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Top 50 CEOs, Business Personalities To Watch In 2020

Every year Business Focus publishes a comprehensive list of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and business personalities to watch and 2020 is no exception.

This is because their roles are more than a title; CEOs make sound decisions for organizations they head. They are responsible for their actions and decisions taken. Additionally, CEOs act in ways that motivate others, and consistently solve problems and celebrate success stories. In some instances, CEOs make decisions that not only backfire, but see them sacked.

In no particular order, here are the CEOs and business personalities to watch in 2020 as they will define the year.

Read on!         

Selestino Babungi-Umeme

Babungi is Managing Director of Umeme, Uganda’s leading power distributor.

However, he has a lot of work to do considering the fact that the quality of Umeme’s services has been deteriorating lately.

Unprecedented power cuts, dim power and delayed connections are some of the things that defined Umeme in 2019.

With a few years left to the end of its concession, Umeme in December 2019 secured a $70m (Shs258b) syndicated loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Dutch Development bank FMO, Stanbic and Standard Chartered Bank to help it improve service delivery.

As the company works hard to secure a new contract, Babungi and his team will be closely watched in 2020 especially on matters to do with service delivery.


Ugandan moneybags, Mohammed Hamid was recently named among Africa’s five young millionaire (dollar terms) whose rise on the wealth ladder will soon shatter all ceilings.

According to that Forbes list of African tycoons under the age of 45, who have built 8 and 9-figure fortunes, Hamid ranked first.

Hamid aka Chairman Aya is one of Uganda’s most successful young entrepreneurs, and is the founder of the Aya Group, a $650 million (annual revenues) conglomerate with interests in mining, milling, food manufacturing, commodity trading, transportation, agriculture, biscuits manufacturing, bakeries, and luxury real estate.

Aya Investments boss Mohammed Hamid

In 2017, Aya Group launched Pearl Of Africa, a landmark 5-star hotel in Kampala which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build. Aya Group is said to be in the process of constructing a $4 billion industrial park in Uganda.

The luxurious 20-storey Pearl of Africa Hotel, which was built over a 10-year period by Mohammed Hamid’s conglomerate, Aya Group, is the tallest completed building in Uganda and comprises 253 rooms and 42 suites in seven levels of accommodation, ranging between 31 and 164 square meters in size. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni officially launched the soft opening of the hotel at a colorful ceremony which was attended by leading government functionaries, prominent business moguls and local celebrities.

Keith Kalyegira, CMA

Kalyegira, the CEO at Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has an uphill task of developing Uganda’s capital markets whose growth looks stagnated.

CMA is responsible for promoting, developing and regulating the capital markets industry in Uganda, with the overall objectives of investor protection and market efficiency.

In fact, much of the activity on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) in many ways reflects the work being done at the CMA.

However, since 2013 when Kalyegira assumed office, he has only registered one Initial Public Offering (IPO) – Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL), a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Uganda which announced its IPO by floating a total of 657,179,319 shares on to the USE in the latter part of 2018. With Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) directing all telecoms to float at least 20% shares on USE, CMA boss and his team will be on the watch out on how they pull off this government directive.

Sudhir Ruparelia and Rajiv Ruparelia-Ruparelia Group

Being the richest Ugandan and arguably Kampala’s biggest landlord, Sudhir, who is the Chairman and founder of Ruparelia Group of Companies is enough to be on this list.

He has already mentored his son, Rajiv to take over management of the Group and he is doing a great job.

Following the controversial closure and sale of his bank-Crane Bank, Sudhir has since 2016 been fighting for justice. He has already defeated BoU.

In late 2019, the Commercial Court in Kampala dismissed a case in which BoU sued Sudhir for allegedly fleecing his own bank (Crane Bank in receivership) of Shs397 billion in fraudulent transactions. The Central Bank was seeking to recover the Shs397bn.

In his ruling, the Head of Commercial Court, David Wangutusi observed that Crane Bank in receivership at the time of instituting the commercial suit against the businessman and his Meera Investments Company was none existent, hence never had powers to sue. BoU appealed.

Sudhir has also defeated conflicted lawyers. Given the ongoing court battles and running a string of businesses, there’s no doubt Sudhir and Rajiv will be in the news in 2020.

Abdulaziz M.A. Mansur, Tropical Bank

In late 2019, Tropical Bank appointed Abdulaziz M.A. Mansur as its Managing Director, replacing Sameh M. Krekshi, who left the bank in October 2018.

After Krekshi’s departure, Dennis M. Kakeeto, who was the Executive Director became the Acting Managing Director, a position he held for almost a year.

During this period, the bank’s total assets increased to Shs289.54bn in 2018, up from Shs283.1bn in 2017.

However, the bank has been recording losses for the past five years.

Mansur and Kakeeto (Executive Director) have an arduous task of turning around the Bank that wants to pioneer Islamic Banking in the country.

Nevin Bradford and Emmanuel Katongole-Quality Chemicals

Nevin Bradford is the Chief Executive Officer of Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL), a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Uganda.

The Company issued a profit warning in November 2019 informing shareholders that the company is likely to record losses in 2019.

In a cautionary statement, CiplaQCIL said: “The Board of Directors wishes to inform shareholders of the Company and potential investors that based on preliminary review of the Company’s unaudited interim financial statements for the six month period 1st April 2019-30th September 2019, it is expected that the Company will record a loss as compared to a profit for the same period in 2018.”

It should be noted that CiplaQCIL announced its Initial Public Offer (IPO) by floating a total of 657,179,319 shares on to the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) in August 2018. Given the attention that listed companies get, CiplaQCIL under the leadership of Bradford and Emmanuel Katongole, the Executive Chairman of CiplaQCIL will be closely watched in as far as performance is concerned.

Simon Byabakama, EC Chairman

Justice Simon Byabakama is the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Uganda. He replaced Engineer Badru Kiggundu in November 2016.

Byabakama has arduous task of organizing credible, free and fair 2021 General Elections.

With the 2021 Electoral roadmap out and a number of activities lined up including Presidential  nominations in 2020, Byabakama and his team will no doubt be in the headlines for the most part of 2020 and beyond.

Prof. Emmanuel-Tumusiime Mutebile- BoU

Prof. Mutebile is the Governor, Bank of Uganda (BoU), Uganda’s Central Bank. The Bank is responsible for stabilizing macro-economics to support government’s development targets.

 The Bank has generally kept inflation well below 5% with the exchange rate generally stable albeit weak. The Central Bank Rate (CBR), a benchmark lending rate for commercial banks is now at 9%.

However, given the election period the country will go through in 2020 and 2021, Mutebile and his team will be under pressure to contain inflation and keep the economy stable.

Memories of 2011 post election crisis are still fresh where BoU and Mutebile were accused of printing money to fund President Yoweri Museveni’s campaigns. Due to unprecedented campaign spending in 2011, inflation increased past 30% and interest rates also skyrocketed, plunging the country into a crisis. With Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine exerting pressure on incumbent Museveni, analysts say 2021 elections is set to record the highest spending in the country’s history.

It remains to be seen how Mutebile will ensure the economy remains stable during and after the 2021 general elections.

Besides the above, BoU has in recent years been bogged down in scandals that have left the Bank’s image shattered. Can Mutebile and his team keep BoU scandal free in 2020?

 Doris Akol-URA

Akol, the Commissioner General at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has an arduous task of collecting tax revenue for the government to spend!

URA is expected to collect Shs20 trillion in the 2019/20 financial year. However, Akol and her team have not hit the set targets for some months, prompting government to borrow from local and international lenders.

For example, in August 2019, collections were below target by Shs149bn. Overall, URA collected Shs1.4 trillion in August, out of which Shs1.3 trillion was tax revenues.

In December, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development painted a murky picture of Uganda’s economy after URA reported a Shs200bn revenue collection shortfall in the month of November.

The November 2019 Performance of the Economy Report by Finance Ministry reads in part: “All tax heads registered shortfalls in the month of November 2019. Direct domestic taxes were Shs79.26bn (or 17.7%) short of the targeted Shs449.08bn as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and withholding tax, two of the largest categories performed poorly during the month.”

Against the above background, Akol and her team have a huge task of ensuring they hit their revenue collection targets amid electioneering and global economies slowing down.

Additionally, President Museveni has regularly attacked URA over corruption tendencies. Akol will have to ensure that the tax body remains scandal free and hits her target as the country prepares for the highly billed 2021 general elections.

Eng. Andrew Kitaka- KCCA

Kitaka has been the Acting Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) following the resignation of Dr. Jennifer Musisi in late 2018. However, it hasn’t been an easy ride for Kitaka and team given the fights at the City Authority.

During this period, a lot of things have happened at City Hall, with massive exodus of senior staff being the key highlight.

Additionally, there is war within the Authority for the Executive Director position.

While Kitaka thought he would be substantive ED by now, the entry of KCCA Physical Planning Director, Moses Atwine into the picture of potential Musisi replacement has sent shockwaves to Kitaka’s camp. According to insiders, there are divisions within KCCA.

Kampala dwellers have also complained about the deteriorating service delivery after Musisi exit.

 Hawkers and traders are slowly returning on the streets and with 2021 general elections knocking on the door, Kitaka or the substantive ED will face a rough year considering the bitterness President Museveni expressed after being defeated massively in the city in 2016 polls.  Can Kitaka survive the politics at the City Authority?

Julius Kakeeto-PostBank

Kakeeto is the Managing Director at PostBank. He resigned his position as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Orient Bank in the later part of 2019 to replace Stephen Mukweli at PostBank.

Mukweli who has been PostBank Managing Director since the early 2000s, handed in his resignation to the bank’s board chairman Grace Bakunda in May 2019, a day after his appearance at the Anti-Corruption Court, where he and seven other officials were charged with abuse of office, causing financial loss and conspiracy to defraud their employer.

The investigation into PostBank activities started in the first week of April, following a whistle-blower’s petition to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit over possible fraud and office abuse. The team led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema said it based on credible information to undertake a special investigation on PostBank Uganda over abuse of office, involving a number of senior PostBank Personnel. This means PostBank has loose governance which Kakeeto must fix and keep the government owned bank growing and stable.

President Yoweri Museveni

Museveni is the President of Uganda. Ideally, he is the CEO of Uganda.

Museveni has ruled Uganda for over 30 years and is set to contest again the 2021 polls.

Whereas he has registered great milestones over the years, Uganda remains a poor country with per capita income averaging US$700. About 30% of Ugandans are in the money economy given the fact that about 68% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming. To add salt to injury, joblessness especially among the youth remains high.

It remains to be seen how Museveni will address the above challenges as the country fast approaches the 2021 polls.

Additionally, Museveni will have in mind the 2011 crisis that followed the general elections that involved a lot of spending. This saw inflation increase to around 30%, the highest since 1993. This was followed by ‘walk to work’ demonstrations led by FDC’s Dr. Kiiza Besigye that almost brought Museveni’s rule to an end. Against the above background, Uganda’s long-serving President will be a man to watch in 2020.

Sabhapathy Krishnan Trplicante-Exim Bank

Sabhapathy Krishnan Trplicante is the CEO at Exim bank.

Krishnan has a huge task of turning around this institution that is reportedly plagued with a lot of issues including hiring of ‘incompetent staff to key positions’.

Exim Bank’s net loss increased by 167.56% to Shs16bn in 2018 up from Shs5.98bn loss recorded in 2017. It’s not clear how the bank performed in 2019 as results are yet to be released. Krishnan’s job now is to turnaround the bank and make it profitable.

Mariam Nampeera Mbowa-Tullow Uganda

Nampeera is theTullow Uganda Managing Director. She replaced Jimmy Mugerwa late last year after he was transferred to London based head office.

Nampeera has been Tullow’s Associate Counsel in Uganda.

She is one of the persons to watch this year because reports keep popping up that Tullow is set to quit Uganda and Kenya although the oil company insists that it is here to stay.

Additionally, as Uganda awaits her first oil, On 29 August 2019, Tullow Oil plc’s farm-down to Total and CNOOC was terminated following the expiry of the Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs).

In a statement, Tullow said it was unable to secure a further extension of the SPAs with its Joint Venture Partners, despite previous extensions to the SPAs having been agreed by all parties. This will delay the overdue commercialization of Uganda’s Oil.

Tullow said the termination of this transaction is a result of being unable to agree all aspects of the tax treatment of the transaction with the government of Uganda which was a condition to completing the SPAs.

Tullow said in the statement that they will now initiate a new sales process to reduce its 33.33% Operated stake in the Lake Albert project which has over 1.5 billion barrels of discovered recoverable resources and is expected to produce over 230,000 bopd at peak production.

The Joint Venture Partners had been targeting a Final Investment Decision for the Uganda development by the end of 2019, but the termination of this transaction is likely to lead to further delay.

Mathias Katamba-dfcu

Katamba joined dfcu bank as Managing Director in late 2018. He replaced Juma Kisaame, who is credited for literally transforming dfcu bank.

This means 2019 dfcu results which will be released in the first quarter of 2020 will be Katamba’s first results.

 dfcu Ltd posted Shs35.68bn net profit in the first six months of  2019 compared to Shs41.62bn registered in first six months of 2018. Shareholders will be eager to know the bank’s performance in 2019 and its future outlook.

Since the bank acquired Crane Bank in 2017, dfcu hasn’t had a smooth ride.

Katamba and his team will be on the watch out on how they keep the bank off bad publicity in addition to keeping it scandal free.

Wim Vanhelleputte- MTN

Vanhelleputte is the CEO at MTN Uganda. The fact that MTN is the leading telecom firm in the country is enough to make its CEO one of the persons to watch in 2020.

It should also be noted that government temporary deported him in 2019 for espionage before reconciling and returning silently.

This means government will continue to watch him and the telecom giant’s activities.

Commission Communications Commission (UCC) will also be interested in how MTN at least floats 20% shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange following new licensing guidelines.

MTN has also not been so innovative in recent years. Can it introduce new products in 2020 in an effort to keep ahead of Airtel that is threatening to take over the number one spot?

V.G Somasekhar-Airtel

VG Somasekhar is the Managing Director at Airtel Uganda. He returned to Airtel Uganda in the latter part of 2017 to replace Anwar Soussa.

His return was viewed as one aimed at toppling MTN as Uganda’s leading telecom firm.

With the telecom firm now profitable and enjoying strategic partnerships with FUFA and Buganda Kingdom, Airtel will no doubt give MTN a run for their money.

 Airtel has already revealed that their aim is to become the leading telecom firm in the country. However, this will call for ground breaking innovations. Like MTN, the telecom firm hasn’t been very innovative in recent years. It remains to be seen if 2020 will be any different.

Dr. Ben Manyindo-UNBS

Manyindo is the Executive Director at Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS). Stories of substandard and fake products on the Ugandan market are common in both online and traditional media. This is a danger to the lives of Ugandans.

With inadequate funding, Manyindo and his team have a daunting task of ensuring that products on the market meet the required standards.

Fabian Kasi-Centenary

Kasi is the Managing Director at Centenary Bank, Uganda’s largest indigenous bank. The bank has one of the largest numbers of customers which puts pressure on Kasi to keep a robust bank operating system to support transactions.

Pockets of complainants about poor customer care have been reported in the past years. Therefore, Kasi and his team have a huge task to ensure these complaints reduce through excellent customer care and offering superior digital services. Considering the fact that Kasi has been at the bank for almost a decade, he would like to leave the institution in a better place.

He is no doubt one of the CEOs to watch in 2020.

Kin Kariisa- Next Media Services

Kariisa, the CEO of Next Media Services has revolutionized Uganda’s media industry. His media empire is fast expanding. The media Group whose flagship brand is NBS TV continues to innovate and grow.

 The company has also poached the best talent from rival NTV.

 In 2019, UCC threatened to close NBS TV and a few other media houses for faulting minimum broadcasting standards, a move that saw some journalists forced to step aside.

This was after the station gave unprecedented live coverage to Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine who is set to contest against President Museveni in 2021 polls. How Kariisa and his team will approach and report the 2021 general elections remains to be seen. What innovations will they come up with in 2020?

Allen Kagina-UNRA

Kagina is the Executive Director of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). She was appointed to that position on 27 April 2015. While she generally did an excellent job at URA, Kagina has not found it easy; shoddy works and questionable contracts remain key highlights at the roads agency. She has a huge budget and therefore utilizing the allocated money well is her big task. Can she keep UNRA scandal free in 2020?

Annet Mulindwa Nakawunde- Finance Trust Bank

Nakawunde is one of the most powerful female CEOs in Uganda. She is working at Finance Trust Bank (FTB) as MD/CEO. 

While FTB has been posting profits over the years, the bank’s market share remains small. Nakawunde’s task is to come up with ground breaking ICT based innovations and solutions in order to reach out to the unbanked Ugandans that the bank targets.  Needless to say, the bank mainly targets women and youth.

Godfrey Mutabazi- UCC

The primary mandate of UCC is to regulate the Communications sector, which includes Telecommunications, Broadcasting, radio communication, postal communications, data communication and infrastructure. Fulfilling this mandate isn’t a simple task. Going into 2021 general elections with nominations set for 2020, Mutabazi and his team will be closely watched especially how they deal with media coverage of the elections by broadcast and online media.

Tom Okurut -NEMA

Dr. Tom Okurut is the Executive Director of the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), a government agency charged with the responsibility of coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervising environmental activities.

However, the body has been on the spotlight for failing to protect wetlands, forests and the general environment.

It remains to be seen how NEMA will enforce the existing laws in an effort to preserve and protect the environment.  Can they crack the whip on errant wetland encroachers in 2020?

Tom Obong Okello-NFA

Okello is the Executive Director of National Forestry Authority. The NFA that is responsible for managing Uganda’s central forest reserves was created as a semi-autonomous corporation through the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act of 2003 to replace the Forestry Department that had existed before.

However, since its creation, natural forests have continued to get depleted at a frightening speed.
The Authority also continues to grapple with money related scandals. They have also not sensitized enough Ugandans the value of planting trees and forests. The big questions for Okello and his team are: Can they continue protecting the few existing natural forests? Can they borrow a leaf from Ethiopia that attempted to plant one million trees in 2019?

With Uganda and the world at large already facing the effects of climate change, NFA and NEMA have a huge task to handle.

Stanbic CEO

 Patrick Mweheire is reported to have left Stanbic Bank Uganda as Chief Executive Officer at the end of 2019 after expiry of his contract. Sources said he will still serve Standard Bank Group, the parent bank of Stanbic Uganda but at a regional level. His successor is yet to be named.

However, given the achievements Mweheire has achieved since he was appointed Stanbic Bank’s Managing Director in January 2015, his successor will have bigger shoes to fill. Mweheire saw the bank’s assets grow from Shs3.7 trillion in 2015 to Shs5.31 trillion in 2018. Being the biggest bank on all fronts, the new Stanbic CEO will be one to watch in 2020 especially as the country nears oil production.

Mian Nazim Mahmood -Absa

Nazim is the Acting Managing Director at Absa. He was appointed following the quitting of Rakesh Jha in 2019 after five years at the helm.

Following the successful rebranding of Barclays into Absa in November 2019, it remains to be seen how Nazim and his team will help the bank break into the top three banks in the country. The bank has also had high Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in absolute figures. Nazim will be keen to reduce NPLs and make his mark at the bank.

Emmanuel Tineyi Mawocha-Opportunity Bank

Emmanuel Tineyi Mawocha is the Chief Executive Officer at Opportunity Bank Uganda Ltd. Mawocha helped Opportunity Bank that had been trading as a Credit Institution (Tier 2) transform into a Commercial Bank (Tier 1) institution effective September 13, 2019. Now his real task begins. Operating a fully fledged bank brings a whole new experience and challenges. Can he hit the ground running?

Silver Mugisha – NWSC

Mugisha is the Executive Director of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC). Mugisha has been innovative at NWSC; the agency is set to form own captive insurance company.

“The board has already approved it and the purpose is that if that money is not used; we can borrow it and use it to expand services,” Mugisha said recently.

He added: “We’re forming our own investment company to pitch for jobs and tap into jobs of at least Shs10bn. That’s how we’re dealing with BUBU Initiative. We shouldn’t be spending our money on external companies.

NWSC is currently constructing what is going to be the largest sewage treatment plant in East and Central Africa at Bugolobi, and a sewage pumping station in Kinawataka. These projects are aimed at providing clean water and streamline sewerage services for Ugandans. It remains to be seen what NWSC under the guidance of Mugisha will do in 2020 but certainly, there will be new innovations from the water agency.

Anthony Ndegwa-CBA

Ndegwa is the Managing Director of Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).

CBA made a net profit of Shs567m in 2018, up from a loss of Shs1.35bn in 2017. Having been appointed in September, 2018 to replace Samuel Odeke, the founding MD, Ndegwa’s performance will be measured by 2019 results that are yet to be relsaed. It remains to be seen if the bank can now post profits consistently having made losses since it re-joined the Ugandan market in 2014 (it had exited the market in 1969 due to political instability).

Ephraim Bagenda, CEO -Uganda Airlines

Bagenda is the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines. He is the man behind the revival of Uganda Airlines, Uganda’s national carrier that is expected to bolster tourism sector.  The national carrier is expected to get more planes and open new routes in 2020. However, Bagenda’s big task is to ensure good corporate governance and keep Uganda Airlines scandal free if it is to succeed. He is no doubt one to watch this year.

Clement Dodoo, Ecobank

Dodoo is the Managing Director at Ecobank Uganda. Having joined Ecobank Uganda in early 2015 from Ecobank Sierra Leone, Dodoo helped turnaround the bank that had been posting losses since it joined the Ugandan market in 2008. With five years in Uganda, the big question is; will his contract be renewed or he will be transferred to another country?

Dodoo and Annette Wabunoha Kihuguru, Executive Director have generally done a commendable job; they have introduced new products including game changing online mobile account.

In 2018, the bank made a net profit of Shs4.78bn up from Shs1.54bn in 2017. Will Ecobank post profits for the 4th and 5th year running? Only 2019 and 2020 results will tell us.

Lilly Ajarova -Uganda Tourism Board ED

Ajarova is the Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board, a government agency responsible for marketing and promoting Uganda as a top tourist destination.  Ajarova and her deputy Ochieng Bradford have generally performed well in the last one year. However, as the country heads into 2021 polls, political clashes may affect the tourism industry. In the past, Police has unnecessarily applied teargas and force against opposition rallies, something players in the tourism industry say adversely affects the industry.

It remains to be seen how Ajarova and her team will approach police and politicians on ensuring that their messages don’t incite violence and demonstrations.

Ajarova should also ensure that government increases tourism budget.

Lekan Sanusi-MD, Guaranty Trust Bank

Lekan Sanusi is the Managing Director at Guaranty Trust Bank.

He was appointed to this position on April 23, 2018, replacing Olufemi Omotoso, who was recalled to the Bank’s head offices in Nigeria after the bank recorded a loss of Shs1.9bn in 2017. GTBank has been recording losses for the past five years. The bank made a net loss of Shs10bn in 2018.

How Sanusi is turning around the bank will be seen after 2019 results are released in early 2020.

James Saaka, ED, NITA-U

Saaka is the Executive Director of the National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U), a statutory body charged with coordinating and regulating Information Technology services in Uganda. The body has been plagued with fishy deals and money scandals in recent years. With President Museveni and Uganda at large emphasizing ICT and innovations, Saaka is one of the men to watch.

Amos Wekesa, CEO Great Lakes Safaris

Wekesa is not only a top marketer of Uganda’s tourism sector, but also continues to invest strategically to grow his business empire.

Every year, he adds a new product or service on his group of companies and it is unlikely 2020 will be any different.

Paul Bwiso, USE

Bwiso is the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE). Having been at the helm of the Bourse since March 2015, the role of the USE in enabling companies raise funds from both individual and institutional investors has remained limited.

Analysts have somewhat hailed him for trying to implement awareness campaigns to give the USE image to the public that it is a platform for saving and supporting the economy through capital mobilization. But the achievements are still few. Only one company-Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited has listed (in 2018) since 2011 when UMEME did. Trading counters remain relaxed except for a few companies out of the 17 and market capitalization is muted at around Shs30 trillion. Bwiso has a lot to do to make the bourse busier in 2020.

Gordon Mugyenyi, Middle East Consultants

Mugyenyi is the Managing Director at ‎Middle East Consultants Limited, a professional company that has been exceptional in the export of labour.

The company has had issues especially in the past year where some of its officials were accused of human trafficking. However, the company denied the accusations and continues to link Ugandans to jobs abroad.

 It remains to be seen how Mugyenyi will revive the image of Middle East Consultants and regain the trust of Ugandans who are still skeptical about its operations. Recently, Middle East Consultants secured a deal to supply McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia.

Ahmad Maher Nada

Maher is the Managing Director atCairo International Bank (CIB). The bank has not been performing well for many years.

Its losses increased to Shs3.48bn in 2018, up from Shs1.14bn in 2017. It remains to be seen measures Maher will employ to turn the bank profitable and compete with other 25 banks in the rapidly changing banking industry.

Moses Magogo

Moses Hassim Magogo is the President, Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).

Magogo has credibility issues after the world football governing body, FIFA suspended him in October 2019 for two months over his involvement in the resale of 2014 FIFA World Cup tickets in Brazil.

He was asked not to get involved in any football matters both locally and internationally and also pay a fine of Shs37 million (10,000 Swiss Francs).

According to FIFA, Magogo entered into a plea bargain when he admitted to the crime – the reason he got a lesser sentence.

At least 177 tickets were allotted to FUFA but most were resold to football fans in Florida, USA. Although he has returned to office, Magogo will be under scrutiny than ever before. He will also have to prove in 2020 that he still the right man to be in charge of Uganda’s football.

Proscovia Nabbanja

Proscovia Nabbanja is the acting Chief Executive Officer at Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC). 

Nabbanja, a Geologist with 19 years experience in the Oil & Gas industry replaced Dr Josephine Kasalamwa Wapakabulo, who officially left office on August 13, 2019. Nearly three years into the job, in May 2019, Wapakabulo resigned her position citing family and new opportunities as reasons for her resignation.

However, insiders attributed her resignation to politics and intrigue at work. In a staff email, Wapakabulo further hinted on health as a cause of her resignation. This means that there could be governance issues at UNOC which Nabbanja must address.

Additionally, UNOC’s overall function is to handle the Government of Uganda’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector and to ensure that the resource is exploited in a sustainable manner.

As Uganda moves into the oil production stage, Nabbanja and her team will be closely watched especially the contracts government enters with partners and investors.

Mohan Kiwanuka

Kiwanuka is the Chief Executive Officer of renowned Oscar Industries and runs a number of businesses including properties in Kampala and its environs.

Kiwanuka’s Business Empire is facing turbulence resulting from a disagreement with his son, Jordan Ssebuliba Kiwanuka.

Ssebuliba run to court asking it to declare his father a person of unsound mind, purportedly resulting from the reported dementia related ailments. He prayed that court finds his father incapable of running his businesses and instead declare him (Ssebuliba) the overall administrator of tens of family companies.  

However, the property mogul has since stood his ground, said he is stable, knows what he is doing and indeed, successfully convinced of the same, Court recently ruled in Kiwanuka’s favour (that he is of sound mind).

According to documents before Court, Kiwanuka owns 46 prime properties in Kampala worth billions of Shillings.

Of the 46 properties that his son Ssebuliba listed, at least 26 are found in Kololo.  Another property which has been cited in the ongoing wrangle is comprised in 50 acres located at Sonde in Mukono District.

The tycoon also owns Radio One and Radio Two.

The case over property fight is still ongoing in Court and it’s not clear how it will end. It remains to be seen whether Kiwanuka can resolve issues with his son and continue operating his businesses normally.

Barbara Mulwana

Barbara is the Executive Director of Mulwana Group of Companies which runs a number of companies including Nice House of Plastics.  Barbara, who also serves as the chairperson of the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association became head of Mulwana Group of Companies following the death of her father-James Mulwana in January 2013.

 She has since kept business growing, with Jesa milk commanding a big share of the milk supplied on the market. However, with increasing competition from other milk processors and plastics manufacturers, Barbara and her team must innovate and devise ways of keeping ahead of the game. She is no doubt of the CEOs to watch in 2020.

Richard Byarugaba

Byarugaba is Managing Director at National Social Security Fund (NSSF), an entity with assets worth over Shs11.3 trillion. Managing such a Fund, the biggest in the country is quite tasking and must be followed closely.

The controversial National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Amendment Bill 2019 that has caused public uproar on the proposal to tax savers’ savings will also be one to watch in 2020.

Under the current tax regime, the 5% contribution is subjected to a Tax Tax Exempt (TTE) arrangement where members’ contributions are taxed at deduction from payroll; NSSF income is taxed while being earned, but members are exempted from tax.

However, under the proposed arrangement also termed as Exempt Exempt Tax (EET), the 5% members’ contributions and NSSF income earned will not be taxed but members’ benefits will be taxed as a lump sum at the point of withdrawal.

NSSF has also told members that it will pay lower interest rate in 2019 compared to 15% paid out in 2018.

This is after the Fund’s holdings in all foreign exchange markets and its equity positions accumulated to an unrealized loss of Shs402bn as at June 30th 2019.

Byarugaba attributed the Shs402bn loss to poor performance of East African stocks. Will 2020 be a better year?

Ruth Sebatindira

Sebatindira, the former president of the Uganda Law Society is the new administrator of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).

Sebatindira replaces Nelson Bemanya whose contract expired in November 2019.

Bemanya, a registrar general of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), was appointed administrator of UTL following the exit of Ucom Limited, a Libyan firm that owned 69 per cent shares of the telecom. He entered into an Administration Deed and the shareholders ceded to him all their powers to run the company. The big question is; can Sebatindira save the heavily indebted UTL from collapsing? The company is indebted to the tune of over Shs500bn.

Kumaran Pather-Orient

Business Focus has learnt that Kumaran Pather, who has been Retail Banking Director at Absa Uganda for close to two years, will soon be unveiled as the Orient Bank Managing Director.

Kumaran, who holds an MBA from the University of Johannesburg, will replace Julius Kakeeto who resigned his position to join PostBank.

Kumaran’s main job at Orient will be to keep the bank not only profitable but also increase its market share and keep it scandal free.

Orient was Uganda’s 14th most profitable bank in 2018 having recorded Shs5.55bn net profit. This represented 0.74% market share. Orient is the 12th largest bank by assets. Its assets are worth Shs749bn. Its market share is 2.67% under the assets category.

Ricky Thomson Papa- SafeBoda

Thomson is the founder and director of SafeBoda, a ride-hailing app for motorcycle taxis (boda bodas) that has revolutionized the boda boda sub-sector. Founded in 2017, SafeBoda has attracted other players and in the process played a big part in streamlining the boda boda business. The company has been training boda boda riders to ensure their safety and that of passengers on the road.  SafeBoda has already rolled out to Nairobi and plan to go to Dares Salaam and Lagos in Nigeria. What do Thomson and SafeBoda have in store in 2020?

Guru Narendra Raval- Simba Cement Factory

Narendra is the Managing Director of Simba Cement factory owned by National Cement Company Uganda Ltd. Located in Nyakesi Village, Nyakesi Parish, Rubongi sub-county, Tororo District in Eastern Uganda,  Simba Cement Factory has an installed production capacity of one million metric tonnes annually.

Having been officially launched in August 2018 by President Yoweri Museveni, Simba Cement Factory has given traditional cement manufacturers in Uganda like Tororo Cement Limited and Hima Cement Limited a ride for their money.

The fifth cement factory, Sinoma Cement Factory Uganda Limited still under construction and prices could fall further upon its completion. 2020 will no doubt be an interesting year for Simba cement and the construction sector at large.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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