The seventh edition of the Young Achievers Awards was held this past weekend at the Kampala Serena Conference Centre in Kampala. Started nine years ago by our founder Awel Uwihanganye and his colleague Ivan Sserwano to celebrate outstanding youth in Uganda that have excelled in various fields such as the Arts, Entrepreneurship, Media and Journalism, Philanthropy, Innovation, Sports among others, the awards this year were graced by Kenyan Deputy President H.E. William Ruto who was flanked by Ugandan Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda.
H.E. Ruto also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the organizers for being a strong proponent of youth empowerment in Kenya and his role in championing regional integration efforts.
Four Fellows of the Young and Emerging Leaders Project (YELP) were nominated in various categories at this year’s Awards. Raymond Mujuni (Class of 2017) won the Media and Journalism Excellence award, beating fellow YELPees Abaas Mpindi (Class of 2017) and Canary Mugume (Class of 2018). In his acceptance speech, Raymond thanked Abaas and Canary for putting up a spirited challenge and asked them to join him on stage to share the award.
I’m delighted to have won the Media and Journalism excellence award at the #YAAug18
— Mujuni Raymond (@qataharraymond) August 18, 2018
Meanwhile, Phyllis Kyomuhendo, the co-founder of M-SCAN, a technology solution that harnesses, ultrasound and the power of IT in solving maternal emergencies, was the overall winner of the 2018 Young Achievers’ Award. Flanked by her M-SCAN team that included the Chief of Operations Dr. Prosper Ahimbisibwe (Class of 2018), Ms Kyomuhendo received her award from the award night’s guest of honour H.E. William Ruto who later in his address to the winners extolled them to solve everyday problems within their communities and to always believe in themselves.
The co-founder of mSCAN, Phyllis Kyomuhendo scooped the overall Young achiever Award. Their innovation enables people to carry out ultrasound scans over a telephone or computer. #YAAUg18 pic.twitter.com/wdd1vf75Uu
— Young Achievers (@achievers_award) August 20, 2018
“Let no one tell you that You cannot achieve your goals. If they say so, ask them; what about William Ruto, who, from selling chicken at a railway crossing, is now the Deputy President of Kenya?,” Mr. Ruto said. In the same speech Ruto spoke about the importance of imparting technical skills in the young workforce since there is a huge gap in the area. He drew examples from his time as a cabinet minister for higher education in Kenya and outlined steps that were taken by the ministry to support technical and artisanal education across the country.
H.E @WilliamsRuto : We must start imparting relevant skills to our learners. For what will it benefit a young man to know when Vasco Da Gama came to Malindi, when he doesn’t know how to mechanize his farm, or innovate new technologies to scale his enterprise? #YAAUG18 #RutoInUG
— Young Achievers (@achievers_award) August 18, 2018
Among the highlights of the evening were musical performances by Ugandan artiste Fik Fameica and the famed Triplets Ghetto kids who left guests on their toes.
Ruto Talks to Young Leaders, Business People
On Sunday August 19 H.E. William Ruto was hosted at a breakfast by the Africa Strategic Leadership Centre to talk about regional integration efforts. The breakfast was also attended by young leaders within the Institute network as well as leading business and political leaders in Uganda.
H.E William Ruto’s visit to Uganda as a Keynote Speaker for the Business Breakfast Dialogue on Sunday 19 reaffirms Kenya’s commitment to East Africa’s regional integration. It deepens regional trade ,investment, cooperation and political relations between member states. #RutoInUG pic.twitter.com/8QuxTg9GA3
— Africa Strategic Leadership Centre (@AfricaNow_) August 18, 2018
Speaking at the breakfast Mr. Ruto reiterated the importance of strengthening East Africa as a trade bloc so as to achieve a stronger bargaining position on the international market. “Because of our decision to revive the East African Community for example, trade between [Uganda and Kenya] has skyrocketed. From a paltry Kshs.48billion worth of trade in 2008, we now trade a whopping Kshs.104 billion worth of goods & services,” he said.