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Rotary President-elect Sam F. Owori dies


Evanston, Illinois, United States | ROTARY INTERNATIONALRotary International President-elect Sam F. Owori died unexpectedly on July 13 due to complications from surgery.

Owori ‘s term as Rotary’s 108th president would have begun on 1 July 2018, according the Rotary International website Owori was a member of the Rotary Club Kampala, Uganda, for 38 years.

“Rotary has become a way of life for me – with the intrinsic value and core belief in mutual responsibility and concern for one another as a cornerstone,” Owori said when he was nominated last year. “I feel immense satisfaction knowing that through Rotary, I’ve helped someone live better.”

Under Owori ’s leadership, the number of clubs in Uganda swelled from nine to 89 over the course of 29 years.

Owori was the chief executive officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda, whose mission is to promote excellence in corporate governance principles and practice in the region by 2020. Previously, he was executive director of the African Development Bank and managing director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd., and director of Uganda Development Bank. He has also served as corporation secretary of the Central Bank of Uganda.

He served as member and chair of several boards including FAULU (U) Ltd., (now Opportunity Bank), the Uganda Heart Institute, the Centre for African Family Studies, Mulago Hospital Complex, Mukono Theological College, and the Kampala City Council.

“Please remember Sam as the outstanding, hard-working Rotarian he was,” said Rotary International President Ian Riseley. “In this difficult time, I ask you to keep his wife, Norah, the Owori family and Sam’s millions of friends around the world in your thoughts.”

Owori saw in Rotary members “an incredible passion to make a difference,” and wanted to “harness that enthusiasm and pride so that every project becomes the engine of peace and prosperity.”

Owori also was the currently vice-chair of the Hospice Africa Uganda, and member of the board and chair of the Audit Committee of PACE (Programme for Accessible Health, Communication and Education) in Uganda.

“Sam was a special person in so many ways, and his unexpected death is a huge loss to Rotary, his community and the world,” Riseley said. “In addition, we are establishing details on plans to celebrate his life as they become available.”

Rotary is establishing a memorial fund in Sam’s honor and will provide further details soon.

Meanwhile,  following government’s decision to give him an official burial, arrangements are on, with Professor Charles Olweny appointed spokesperson for the family, according to The Daily Monitor.  His body is expected in the country July 24 and burial set for July 28.


  1. Rotary International President Elect Sam Owori’s demise is a sorrowful blow to Rotary.

    I met Sam for the first time in Nairobi, Kenya in 1983 at a Presidential Goodwill Conference.

    He radiated much confidence.

    Sam remained a cerebral and focused person. He always got his act together. Rotary was his major arena.

    My thoughts go to his dear wife Norah, his family and that of Rotary worldwide.

    May Sam’s soul be granted a sweet repose in the bosom of his Creator.

    Olutunde Oni,
    Past District Governor (1989-90)
    RI District 9125

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