By Ivan N. Baliboola
Members of the Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) have elected three Ugandan University students to its Governing Council. This was during the 39th PRAU Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Hotel Africana on Saturday July 9, 2016.
- Mobilize communication students and keep them updated on what’s happening in the PR industry.
- Ensure synergies are created between practicing PR officers and communication students.
- Organize mass communication students’ mentorship, induction, career guidance and other briefings to be delivered by PR practitioners.
- Bridge the gap between mass Communication students and communicators.
It is during the event that Cynthia Mpanga was elected unopposed as President of PRAU by the AGM, the supreme decision-making body of the Association. This makes her the second elected female president after Goretti Masadde who was chosen in 2010.
“I am very honored and humbled by the extreme confidence that the communicators in this industry have in me. We have a vast array of talent and very seasoned PR practitioners in this industry, but they all put their weight behind my candidature,” said a delighted Mpanga during a press briefing shortly after her election. “That places a huge responsibility on me to deliver to their expectations.”
Mpanga, who is currently the Country Brand and Marketing Manager for Standard Chartered Bank Uganda, will provide strategic direction as well as oversee all the activities and programmes of the Association.
The Governing council is the leadership body of PRAU steered by a team of 13 members to implement the functions and policies that govern the Association. Additionally, they will provide strategic direction and oversight of its operations. Apart from the student elects, other members of the Governing Council elected that day are;
- Sheila Kangwagye – Secretary General
- Stella Nkini Ndiwalana – Deputy Secretary General
- Peter Odeke – Vice president
- Hellen Kaweesa – Treasurer
- John Fisher Sekabira – Director for Programmes
- Paul Mwirigi – Director Public Relations
- A.G Musamali – Director Disciplinary
“For me, this is a fresh challenge and I know exactly what needs to be done to move this Association forward,” Mpanga said, adding, “It’s exciting times for PRAU as an Association and the communicators in Uganda can look forward to the next journey with great optimism.”
According to the PRAU constitution, only fully paid up members are eligible to attend the AGM and participate in the elections.
“The elections were highly competitive, well planned, executed by a highly credible election committee from private and public sector and I have every confidence that the new leaders elected are the right ones to take the Association forward.” Mpanga added.
Kaweesa, the treasurer noted that membership had grown by 47% driven largely by a robust member registration exercise and use of social media platforms to engage practitioners.
“According to the PRAU constitution, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze who is the incoming Minister of Information, ICT & Communication, is the new PRAU Patron,” said Henry Rugamba, the outgoing PRAU President.
Mwirigi said the elections were in line with the PRAU vision of being the leading PR professional association in Africa through enhancing ethical practices and excellence.
PRAU was founded in 1976 as an umbrella organization of all P.R practitioners and professionals in Uganda. It is affiliated to other regional and global P.R bodies. The Association embraces local and foreign practitioners, and participates in local, regional and international forums to enable its members, develop capacity and attain a competitive edge in the business world.