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Gideon Badagawa: End of an era

The late PSFU boss Gideon Badagawa died at 54. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Private Sector Foundation Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Gideon Badagawa died on Monday at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he had been admitted.

The death of the accomplished business administrator was announced by the PSFU board chairman Elly Karuhanga, who said that Badagawa’s wife, Susan Birungi was also hospitalized.

The cause of death is not yet clear, but Karuhanga says the deceased’s father in law last week died of COVID-19. “As you may know, his wife, Mrs. Susan Birungi Badagawa has also been battling for her life alongside her husband in hospital and only last week lost her father to COVID-19,” he says in a statement.

Badagawa has been CEO, PSFU for the last 10 years, prided in having grown and stabilized the umbrella organisation of the private sector business association in Uganda.

Prior to joining PSFU, he was the Executive Director, Uganda Manufacturers Association as Executive Director for 2 years. The Foundation is now one of 230 business associations, corporate bodies and the major public sector agencies that supports private sector growth.

Badagawa was born 54 years ago at Muyiira village, Nambale sub county, Iganga district, to Mr and Ms Isabirye Badagawa. He went to school at Busoga College Mwiri and later Makerere College School, before joining Makerere University in 1988, graduating with a degree in Statistics.

He also attained a master’s degree in Development Economics from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague in the Netherlands, and a post graduate diploma in Environment Management from the Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.

He is married to Susan Badagawa and is a father to two daughters; Anita and Nina.

Badagawa then taught at the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics-ISAE, between 1992 and 2000, before joining the PSFU for his first stint, working as Senior Policy Analyst. He left PSFU as Director, Policy Advocacy, in 2008 and joined the Uganda Manufacturers Association as Executive Director till 2009.

Prior to his death, he also served as a member on boards of various private and statutory organisations including the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the Uganda National Planning Authority (NPA), the Uganda Warehouse Receipt System Authority (UWRA), and the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).

He was also a board member at the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company Limited. Badagawa also chaired the Steering Committee for the Uganda Country Capacity Building Programme (UCCBP), whose main goal was to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the use of public resources in order to attain the objectives of national development priorities under the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP).

His other assignments have included chairing of the taskforce that designed the 5-year Uganda National Competitiveness Strategy 2011-2015. He also Chaired the taskforce that designed the implementation of the Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Strategy.

Badagawa also received several awards by various organisations, including the Advanced Leadership Merit Award for Private Sector Development by the Institute of Advanced Leadership, and the Pearl of Africa Lifetime Achievers Awards.

In previous interviews, he described himself as a lover of God who never left home for work without a prayer. Despite his busy schedule with different organisations, he also usually found time for physical exercise. Many journalists have described him as a media-friendly CEO.

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