Monday August 14 2017

Young Achievers Awards winners applauded

Singers Mun G and Naava Grey perform their song

Singers Mun G and Naava Grey perform their song titled Champion during the Young Achievers Awards gala night at Kampala Serena Hotel. Their collaboration inspires self-belief that no dream is too big and if you dream so can you achieve. Photo by EDGAR R. BATTE 


“It is important for Uganda’s youths to appreciate the unique place Uganda finds itself in within the global economic system because Uganda is one of the richest countries in the world,” President Yoweri Museveni said in a speech read for him by Aggrey Bagiire, State Minister for Transport, during the Young Achievers Awards (YAA).

“I am supportive of the Young Achievers Awards initiative and the encouragement it gives young people to create their own opportunities and for contributing to the betterment of our country,” he added.

The awards took place on Friday evening at Kampala Serena Hotel where young people were recognised and awarded for outstanding efforts towards self-development and contributing to community development.

The awards, which started in 2009, were organised by Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU). “The young people here the nominees, are the privileged few so far, who were selected from a pool of over 300 applicants from across the country. Their initiatives at least employ on average between 5-10 staff members, thus creating employment to over 500 Ugandans,” Humphrey Habimanya, Team Leader at RAHU told the audience at the gala night.

Ricky Rapa Thompson, the winner in the category

Ricky Rapa Thompson, the winner in the category of Business of Young Achievers Awards, gives an acceptance speech. He is a former Askari (watchman) at one of the hostels in town, has ridden Boda boda and one of the co-founders of SafeBoda, an umbrella organization for professional Boda boda (motorcycles) riders. Photo by EDGAR R. BATTE

He observed that ventures such as YAA, if well mentored and supported are key in achieving a better Uganda. The awards started in 2009 and this year’s edition coincided with International Youth Day.

Some of the past award winners and recipients include scientist and researcher Godfrey Atuhaire, musician Keko, and tennis champ Duncan Mugabe.

Presidents Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame, of Rwanda are past recipients of the Life Time Achievement Award. This year’s edition of the awards which was announced on January 23rd, attracted over 300 applicants from different parts of the country.

They were vetted by two panels of distinguished judges. The first phase involved category judges who assessed the top 10 nominees in each category to choose the top five. The second phase involved the audit judges who chose the winners in each of the categories that attracted nominations.

The recipients of this year’s special awards included Prof. Peter Mugyenyi for the Heroes Award for demonstrating excellence in fighting HIV/Aids in Uganda and beyond. Ali Mufuruki, a renowned Tanzanian businessperson and founder of the Infotech Investment Group LTD received the Lifetime Achievement Award for building being an advocate for youth empowerment across the East African Region.

Other special award categories included The Young Achievers Star Hall of Fame that was awarded to Hon. Amelia Kyambadde who has demonstrated exceptional commitment and sacrifice in supporting the Young Achievers Awards Program. 


*Farming and agro-processing; Zilla Mary Arach, co-founder of the Lacel Technologies

*Social entrepreneurship;  Muhammed Kisirisa, Executive Director of Action for fundamental change and development -Media and Excellence; Ronald Wandera, founder

*Innovation & ICT; Gerald Otim, Chief Operations Officer & co-founder of Ensibuko

*Creative arts (arts, music, fashion, film, and photography- Milege Afrojazz Band

*Fashion; Brian Ahumuza of Abryanz Collection

*Business; Ricky Rapa Thompson, co-founder, SafeBoda

*Sports personality- Jacob Kiplimo, athlete

*Sports personality- Jacob Kiplimo, athlete

*Hero Award; Professor Peter Mugyenyi, medical doctor, researcher and promoter of accessible and equitable medical care, and chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)

*Lifetime Achievement Award; Ali Mafuruki, chairman, CEO Inftech Investment Group Ltd

*StarHall of Fame Award- Amelia Kyambadde, for being instrumental in shaping the future of the Young Achievers Awards (YAA).
Overall Young Achievers Awards; Zilla Mary Arach, co-founder of the Lacel Technologies.


The awards were founded by two young entrepreneurs, Awel Uwihanganye and Ivan Kyambadde under Tetea Uganda Limited in 2009