The membership and visibility od Rotary Clubs around the world is the priority for incoming President Samuel Owori, a Ugandan banker and humanitarian.
According to Owori, who becomes the 108th president beginning July 1 next year, world needs to know and understand Rotary’s impact and values of advancing international understanding, goodwill and peace aimed at ‘improving lives and bringing positive, lasting change to communities around the world’.
“We are all too busy and we’ve lost our patience. Through friendship and service, membership in Rotary offers countless ways to connect and create meaningful change in your community, as well as opportunities to see the world through a more global lens,” Mr Owori was quoted as saying on the occasion of being confirmed as ‘president-nominee’ of Rotary International.
“Rotary has become a way of life for me – with the intrinsic value and core belief in mutual responsibility and concern for one another as a cornerstone. I feel immense satisfaction knowing that through Rotary, I’ve helped someone live better,” Owori, who has been a Rotarian for 38 years, said.
Rotary members contribute their time, energy and passion to carry out impactful and sustainable projects in the areas of peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development, and in Uganda Mr Owori is famed for playing an instrumental role in growing the number of Rotary Clubs from nine to 89 over the course of 29 years.
As president, Owori will oversee Rotary’s top humanitarian goal of eradicating the paralyzing disease polio. Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985, and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 26 confirmed to date in 2016. Rotary has contributed more than US $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
Currently, Owori is chief executive officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda, and before that he was executive director of the African Development Bank, managing director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd., and director of Uganda Development Bank. He has studied law, employment relations, business management, corporate resources management, microfinance, and marketing at institutions in England, Japan, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States, including Harvard Business School.