von Klaus Ebenhöh
News from Uganda: Solomon Mbubi is new Regional Director East Africa
Not new to the team, but new to the position. Solomon Mbubi is our new Regional Director East Africa, based in Kampala (UG). He started at HORIZONT3000 as Programme Manager – Financing Projects in 2020 and became Director of Programmes and Deputy Regional Director under former Director Franz Eichinger, who returns to Austria. Solomon takes up his new position in April 2023. We welcome Solomon to his new position and wish him all the best!
Solomon was born in Iganga in Eastern Uganda 41 years ago and attended local schools for his primary and secondary education. Due to his outstanding academic performance he was granted a government of Uganda scholarship to join one of the best universities in Uganda; Makerere University where he graduated with BA honors in Social Work and Social Administration in 2005. He is also a recipient of the Commonwealth and Glocal International Development Scholarships that helped him pursue international development programs in the United Kingdom and Israel. Solomon holds two Master degrees in International Development from Universities in UK and Israel, a post graduate diploma in Human Resources Management and a BA in Social Work and Social Administration.
Solomon has a longstanding professional career in international cooperation, which led him from program management in different NGOs in Uganda to counselling work for refugees in Israel to his current position at HORIZONT3000.
What motivates you to work for an NGO?
Solomon: Three things: (i) Knowing that one’s work directly contributes to the promotion of social justice and positively impacting on the vulnerable groups (ii) The sector allows one to work creatively since it has smaller staff as compared to the profit sector so this gives one an opportunity to make contribution (iii) The small staff setting gives one an opportunity to have close contact at work with people whom one shares values.
How did you enter in the sector of Development Co-operation?
Solomon: My humble background and my passion for social justice drove me into the field of international development sector. Right from High school, I knew I wanted to be a champion of social justice and equality across all spectrum. I pursued a university program relevant to the field of international cooperation and spent my free time volunteering in a number of developing agencies including teaching in poor schools while still at university. My first full time encounter in international was with Africa Renewal Ministries in 2006 and I have since worked with a number of agencies in Uganda.
What are the most remarkable moments at HORIZONT3000?
Solomon: I joined HORIZONT3000 in April 2020, my most remarkable moment at HORIZONT3000 was at the end of 2020, I was really worried about what would befall the partners after the challenges that had been posed by COVID-19. It was remarkable to see how partners came up with innovative ways to reach out to their target groups, from adapting to online meetings in communities with poor internet coverage to changing their implementation strategies. This agility and flexibility were exceptional and demonstrates the future international cooperation.
What are the main challenges you see in the region for the next two years?
Solomon: The East Africa’s region is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, however the advantages for this growth do not reach the most vulnerable people and this trend is likely to continue as political and economic powers have been built around individuals, families and networks instead of institutions. Our call is to support partners in the civil society arena to make these individuals who in actual sense are powerful in government accountable. Unfortunately, the power brokers in government are closing spaces for dialogue through stringent laws and policies.
While agriculture is the biggest driver of growth in the region, it still performs below its capacity and this is attributed to technology related constraints, natural related constraints including effects of climate change punctuated by drought, locusts and unpredictable weather patterns as well as cross cutting impedments like poor infrastructures, poverty and gender inequality. With this the region will grapple with poverty, income inequality underlined by famine and food insecurity.