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Top CEOs, Business Personalities To Watch In 2022

CEOs to watch in 2022

A photo Montage of some of the CEOs and business personalities to watch in 2022

The last two years have presented serious business, health and personal challenges across the world, worsened by a breakdown in the global supply chains due to COVID-19 related disruptions. It has been a period that has tested both business resilience and threatened healthcare systems in a number of countries, including Uganda.

In this article, in no particular order, Business Focus unveils Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Managing Directors of both public and private institutions as well as business personalities to watch in 2022.

These managers make sound decisions for organizations they head. They are responsible for their actions and decisions taken. Additionally, they act in ways that motivate others, and consistently solve problems and celebrate success stories. Sometimes they make mistakes that cost their organizations or firms.

Read on!         

Prof. Emmanuel-Tumusiime Mutebile, Governor BoU

Prof. Mutebile is the Governor, Bank of Uganda (BoU), Uganda’s Central Bank. The Bank is responsible for the economic stability of the country.

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 6.5%.

After the full reopening of the economy, will the Shilling remain stable? Will BoU contain inflation within the 5% target? Will BoU remain scandal free? It remains to be seen how the long serving Governor and his team will respond to the above issues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Wim Vanhelleputte, MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer

After securing a 12-year renewal of its license in June 2020 and  paying $100 million mandatory fees to government, and listing at least 20% of its shares on the local stock market, MTN Uganda and its CEO will be closely watched in 2022.

MTN listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) was the largest Initial Public Offering (IPO) in Uganda’s history, raising a record Shs535 billion from applications for 2.9 billion shares (including incentive shares). The listing process gave slightly over 20, 000 Ugandans an opportunity to own part of the company. Its share price on the bourse has in recent days been trading below the IPO price.  How will it perform going forward? How innovative will the company be to post impressive performance on the bourse? Will it be free from scandals?

Selestino Babungi, Managing Director Umeme

Babungi is the Managing Director at 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 issues affecting Umeme.

With a few years left to the end of its 20-year concession, Babungi and his team have a huge task of convincing the government to renew their contract.

Manoj Murali, Managing Director Airtel Uganda

Murali replaced V.G. Somasekhar as Airtel Uganda Managing Director in October 2020.  It is anticipated that in 2022, Airtel Uganda will go public (list on the Uganda Stock Exchange) as part of the conditions for the Uganda Communication Commission to renew their license. Will Murali successfully see Airtel Uganda sell 20% shares to the public this year? How innovative will Airtel be as it fights to become the market leader in offering telecom services?

Kinyara Sugar Works Ltd is another proposed share offer that has been in the pipeline for 10 years now. In 2012, when the government was selling a 19 per cent stake in the company, it gave the majority owner, Rai Holdings five years to sell the shares to the public. Since then, the offer has not materialized, with the ministry of finance saying it was disrupted by the global economic turbulence in the earlier part of the decade. Can Kinyara list this year?

Keith Kalyegira, CEO CMA

Kalyegira, the CEO at Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has an uphill task of developing Uganda’s capital markets whose growth has been slow. However, after MTN listing in 2021 and the anticipation that Airtel Uganda will float 20% of its shares in 2022, CMA will no doubt be a centre of attraction.

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 severally. There are still pending cases. How will they end? What does the property mogul has in store in 2022?

Ajay Kumar Pal, CEO at CiplaQCIL

In August 2021, Kumar replaced Nevin Bradford as the Chief Executive Officer of Cipla Quality Chemical Industries Limited (CiplaQCIL), a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Uganda.

Ajay Kumar Pal joined the Company in February 2020 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, he was Senior Director: Head of Manufacturing Cipla South Africa. Being a listed company and arguably the leading drugs manufacturer in Uganda, CiplaQCIL and its CEO will definitely be watched. The company hasn’t been performing well in recent years. How will it perform in 2022? How will CiplaQCIL perform at the bourse in 2022?

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.

John R. Musinguzi, URA Commissioner General

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

URA is expected to collect Shs22.363 trillion in the FY 2021/22 which is Shs3.1trillion over and above 2020/21 collection target.

According to the budget framework paper for 2022/23, URA is expected to collect revenue to a tune of Shs25.516Trn in 2022/23. In light of the ongoing COCVID-19 pandemic and the expenditure pressures of Government, Musinguzi and his team couldn’t miss out on this list. It remains to be seen how innovative URA will be in 2022 in an effort to meet its revenue collection targets.

Dorothy Kisaka, KCCA Executive Director

Kisaka was appointed Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCAA), on 12 June 2020, substantively replacing Jennifer Musisi, who resigned in late 2018.

It hasn’t been an easy ride for Kisaka and her team as many Kampalans are yet to feel her impact. Street vendors and street children remain a huge problem. A number of roads remain in a poor state. There’s also reported power struggle at KCCA. Further, the political wing and KCCA executive are yet to work peacefully. Kampalans are yearning for better service delivery. The Authority is in running battles with street vendors. Kisaka will be one of the top CEOs to watch in 2022.

Julius Kakeeto, PostBank CEO

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. PostBank in late December 2021 was issued the bank license to operate as a tier one commercial bank (a fully-fledged commercial bank).  Based on the Financial Institutions Act (2004) definition of a commercial bank, PostBank shall no longer be categorized as a credit institution but as a deposit taking financial institution that gives loans for the purposes of consumption and investment to make profit. Many institutions have found hard times to hit the ground running after transforming into fully fledged commercial banks. Kakeeto has hired some new staff. What remains to be seen is how his managerial skill will impact the sector generally in 2022 and onwards.

President Yoweri Museveni

Museveni is the President of Uganda. Ideally, he is the CEO of Uganda. Museveni has ruled Uganda for over 35 years. He has just won the hotly contested 2021 elections. The economy has been battered by COVID-19 yet Ugandans are yearning for better service delivery.

Whereas Museveni has registered great milestones over the years, Uganda is yet to achieve a middle-income status (lower), with many youths unemployed. He also faces a defiant opposition which might affect the economy in one way or another. After the full reopening of the economy, Museveni will no doubt be in the limelight especially on how he and his government support the private sector in an effort to boost economic recovery.

Grace Muliisa, Managing Director-Ecobank Uganda

In September 2021, Muliisa substantively replaced Clement Dodoo, who quit the bank in 2020 to join Equity Group Holdings (Equity Bank).

When Dodoo left, Annette Wabunoha Kihuguru, the Executive Director took over as Acting Managing Director. With the appointment of Muliisa, Kihuguru went into early retirement. Business Focus understands there have been governance issues at the bank. Having been in the country for over a decade, Ecobank’s growth has been generally slow. The bank recorded a loss of Shs5.95bn in 2020 from Shs4.1bn profit recorded in 2019.

It remains to be seen how Muliisa will solve the governance issues and grow the bank in 2022 and beyond.

Daniel Mayieka, Managing Director at TotalEnergies Uganda and Chen Zhuobiao, CNOOC Uganda president

Total has already taken the Final Investment Decision (FID) as Uganda moves closer to first oil that is expected in 2025. On the other hand, CNOOC is expected to make FID on Kingfisher Project in early 2022, a decision that will determine if the Chinese firm will take part in oil production in the Albertine Graben. The two bosses of the oil companies in question will be closely watched as the country moves to have its first oil in 2025.

Richard Byarugaba, NSSF Managing Director

President Yoweri Museveni (Museveni) assented to the NSSF (Amendment) Act, 2021.

By assenting the Bill into law/Act, it means that workers who have saved for over 10 years and have reached 45 years of age are allowed 20% midterm access to their NSSF savings.

Speaking at the annual seminar for the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Entebbe in early December 2021, Byaruhanga said that the latest figures show that 113,000 savers are eligible for midterm access, up from 93,000 three months ago. Byarugaba said NSSF will have to pay shillings one trillion if all those who are eligible for midterm access turn up at the fund.  NSSF currently has two million contributors and over shillings 15 trillion in assets. NSSF and Byarugaba will no doubt be in the limelight in as far as the NSSF Act, as amended is implemented.

Jennifer Bamuturaki, Ag.  CEO, Uganda Airlines

The revived Uganda Airlines is generally doing well. Having launched its maiden international flight to Dubai in October 2021, Uganda Airlines is expected to launch more international flights to London, China and India.  Bamuturaki and team will be closely watched on how they execute the airline’s business plan in 2022 and beyond. Which international route will the national carrier ply in 2022 after Dubai route? Will Uganda Airlines acquire more state-of-the-art aircraft in 2022? Bamuturaki has a big task of ensuring good corporate governance and keep Uganda Airlines scandal free.

Lilly Ajarova -Uganda Tourism Board ED

Ajarova is the Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), a government agency responsible for marketing and promoting Uganda as a top tourist destination.  Ajarova and her deputy Ochieng Bradford have a huge task of making Uganda a top tourist destination after full reopening of the economy.

Tourism sector has always suffered small budget allocations. Can UTB together with the line ministry lobby and see the sector’s budget increased? How innovative can UTB be to promote the country’s tourism sector?

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 2022 will be any different.

Kumaran Pather, CEO I&M Bank (Uganda) Limited

I&M Group Plc became the major shareholder of Orient Bank, with a 90 percent stake, in April 2021. Eventually, Orient Bank successfully rebranded into I&M Bank (Uganda) Limited. Pather has a huge task now of ensuring that the bank posts consistent positive performance given the fact that the bank has largely been making losses in the last five years. The bank recorded a loss of Shs22.69bn in 2020 from Shs1.07bn loss recorded a year earlier. Will Pather turnaround the bank’s performance?

Moses Magogo

Moses Hassim Magogo is the President, Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA). He is also the MP for Budiope East Constituency. Many Ugandans have been asking how Magogo will serve two masters-FUFA and Parliament, at ago.  In December 2021, Parliament granted leave to Magogo to introduce a Private Member’s Bill entitled, the National Sports Bill, which will regulate the operation and administration of national sports associations, federations and community sports clubs. Will the Bill see light of day in 2022? Will Magogo effectively serve FUFA and Parliament?

Proscovia Nabbanja-CEO, UNOC

Nabbanja is the Chief Executive Officer at Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC). 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 on how she goes about her mandate.

Barbara Mulwana- Executive Director of Mulwana Group of Companies

Barbara is the Executive Director of Mulwana Group of Companies which runs a number of companies including Nice House of Plastics.  Barbara 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 one of the CEOs to watch in 2022.

Patrick Bitature- Chairman Simba Group of Companies

Bitature is the founder and Chairman of Simba Group of Companies, an East African conglomerate, with interests in telecoms, energy production, mining, media, real estate, travel, and leisure.  He is one of the wealthiest Ugandans who gives inspirational quotes and advice to young people regularly.  He is also the Board Chairman of Umeme that is fighting to get its contract renewed.   He will be closely watched in 2022.

Stephen Asiimwe, PSFU ED

 Stephen Asiimwe was appointed the new executive director of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) following the death of Gideon Badagawa in June 2021. Badagawa was literally the face of the private sector in Uganda. He always engaged Government on key issues that affected the private sector. However, Asiimwe isn’t new to management. He is the former Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board. Given the fact that Uganda’s economy is majorly private sector driven, Asiimwe and PSFU will no doubt be in the limelight this year.

 Ernest Rubondo, PAU ED

Rubondo is the Executive Director of the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), a government entity meant to regulate and monitor the Petroleum sector in Uganda in order to create lasting value for Ugandans. As Uganda moves closer to oil production in 2025, Rubondo and PAU will be watched closely in 2022.

Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Acting Chairman KACITA-Uganda

Musoke was appointed the Acting Chairman of KACITA-Uganda in August 2021 following the death of Everest Kayondo in the same year. He was the face of city traders. Considering the importance of traders in Uganda especially in revenue contribution coupled with the ever challenges they face, Musoke  and KACITA will no doubt be in the limelight in 2022.

Hamis Kiggundu-CEO, Ham Group of Companies

Hamis Kiggundu, commonly known as Ham, is the CEO of the Ham Group of Companies, and the author of Success and Failure Based on Reason and Reality and Reason as the World Masterpiece. He is into real estate and agro-processing.

There’s a pending Court case in which Ham accuses Diamond Trust Bank Uganda and DTB Kenya for allegedly fraudulently siphoning over sh120billion from his accounts without his knowledge. The Commercial Court ruled in favour of Ham and directed that he is refunded the money taken from his account.’

However, the bank appealed against the judgement of the Commercial court on grounds that there was no illegality committed contrary to the Financial Institution Act and in May 2021, a panel of three justices of the Court of Appeal including Richard Butera, Kenneth Kakuru and Christopher Madrama ruled in favor of the Diamond Trust Bank, setting aside the High Court. The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial of the case by the Commercial Court, prompting the businessman to run to the Supreme Court to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal. It remains to be seen how this court battle will end. There are also questions concerning Nakivuubo Stadium; it has taken long without being completed. Will Ham deliver it this year?

Patricia Ojangole – Managing Director at Uganda Development Bank Limited.

Ojangole has been at the helm of UDBL for many years. The bank has always been criticized for not extending affordable credit to all loan applicants partly because, it is underfunded. Now that most firms need financial support, and UDB has been fronted by the government to support on this front, means Ojangole will be on the spot this year.

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

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