By Irene Gaitirira
Published January 29, 2016
A leading conservation organisation focusing on African wild lands and wildlife has elected a Ugandan as its President.
Nairobi (Kenya)-based African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) says it has elected Kaddu Kiwe Sebunya to serve as its new President. Sebunya, it says, â€œwill focus on advancing a clear policy agenda for wildlife as part of Africaâ€™s future, ensuring the continentâ€™s blueprint for development and growth includes space and protections for Africaâ€™s natural heritage.â€
â€œI am excited to be stepping into the role of president at a time when Africaâ€™s economies are surging, and when important decisions are being made as to how Africa should manage its natural resources responsibly and with accountability,â€ says Sebunya. â€œThe continent is undergoing a profound change, and we must help to guide this change so it benefits Africaâ€™s people and wildlife.â€
A statement issued by Kathleen Garrigan, Media Relations Manager for AWF, says Sebunya began his career as a project manager with WaterAid and as a relief programme officer with Oxfam UK.
Sebunya, who holds a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Social and Political Science from Ugandaâ€™s Makerere University and two Masterâ€™s (in Sustainable Resource Management and Policy from Londonâ€™s Imperial College; and in Law, Policy and Diplomacy from Tufts Universityâ€™s The Fletcher School) degrees, served as Associate Director for the United States Peace Corps in Uganda before opting focus on conservation. He later served as a country programme coordinator with the World Conservation Unionâ€”now the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCNâ€”and as a senior policy and planning advisor for Conservation International.
Sebunya moved to Washington, DC and became AWFâ€™s Director of Programmes in 2006. He developed and implemented a legislative program to engage US lawmakers on issues affecting conservation and development in Africa. In 2013, he became Chief of Party for the USAID/Uganda Biodiversity Programme before transitioning to AWFâ€™s president.
AWF, the organization to be headed by Sebunya, says its programmes are â€œdesigned to protect the wild lands and wildlife of Africa and ensure a more sustainable future for Africaâ€™s people,â€ is registered in USA.