South Sudan, Uganda nominees set to occupy EAC deputy SG positions

Monday March 06 2023
EALA Speaker Joseph Ntakirutimana

EALA Speaker Joseph Ntakirutimana. The EAC, which has been understaffed since 2018 has this past year populated 37 positions for jobs advertised in 2022. PHOTO| FILE | HAVYARIMANA | NMG


The East African Community Council of Ministers has endorsed the appointment of a Ugandan and a South Sudanese as deputy secretaries-general.

The two high-ranking secretariat officials are expected to be formally appointed by the EAC heads of state at a summit planned for mid this year.

A council meeting on July 12, 2022 approved the recruitment of the two officials: Deputy Secretary-General, Infrastructure, Productive, Social and Political Sectors, and Deputy Secretary-General, Customs, Trade and Monetary Affairs.

The posts were advertised in August 2022 and interviews conducted in Nairobi in January 2023.

Fell vacant

The position of DSG in charge of productive services fell vacant last year when Rwanda’s Christophe Bazivamo’s six-year term came to an end. The post will be filled by a South Sudanese national.


Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda were not eligible for the post, as Kenya holds the Secretary-General’s position, the outgoing DSG is from Rwanda, and Steven Mlote, Deputy Secretary-General for Administration and Finance, is Tanzanian.

The ministers did not officially release the names of the two successful candidates, but Ugandan Deputy Prime Minister Rebecca Kadaga tweeted the appointment of Annette M. Semuwemba Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs.

“The council has a report to present to the Summit because the recruitment was done, but the final decision will be by the summit,” Kenya’s EAC minister Rebecca Miano told The EastAfrican after the Council’s 43rd Ordinary Meeting held February 19-23, 2023 in Bujumbura.

They also reviewed the final report on recruitment of the controversial post of Executive Secretary for the East African Kiswahili Commission.

The two finalists for the post had the same scores, prompting discussions between Tanzania and Uganda for a compromise.

Uganda’s 1st Deputy Prime Minister and EAC Minister Rebecca Kadaga said the Council recommended that Caroline Asiimwe head the Kiswahili Commission and Annette M. Semuwemba be Deputy Secretary-General in charge of Trade, Customs and Monetary Affairs.

Monetary affairs

“EAC appoints Annette M. Semuwemba, DSG, Customs, Trade and Monetary Affairs, Caroline Asiimwe, Executive Secretary, Kiswahili Commission, Okoth Vincent, Deputy Registrar, Mergers and Acquisitions, Sharon Atuhaire, Editor Hansard, Senior Clerks, Adebuson and Manzi,” said Kadaga’s tweet of February 24.

Staffing at the EAC Secretariat has been a thorny issue, with each country pushing for its nationals to get lucrative posts.

Last year, Uganda’s EALA MP Denis Namara moved a motion calling for the suspension of the EAC staff recruitment drive that appeared to have locked out a Ugandan national for the post of clerk.