about our son Wambaka is that we have seen him rise from nothing to become an internationally acclaimed resource. We therefore believe that he is just ripe to hold the mantle of taking our voice to the national or international level,” said elder Annet Nabukonde from Mafudu village.
On his part, Michael Monge from Bugwagi believes that Wambaka is a special export from their area because he has a success story which is easy to sell if one is looking at sincere inspiration for the youth.
“Many people called him a muyaye (lumpen) at first when they were told that he is reading so many degrees but now they are all quiet ever since they got proof of his graduations and also tracked his theses on the net. But I think those who doubted him did so because he was taking on something which seems impossible to a common man,” Monge said.
Fortunately or unfortunately for Wambaka, those rooting for his political path view him in the same breath as current Budadiri west MP Nathan Nandaala Mafabi, who also rose from humble beginnings in Sironko to become an internationally acclaimed economist and politician. And despite the two men belonging to different political divides, many locals believe that in Wambaka Budadiri has a perfect and able replacement for Mafabi.
“Good enough Wambaka is an NRM cadre which means he would go a long way to lobby development projects for us. We hope he comes back and stands so that he can fulfill our wishes for him and also vindicate the trust we have in him,” said Musitafa Wanduulu.
Ironically, there’s an apolitical school of thought which is cropping up amongst another section of Wambaka supporters. These believe that their man’s vast knowledge will be wasted in politics and so argue that it is better for him to be deployed in a strategic government agency like Bank of Uganda so that his knowledge can profit the entire country.
“Without doubt, Dr. Wambaka is a rare resource to this country because of his all-round knowledge tank. We therefore believe he can be of better use to the country if he is deployed in some of these very strategic public institutions instead of being wasted in politics where people just go to waste time scrambling for the national cake,” opined James Mazuune.
Taking It Easy
Despite the overwhelming approval and rave reviews from his kin, kith, mentors and mentees, Dr. Wambaka has chosen the path of humility, opting to take it easy and let his works speak for him.
“I’m greatly thankful to people who have faith in me and my abilities. However, I’m also aware that my accomplishments come from the mercy of god and power of people around me; this is why I always value people and try as much as possible to work in the best interests of humanity. True value is in being able to impact people positively,” Wambaka says.
Such modesty is behind Wambaka’s logical and transparent approach to politics, which sees him choose mentorship and solution-based approach to the dirty game.
A runner-up in the last Budadiri West MP seat where he garnered over 11,000 votes behind incumbent Nandala Mafabi, Wambaka has had to constantly shut out calls for him to start early campaigns so a to stand higher chances of dislodging a man who narrowly beat him last time.
“I’m aware of the hunger my people have to see me represent them. However, my appeal to them has always been that now is the time to work hard for socioeconomic development as opposed to politicking. What I want is to know that the youth in my area are taking up government programmes like the parish development model (PDM) among others since they are not career politicians,” Wambaka says. He further expresses distaste for politics of sabotage, instead choosing to concentrate on politics which promotes harmony and common good.
“I am an African man who believes that it takes a community to raise a child. I therefore can’t allow the youth to engage in senseless politics of lunacy which will eventually waste their time. My greatest wish is to see poverty levels in my constituency decrease because I have travelled and seen that it’s possible for people to become rich,” Wambaka says.
He however believes that despite his rich academic catalogue, he has a duty to remain humble and down-to-earth so as to touch base with the locals. “I’m thankful that I’ve managed to achieve more than what many people would wish for. But I’m also overly conscious that the world has just begun for me; so I pray that God gives me the life and guidance to serve both my community and country. I’m convinced that if I remain a good example to society, then Uganda has the potential to produce hundreds of Wambakas,” he says.
As a parting shot, Dr. Wambaka urges Ugandans to continue searching for knowledge because statics show a valid correlation between socioeconomic development and highly educated populations.
“Education is the greatest resource for any country. Countries like Singapore have shown us that even without natural resources, a country can shoot itself into the first world by investing in knowledge for its citizens,” he says.
DR WAMBAKA AT A GLANCE
A product of Buyobo Primary School and Masaba Secondary School in Sironko district, Dr. Wambaka Kosea is an orphan who hails from Bugwagi village, Buwasa Sub County in Sironko district. He is a Doctor of Economics as well as a Doctor of Management, (2 PhDs and 4 Masters Degrees) with over twenty (20) years of accumulated experience as a practitioner in authentic and verifiable Education, Social Economic and Development Practices and surveys.
He has experience in Community System Strengthening Planning, Organizational Development and Management, Resettlement Interventions, Project Management, Strategic and Master Planning, Community Mobilization, Development Planning, Public Financial
Management and Reviews, Governance, Policy Research and Project Cycle Management, Monitoring and Evaluation of National, Regional and International Programs that evidently impact on Global Development, Livelihood Restoration Programs, Capacity Building in Centralized and Decentralized settings, Pre-feasibility and Feasibility Project studies that guide project initiation, implementation and operations.
Wambaka Makwasi Kosea is also the Head of Party and Programs of Strategic Group of Companies (Strategic Friends International, incorporated in Uganda, Washington DC and Hong Kong, Strategic African Bidder, Strategic Sustainable Development Fund, Strategic Luxuries Transport Company, Big Push Construction and Events Strategic).
He is and has been an enterprising consultant of mainly flag bearer National Projects that require coherent innovations funded by the European Union, UNDP, COMESA, Irish Government, World Bank, Global Fund and largely the Government of Uganda.
Dr. Wambaka has been a lead expert in developing feasibility studies for satellite wildlife conservation education centres in Uganda under the Uganda Wildlife Conservation, and currently developing a National Wildlife Conservation Education Strategy for Uganda.
Dr. Wambaka is team leader for developing the 20-year master plan and strategic environmental assessment for developing the source of the Nile area into an international tourism destination. He spearheaded the benchmarking in the Nile Delta of Egypt, Brisbane River in Australia and Mein River in Germany.
He was the team leader for the development and implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan for acquisition of land for the oil refinery in Uganda, where cash compensations to Project Affected Persons and redevelopment of affected public utilities like schools, churches, hospital and access roads were part of the work scope.
He is also the Team Leader for Resettlement Action Plan Implementation for land acquisition for the Oil Refinery that is nearly complete.
He is the team leader for the development and implementation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for acquisition of land for the Petroleum Products Pipeline from Hoima to Kampala.
He was the team leader for conducting feasibility study for rehabilitation of Infrastructures for Uganda Wildlife Research and Training Institute in Kasese, where the major job accountabilities included developing a skills need assessment and proposing a staffing structure and associated salaries/wages and infrastructure that would enhance effective teaching and learning.
He was a pioneer consultant in developing strategic interventions that guided the development and operationalization of Regional Referral Hospitals to exist as self-accounting institutions in Uganda.
He understands the operations of Governments in areas of planning and investment execution especially in guiding private investment that forms the key economic driver of national development.
Wambaka participated in the development of the first National Development Plan by inputting Tourism and Trade interventions and can now vividly guide investment operations towards the direction of the overall vision and mission of Uganda as a country in adherence to international benchmarks.
He understands the operations and strategic directions of key sectors of Uganda’s economy such as the Energy, Agriculture, Tourism, Industry, Trade and the Service Industry among others.
He was a key person in developing the Ministerial Policy Statement for Uganda Wildlife Education Centre under the then Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry and could defend the same before the Parliamentary session committee of Tourism.
He has made technical presentations in National and International engagements with high level of confidence and etiquette, He can therefore comfortably organize, represent and head a senior level team of professionals to execute organizational activities at local and international levels of a big National Entity. He executes consultancy services for different Government Ministries and therefore understands clearly, the operations of Governments and Government Institutions.
A self-driven Professional who privately supports his career and professional growth, reads a lot and does a lot of personal research, he is regularly informed about the current world events and their global impacts and sometimes, suggests coherent mitigations to relevant institutions based on empirical evidence and analytical thinking that has been gained from experience and as part of professional training.
He has been particularly trained by experience and academia to tackle and manage even the most difficult tasks and situations in an appropriately calm manner.
Membership to Professional Bodies:
He is a fulltime Member of the World Economics Association, Member of the American Economic Association (No: 000450542), Member of the Royal Economic Society of UK (No: N9000055421)
Wambaka Kosea holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Economics, from College of Business and Management Science Makerere University Kampala, Uganda. (Dissertation Title: Foreign Aid, Domestic Savings and Economic Growth in Sub Saharan Africa.
He also has a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Management from University of Central
Nicaragua. (Dissertation: Effect of Competitive Strategies on Financial Performance of Commercial Banks in Uganda)
Kosea holds a Masters in Economic Policy and Planning from College of Business and Management Science Makerere University; Kampala, Uganda. (Dissertation Title: Factors influencing the flow of Savings into Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies in Uganda).
He has a Masters in International Commercial Law from University of Salford; Manchester UK. (Project Dissertation Title: Assessing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of International Commercial Arbitration Laws in East Africa.)
Wambaka holds a Masters in Business Administration from East and Southern Management Institute: Arusha, Tanzania (Dissertation Title: Appraisal Systems and Job Performance of Employees at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre).
He also holds a Master’s in International Events Management (Cand;) at the University of Salford, Manchester, UK.
He has a Bachelor’s of Arts with Education (Economics) from School of Education Makerere University.
A Professional Development Certificate in Negotiation (Dealing with Difficult People and Problems) from Harvard Law School, Harvard University U.S.A.
A Professional Development Certificate in Intensive Leadership Excellence from the University of California (Berkeley Extension), Californian, U.S.A.
Wambaka has a Certificate in International Labour Migration: Economics, Politics and Ethics, from University of Oxford UK
We found out that Dr. Wambaka has a Professional Development Certificate/Banking Game/Financial Boot Camp, finance and banking in Europe from Frankfurt School of Financial Management, Frankfurt, Germany.
He has a Professional Development Certificate in International Taxation on Oil and Gas and Other Mining Activities from IBFD (International Tax Academy) Singapore.
He attended Professional Development Certificate in International Tax Aspects of Corporate Tax planning from IBFD Moscow, Russia.
Wambaka has a Professional Development Certificate in Energy and Mining Law, from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
He went and acquired a Professional Development Certificate in International Organisations Management from University of Geneva Switzerland.
He has a Certificate in Climate Change: The Science from University of British Columbia, Canada.
He has a Certificate in Global Diplomacy The United Nations from University of London and SOAS University of London UK.
He holds a Professional Development Certificate in Analytical System Thinking from Enterprise University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.
He went ahead and acquired a Post Graduate Certificate in Project Planning and Management from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
Wambaka also has a Post Graduate Certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda.
He also has a Certificate in Human Resource Management; from Institute of Adult and Continuing Education, Makerere University.
He got a Certificate in Strategic Procurement and logistics management; from Institute of Adult and Continuing Education, Makerere University.
He went ahead and attended a Professional Development Certificate in Strategic Management from East and Southern African Management Institute, Arusha, Tanzania. This was a high profile management course that involved training in strategic thinking and long term planning for big National and International Organizations including comprehensive and coherent means of sustainable impact monitoring and evaluation.
He also acquired a Professional Development Certificate in Wetland and Poverty Reduction Project, from Wetlands International, with four major thematic modules namely, Wetlands and Water Resource Management, Wetland Valuation, Policy Setting and Advocacy, and Financial Mechanisms.
Dr. Wambaka has a Professional Development Certificate in Trade and Trade Policy from Uganda Program on Trade Opportunities and Policy together with the European Union.
A course that involved training in Regional integration and agreements in Africa (Opportunities and challenges facing COMESA), the Hong Kong Ministerial conference and beyond, Aid for Trade, the Doha Work Program (lessons, challenges and the way forward), Multi-lateral trade systems (focusing on ACP-EU) trade relations, National Trade Policy for Uganda and dispute settlement in international trade.
Credit: By Richard Kintu/The Inspector