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Africa can be redeemed by its people

By Agnes E. Nantaba

Elly Twineyo Kamugisha is the Executive Director of Uganda Exports Promotion Board (UEPB). He spoke to Agnes E. Nantaba about private sector led development and the economy.

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I love Uganda; I have always told people around me to call me Ugandan rather than African. I believe in results rather than reasons and I don’t intend to become born again at any one time but I believe in the existence of God who is a supreme being.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

In this world, there is nothing like perfect happiness although I believe that a happy family matters.

What is your greatest fear?

The fear of failure; it makes me work to perfection. It was instilled in me by my late Uncle who blamed me for failing math in Primary three yet I scored 100 percent in others.


What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Not that it’s bad but am very honest and trustworthy. May be I would be richer than I am today if I had grabbed everything that I came across.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Laggards, dishonest and lazy people make me uncomfortable to work with them.

Which living person do you most admire?

The one and only Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; he understands issues of growing the economy through working hard and not just being beggars. He understands the contribution of trade to an economy as peace alone cannot grow the economy. He also understands that aid will never develop Uganda but private sector led development can take us to another level.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Am an economist; one who is so careful with spending which makes me budget.

What is your current state of mind?

Am very sober and sane; all my systems are working.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Too much thinking that God is in the church and that you can only get Him through too much praying.

On what occasion do you lie?

I am not a liar; not even on simple or soft things.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

I have put on some tummy weight so I need to reduce it.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

One who is honest, knowledgeable, takes care of his family and minds his health.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

An honest woman who also minds that she has to be clean and keeps fit.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

May be ‘you see’ and ‘are you sure’.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My parents and wife Agnes Diana Kamugisha; aunt Monik Erapu is also another person I have lived with for more years than my parents.

When and where were you happiest?

When I graduated with my first degree and when I wed my wife.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I tried singing and failed; but I want to be an artist in old age.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would become an investigative journalist because am always inquisitive for more information.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having a loving family and specialized experience in private sector development and international trade; not many economists hav done it.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

A dog; it is a very bright and reliable creature.

Where would you most like to live?

In Uganda; it is the most beautiful place.

What is your most treasured possession?

My small home in Ggaba because I built it at a time I was earning very little.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Loss of family and people close to you

What is your favorite occupation?

I am happy being an economist.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I might not be kind but am very honest; I don’t backbite.

What do you most value in your friends?

Togetherness and sharing ideas; I have not shared money a lot but I treasure the fact that we share great ideas.

Who are your favorite writers?

The author of animal farm ‘George Orwell’ and William Shakespeare.

Who is your hero of fiction?

I used to like the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Nkwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba and Nelson Mandela; in that order

Who are your heroes in real life?

Y. K Museveni; late Ghadaffi.

What is it that you most dislike?

I hate liars.

What is your greatest regret?

As of now I don’t regret anything because I have not killed or done anything wrong to that magnitude in my lifetime.

How would you like to die?

I want to fall sick for a short time and have a last word for my family.

What is your motto?

‘I will work harder’ and ‘Africa can be redeemed by its people’.

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