Category: News

UNAA VP – Update and Guidelines on COVID-19

UNAA Vice President Lydia Natoolo is one of the Healthcare Professionals at the front lines in the fight against the COVID-19 Outbreak. She compiled some important updates and guidelines regarding Coronavirus.

The information in this update includes:

  • Health Advice
  • Federal and Local Government Response
  • Private Sector Assistance
  • Educational Resources
  • Coping Advice

We hope that this update will improve your knowledge on Coronavirus and help us all to stay healthy – physically and mentally.

UNAA is committed to ensuring that the right information reaches our members, that our members stay in good health, and that our children do not fall behind education-wise in this trying time. More updates will follow.

Download the Update Here.

UNAA President – Statement on Coronavirus

UNAA Family and the Diaspora at Large,

One of our Top priorities is the health and safety of our members and as we actively monitor the COVID-19 situation in the US and around the world we ask the you do not panic and also exercise precautionary measures to stay safe and sound.

Please note that whether you have health insurance or not, you have the right to get tested for COVID-19 , so make sure you do the needful rather than live in the unknown if you feel exposed or have symptoms of the virus.

We also ask that you follow the Centers For Disease Guidelines below to protect yourselves and your loved ones;

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces especially electronic devices.
  • Avoid any large crowds right now.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update you with any good information to stay safe. Let’s continue protecting ourselves and the communities at large that we live in.

Henrietta N Wamala
President & CEO, UNAA

Newly-Appointed UNAA Directors

On Tuesday, January 28th 2020, UNAA President Henrietta Nairuba Wamala announced new appointments for the UNAA Directors of Finance, Development and Communications. Rebecca Namwase Ssemambo from Boston, Massachusetts will serve as the new Director of Finance, Edward Kyobe from Chicago, Illinois as Director of Development, and Julius Kabugu will return from the previous executive as Director of Communications. More details about the new directors below.

Mrs. Rebecca Namwase Ssemambo
Director of Finance.

Rebecca is currently a Tax Manager at Bain Capital and comes with over 20 years’ experience in the Financial world and also is a previous Director of Finance from 2013-2015 in UNAA and also Twegaite as nonprofits organizations.

She graduated from the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts with a Master’s of Science in Taxation. She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Strathmore College in Nairobi, Kenya and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She was born in Jinja, Uganda. She is a wife and mother with a passion to share and help those in need. She currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

Edward Kyobe
Director of Development

Eddie Kyobe considers himself a passionate community servant with the ability to motivate and inspire individuals in identifying their potential to continue and share the passion to serve others. He has been significant in promoting positive change in communities around him over the years.  Mr. Kyobe has a long record of Ugandan community service for over 17 years as Secretary, Vice President and President in the Chicago Community.

He was elected Deputy Speaker UNAA council and council representative Great lakes region (2017/19) and appointed Chairman of the organizing committee of the just concluded UNAA Chicago 2019 convention that saw record member attendance.

Mr. Kyobe’s education background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Diploma in Business administration from Kyambogo University Kampala. He’s also a licensed nurse currently working as Assisted living Nurse Coordinator for the Franciscan communities based in Wheeling, Illinois. Currently pursuing a Bachelors in Healthcare Administration.

Mr. Julius Kabugu
Director of Communications

Julius is a seasoned Software Engineer with experience in developing web, mobile and cloud  enterprise solutions, as well as leading software engineering teams. He attended high school at the prestigious King College Budo in Uganda, where he acquired a keen interest in innovation and world cultures.

He graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelors’ Degree in Electrical Engineering, and then acquired a Masters’ Degree in Enterprise Information Systems from Colorado Technical  University in Denver, Colorado.

He’s currently a Software Engineering Lead at FICO. He’s also a husband and father of 3 with a passion for uplifting minority communities, women, families and children in STEM by coaching and telling their stories through photography, content creation and social media marketing. He also runs communications and marketing for the Miss Uganda North America Leadership Program, which he co‐founded with his wife Tibba Murungi Kabugu. During his free time, you will find him exploring IoT, playing soccer, trying to get fit or playing Afrobeats.

Statement: UNAA President Henrietta Wamala

UNAA Members and the Diaspora Community at large,

I bring hearty greetings from my home state of Illinois and immense gratitude for the historic Victory that you delivered! We came to you with our agenda, you listened to the facts, you decided that you needed to change the status quo and your voices were heard. This was a win for all those that saw beyond the politicking and negativity; and wanted UNAA on a more progressive, united and calmer path! Thank you, thank you!

I would like to congratulate the candidates who emerged victorious, and also applaud all contestants, thanks to whom this year UNAA saw record high registrations in memberships and aspirants! That alone was a loud message to everyone that we as members are ready to see change and progression in our organization. Team Henrietta crossed the finish line by scooping 3 of the 4 executive seats and also won 6 council seats. I am very proud of that Win and honored by your trust in our Team! A huge Congratulations to the Miss Uganda North America Winner, Ms. Vanessa Nansamba, Ms. Fauzah Nantambi that won Miss Culture and all the other young ladies in the program, you are all winners!

As you witnessed throughout our campaign, despite all the smearing, and jeering, we focused on issues and facts that we knew pertained to you as Diasporans living in North America. We are tackling these issues from day one, as will be elaborated on in our forthcoming communication. Our vision will always be putting you Diasporans first and solving problems that pertain to us, to make us better; for when we are better, we can, as a united front bring the change that is desired even in our motherland.

To my campaign team, you are the best team any candidate could ever ask for! You were with me from day one to the finish line, you sacrificed your resources and that does not go unnoticed. You made sure that we pushed through all the noise, focused on the bigger picture and on the light at the end of the tunnel. We persevered, we did it, and we shattered that glass ceiling in a million pieces! We will work hard to make you all proud.

To all our supporters, how can we thank you enough? Words alone are not enough, but we are grateful from the bottom of our hearts. As I reiterated in my victory speech, alliances to teams ended on election night. We now step into this next chapter of governance as elected officials that come to serve you all our constituents. To you all our community members, I implore you to help us protect the UNAA brand by refraining from activities e.g negative (social) media slander that tarnish the image of the organization and discourage new members from joining UNAA. You are all UNAA ambassadors, so let us unite and work collectively for its growth and advancement to attain our full potential. Always remember, ultimately this isn’t about my administration or any one individual; we shall succeed or fail together as UNAA. Let the work begin!

Thank you for standing with us and May God bless you all,

Henrietta Nairuba Wamala
President & CEO
Uganda North American Association – UNAA

2019 Election Results

The 2019 UNAA Election Results were released on September 1st 2019 by UNAA EC Chairman Ivan Mwanja. “The UNAA Electoral Commission appreciates UNAA Board of Trustees, UNAA Executive, UNAA Council, and UNAA Members and Associates of Ugandan North American Association for the opportunity and trust accorded us to conduct the 2019 elections in Chicago, Illinois, USA,” Mwanja said. “This year, UNAA had various candidates running for various positions. We thank the candidates who offered to participate in this year’s elections. Your participation contributed immensely to the success of our 2019 UNAA Electoral process.”

Please see below the full statement from the UNAA EC Chairman.




Terrewode Fistula Hospital to Launch in August

On behalf of the leadership and membership of UNAA, we would like to congratulate our friends at The Association for Rehabilitation and Re-Orientation of Women for Development (TERREWODE) upon achieving a major milestone in their fight to save women suffering from Fistula. Founder and Executive Director Mrs Alice Emasu Seruyange has announced that the hospital project (Terrewode Women’s Community Hospital) will officially open on August 16th, 2019.

The Terrewode Fistula Hospital will be the first in East Africa and only the third in Africa.

The hospital, whose Phase 1 cost was 4.2 Billion Uganda Shillings, will replicate the model of care provided by the world-famous Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. It will be the first in East Africa and the third in Africa.

According to Terrewode’s website, “The community is excited to have a medical facility that focuses on women’s health – repairing fistulas, and with holistic health care, assuring that the woman is supported pre- and post- surgery, so that she can have a successful reintegration into her community. The medical director is hired, and staff positions are being filled.”

As long term partners, well wishers and friends of Terrewode, UNAA is delighted about this achievement and pledges to continue supporting the project and the hospital even after its launch to ensure its continued success.

For more updates on this project and to continue supporting Terrewode, visit their website at

Giant Causes: A new way for Ugandans to raise funds for charities

A new fundraising platform is aiming to offer a similar experience to GoFundMe, but with the advantage of convenient payments and delivery of funds. Meet Giant Causes (, a platform that was founded by a team of Ugandans in the diaspora.

Andrew Muyanja, one of the founders, says the idea arose from a moment of need. “We had a relative who needed to travel abroad for cancer treatment and GoFundMe did not provide a unified-enough experience for friends and family that wanted to chip in both in the diaspora and in Uganda.”

According to their website, Giant Causes is a fundraising platform connecting people with inspirational causes to a global network of ordinary people willing to lend a hand. “No contribution is too small to make a difference. At Giant Causes we imagine a world in which compassion is turned into action and together,
little by little, we move mountains,” says Muyanja.

The platform’s team protects users by “thoroughly vetting all our campaigns to protect donors from fraud.” It accepts donations via mobile money, debit and credit cards and paypal. Its first beneficiary was Baby Rapha, a Ugandan baby born with one artery instead of the normal two. Over 23,000,000 Uganda Shillings was raised via the platform.

Meet the new UNAA BOT and Electoral Commission

Board of Trustees

One of the UNAA Council’s most urgent tasks after the 2018 UNAA Convention in Seattle was to confirm a new Board of Trustees.  We are pleased to unveil the now confirmed UNAA Board of Trustees:

  • Mr. John Agaba – Chairman
  • Mrs. Aisha Musoke Ogwang – Secretary
  • Dr. Benjamin Omara Abe
  • Ms. Caroline Olok
  • Dr. Peter Simbi

Click here to READ MORE about the UNAA BOT

Electoral Commission

Furthermore, On December 4th, 2018, in a letter to BOT Chairman John Agaba, the UNAA Speaker Alex Semwanga confirmed on behalf of the UNAA Council the appointment of the following individuals to the UNAA Electoral Commission.

1 Herbert Twase
2 Betty Wakou
3 Hydeen Reich
4 Florence Bazanye
5 Ivan Mwanja
6 Florence W Studstill
7 Fiona Babumba
8 Fred Byabagye
9 Alex Lubega
10 Tina Kasujja

11 Mohamed Kaggwa
12 Kriss Namakola
13 Barbara Munube
14 Richard Kyabihende
15 Wasswa Ddamulira
16 Elizabeth Alinda
17 Samantha Muhunde
18 Philip Mbabazi
19 Sophia Nabadda
20 Micheal Mugwanya

Please join us in wishing our incoming officials success in their efforts to move UNAA forward.

Introducing Hassle Free Registration & Check-In

Introducing Hassle-Free Check-In at the UNAA Convention

Tickets delivered to your inbox. Skip the registration lines at the UNAA Convention. Now when you buy your tickets online, you will receive your tickets in your inbox. That includes pdf files so you can download and print them.

The new barcoded ticket system comes just in time for what is expected to be a full-house UNAA convention, given that it is an election year. The barcodes will provide an added layer of security while significantly reducing the lines at the registration booths.

UNAA is always striving to make your check-in process smoother at the convention. The office of communications is rolling out this feature starting with tickets purchased online. Our aim is to be able to provide this service to all our delegates.

More information on the check-in process to follow soon.

If you have any difficulties registering or have questions, please send us a message via this form.

Thank you!

UNAA Office of Communications

Report: 2018 Trade and Investments Forum


The 10th Annual UNAA Trade and Investments Forum took place on Friday August 31st 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Washington. It was part of the 30th Anniversary Convention of the Ugandan North American Association.

Get the report by clicking the ‘Download Report’ button below.

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