On 16 March, the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Alumni Association of Uganda (CSFAAU) hosted a panel discussion on, ‘Investing in women to accelerate progress’, to mark Commonwealth Day and the broader Commonwealth theme of ‘One resilient common future’.

Zaharah Namanda (2020 Shared Scholar), Vice President of CSFAAU, opened the event. She highlighted the vital role women play in the socio-economic development of nations and expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in empowering women through education. She then introduced the panel and opened the discussion.


  • Susan Opok Tumusiime, Executive Director, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE – Uganda)
  • Zaharah Namanda (2020 Shared Scholar)
  • Petua Isabirye (2013 Scholar)
  • Collins Ogara (2014 Professional Fellow), President, CSFAAU (moderator)

The panel discussed the challenges faced by women and girls in underprivileged and rural communities, and refugee settlements in Uganda. In their discussions, they shared potential solutions and emphasised the crucial role of parents in nurturing responsible citizens and addressing societal issues.

Spotlighting women leaders

Following the panel discussion, keynote speaker, Josephine Olok, gave her address. Josephine is an influencer and leader in Uganda’s fintech sector and founder of FITSPA. She shared the challenges women face in leadership and decision-making roles, drawing on her personal experiences and those of other successful women.

As part of the event, CSFAAU celebrated ten outstanding female Commonwealth Alumni. The award ceremony was presided over by guest of honour, Dr Patricia Achan, Deputy IGG who later delivered an enlightening speech on the economic empowerment of women and the significance of investing in their development.

The event ended with the official launch of the CSFAAU website by the CSFAAU Publicity Team, Simon Golola (2016 Distance Learning Scholar) and Crystal Rutangye-Bazirake (2014 Shared Scholar), who presented on the website features.

The event concluded with a vibrant photography session and a luncheon, bringing together leaders from various sectors of Uganda’s government and private industry. CSFAAU reaffirmed its commitment to promoting female leadership and empowerment, marking a significant milestone in its mission.