It’s a public secret, when majority of our leaders get opportunities to serve their communities and nations at-large, the first things they think of, are benefits that come with occupying influential offices.
They build strong security rings around them not just to protect themselves against threats, but to evade meeting and talking to people they are serving.
Typical powerful leaders are often aloof, bossy, dishonest, and generally, centred who would never have empathy for people they serve as their families and close associates are all they care about regrettably, to society’s harm. Good news is, all is not lost.
The world still has a couple of exceptional leaders.
In this article, I choose to celebrate one powerful woman leader who, according to my humble observation, is endowed with most of leadership skills if not all. She is a phenomenal leader who has excelled in making what seems impossible possible.
The glass ceilings’ breaker I am imploring all Ugandans to celebrate with me is Rosa Malongo, the United Nation’s Resident Coordinator in Uganda.
Be conscious, I am a simple activist for equality using #SDG10Plus approach who is a far-away spectator of Malongo’s admirable approach-to-work.
Before she assumed her role in 2016, UN system which constituted of over 30 agencies was something peculiar to government and its few officials, but now, the world’s largest partnership framework has been demystified and it’s now closer to people.
On achieving UN system’s visibility, Malongo went on to become a cornerstone in Uganda’s journey to achieving needed 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals for a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030, following their adoption in 2015.
Everyone who cares to follow, will agree with me, an eminent leader from Equatorial Guinea who is the first person leave alone a woman to serve UN at this level from her country has handled Uganda’s journey on SDGs with both hands.
To successfully achieve her shared aspirations, Malongo with leadership experience spanning over 25 years in UN system, applied rare versatile leadership approach to woo Ugandans to the justified cause that needs everyone.
She championed various initiatives alongside varied stakeholders straddling young people, private sector, civil society and government. Her efforts resulted in establishment of SDG Secretariat, housed at OPM.
Recognising that secretariat’s main role is to support SDG coordination architecture so Uganda stays on track in implementing SDGs, a cabinet Minister was designated as SDG focal person, making Uganda the first country to propel SDGs to Cabinet.
Yields of this step are there for world to see; government has heightened commitment to SDGs having integrated SDGs in all her development plans including vision 2040 and NDPIII (2020/21-2024/2025.
Malongo’s UN family registered another milestone. President Museveni sanctioned UN sustainable development cooperation framework (2021-2025), the UN main planning and implementation instrument in support of 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
Recognizing that Uganda is the second world’s youngest population, Malongo prioritized working with young people to accelerate SDGs’ attainment in Uganda. No wonder, Youth Coalition for SDGs who are undertaking nationwide One Million SDG solutions rooted in innovation is thriving on her unconditional support. This particular initiative speaks to a solution-based leader.
She dreams big and inspires others into doing right things for people. Ahead of commemoration of [email protected], she personally, on two occasions rallied me to participate in Shaping “The Future we want, the UN we need.”
What an honor for a dignified personality to ask me shape my own and compatriots’ future!
I lost count on number of personal humble tweets via my handle; @DeoWalusimbi H.E Malango has liked, retweeted or actually, commented on often with solutions.
How on earth, a busy person leave alone her stature would get time for my simple tweets I habitually compose on SDGs especially SDG10 and 16? It’s pure humility, another hard-to-find trait in our leaders today.
Her invaluable work has ultimately propelled Uganda to 18th position of 52 African Countries according to Sustainable Development Solutions Network after scoring 54.88% of surveyed jurisdictions during second Voluntary National Review (VNR) report.
I could continue with unending list of Malongo’s exemplary leadership’s impact to our people having braved COVID-19 threats to move out her comfortable residence to travel to upcountry districts to kindle young people towards SDGs, but space cannot allow.
Ugandans, join me to heartily appreciate this indomitable woman who has and continues to do her part in realisation of a peaceful and inclusive development for all through advancing 2030 agenda.
The writer is an advocate for equality and co-founder of @equalitynow_ug