Dr Abel Rwendeire, a champion of vocational education, is dead

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Dr Abel Rwendeire, the deputy chairperson of the National Planning Authority (NPA), and one of the people who championed the adoption of vocational education in higher institutions of learning, is dead.

Rwendeire, who has served the country in many distinguished positions, reportedly died of a heart attack.

Other details regarding the circumstances of his death are still scanty

At the time of his death, Rwendeire had just chaired the Makerere University Visitation Committee, aimed at finding solutions to the problems afflicting the institution.

He died before officially presenting the report to President Museveni.

In a tweet, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor wrote: "I am very sad to hear about the death of Dr. Abel Rwendeire. Really it is very distressing. Dr. Abel Rwendeire has been chair to the University's visitation committee among his other commitments to serving our country. May God rest his soul in peace."

Rwendeire was born on October 1, 1951 in Rubanda district.

He held  a Ph.D. in Biochemisrty obtained in 1985 from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

He joined NPA in July 2008 following his four year tenure as a Managing Director ( 2002- 2006) at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, (UNIDO), in Vienna, Austria.

He was responsible for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of innovative programmatic initiatives in industrial promotion and technology; agro-industries; small and medium enterprises; energy and cleaner production as well as providing strategic advice to the director general of UNIDO on all aspects of technical cooperation services in industrial, technological and economic issues for sustainable industrial development.

Prior to joining UNIDO, Dr Rwendeire was a Member of Parliament representing the people of Rubanda County East constituency in Kabale District from 1996 to 2002.

During this time Dr Rwendeire served as a minister of State (1996-1998 and 200-2001) for Tourism, Trade and Industry; minister of State (1998-2000) for Higher Education in the ministry of Education and Sports, laying the foundation for the establishment of Uganda Vocational Qualifications Framework with a view to integrating the informal sector into the main stream formal educational processes.

Before joining Politics, Dr Rwendeire had contributed significantly to the development and management of technical and vocational education when he was the Principal of Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (1992-1996) in the ministry of Education and Sports.

He forged mutually supportive partnerships with private sector players by promoting linkages between industry and the Polytechnic.


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