East Africa

Uganda: Hon. Betty Bigombe is resigning her ministerial post for a World Bank job

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Betty Bigombe, the minister of state for Water, has been appointed senior director for Fragility, Conflict and Violence at the World Bank.

In a statement signed by the bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim and dated May 29, her appointment takes effect on July 1, 2014. In the statement, Kim noted that Bigombe had exceptional technical expertise and a proven track record “of delivering results, building effective teams, and working collaboratively.”

She was appointed alongside Juergen Voegele, a German national, who will be the senior director for Agriculture in charge of global practices at the bank. Voegele has been the director for Agriculture and Environmental Services at the bank since 2008.

Bigombe’s appointment is an important milestone in the colourful career of a woman who became famous for leading efforts to bring peace in northern Uganda in the 1990s. It also makes her one of the few Ugandans serving in senior positions at international bodies. Between 1997 and 2001, she worked at the World Bank as a senior Social Scientist.

She was also a visiting scholar at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, consulting on the impact of war and violence. Bigombe holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Rural Economy from Makerere University.

She was expected to meet President Museveni last evening to tender her resignation as minister. Bigombe will also  relinquish her parliamentary seat as Woman MP for Amuru district.

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