The former Member of Parliament (MP) for Buikwe North Onyango Kakoba has been appointed the new Secretary General (SG) of the Forum of Parliaments of Member States of the International Conference of Great Lakes Region (FP-ICGLR) based in Kinshasa, DRC, effective next month.
Kakoba was unanimously selected for a three-year term by the Speakers’ Conference of the 12 member states that took place in Kinshasa, March 19-20, 2018. The member states are Angola, Central African Republic (CAR), Congo Brazaville, DRC, Zambia, Sudan, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania & Uganda.
The SG position is a full-time diplomatic and technical assignment and in his capacity Onyango Kakoba will head the organisation as CEO/Ambassador since organisation’s headquarters in Kinshasa operates at the status of a diplomatic mission.
“I am delighted to be given this opportunity to serve the region in that capacity”, Kakoba, who is also board chairperson of the African Parliamentary Alliance for UN Reforms (APAUNR), an international organisation spearheading parliamentary advocacy for UN reforms in favour of Africa, said.
Unlike other parliamentary fora, FP-ICGLR was an initiative of Heads of States, established in 2008. Due to peace and security challenges in the region, the Heads of States in 2006 created a regional organisation, the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) based in Bujumbura to tackle the contentious issues. The treaty that established the ICGLR provided for the establishment of a parliamentary forum as an organ to play an oversight role over the implementation of ICGLR projects.
Onyango Kakoba replaces Prosper Higiro, a former Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Rwanda, Minister, Presidential candidate and Rwanda’s representative at the Pan African Parliament. Higiro has been at the helm of the organisation since 2012 as the first SG.
This time round the race for the SG was quite competitive attracting the immediate former Speaker of Senate of Kenya Ethuro Ekwe as well as sitting deputy speaker, who is also a former minister from CAR Davy Yama, among others.
Onyango Kakoba served at Pan Africa Parliament and was also Uganda’s representative on the Executive Committee of FP-ICGLR.
He holds a Masters degree in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies as well as a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences, both of Makerere University.