Monitor’s annual leaders forum praised for grooming thinkers
Posted Tuesday, October 22 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- Two years after its inception, The Monitor’s annual Thought Leaders Forum has been identified as an important platform from which local leaders and entrepreneurs should aspire to draw inspiration.
While addressing a press conference to announce this year’s forum, chief executive officers of various companies that previously participated in the event unanimously agreed that the forum has impacted greatly on the way their staff think as well as their efficiency.
According to Prof Wasswa Balunywa, the Principal Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and local representative of Eslsca International business schools, their participation in last year’s forum has become a permanent interactive platform between MUBS lecturers and last year’s keynote speaker Isabel Aguilera, former CEO of Google Spain and Portugal and President of General Electric in Spain.
Prof Balunywa said the interaction had greatly improved the use of technology among the lecturers and raised their efficiency.
“The Thought Leaders forum is very important. Business schools need to tap into the knowledge of successful entrepreneurs like Ashish Thakkar and take it to the classroom,” Prof Balunywa said adding, “Last year, the staff who participated in the forum have remained in contact with Ms Isabel Aguilera. They have kept consulting her about how to use technology to improve their efficiency. Yes they keep consulting with her and she responds to their questions and it has greatly improved their efficiency.”
Mr Alex Asiimwe, the Monitor Publications managing director, said the previous two events have continued to draw positive responses and the number of participants is growing.
“Monitor has been defined as the media that leads debates in politics but Uganda also needs good business principles so there is need for a forum for the best brains to share ideas with business leaders from the global scene,” Mr Asiimwe said.
He noted that previous speakers had been sought from Europe and North America but this year’s forum has chosen business leaders from the African continent.
He also explained that the choice of panelists was deliberate to illustrate business successes.
“We need to learn from Ashish Thakkar; how he has achieved a lot at a tender age. Mr Vinay Dawda has many brand names attached to him while Emmanuel Katongole is the CEO of the first brand to be recognised by the World Health Organisation in Sub Saharan Africa. Ms Allen Kagina is the first woman commissioner general at Uganda Revenue Authority and has transformed it while Mr Herman Kasekende is the first Ugandan CEO of a European conglomerate,” he said.
Stephen Mukweli, managing director Post Bank
“We got interested in this programme because of the opportunity for Ugandans to pick ideas to deal with complexities, human development and entrepreneurship. We have been involved in some activities with the Mara Group and there wouldn’t have been a better theme than turning Impossibilities into Possibilities.”
Nkowanda Mngeni, managing director Eskom
“This will be the third time we are participating in the forum. We believe in excellence, developing talent and people and there is no better way because since we began our operations we have been training engineers now we are partnering with Monitor to develop our staff.”
VG Somasekhar, MD Airtel Uganda
“Airtel sees this as an opportunity for developing physical infrastructure, educational infrastructure and all these need leadership at all levels. Normally, we only see leaders showing up during crises but Uganda is one of the promising countries in Africa and it is taking leadership by storm.”
Wasswa Balunywa, Principal MUBS
“We need to partner with media organisations because they are good at mobilising. There is a lot to share and this has brought a lot of excitement among staff. It has even linked us to a professor in Spain who is about to start mentoring CEOs in the country.”