Dr. Maggie Kigozi - African Women's Week 2010
Dr. Maggie Kigozi - a potrait of a successful African Woman in business, home and society.
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First published: August 17, 2010
The Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority, Dr. Maggie Kigozi is one person that has built herself a strong brand as a successful woman in business, leadership and family. Despite losing her husband, Eng Daniel Sserwano Kigozi, she has managed to successfully raise her family and her children, all graduates, are enjoying their careers. Dr. Kigozi has been at the helm of the UIA since it was formed.
She overseas twenty professionals in charge of attracting and facilitating investment from specific countries in priority sectors. To date UIA has licensed a total of 2351 companies, with a total planned investment of about US$5.87 billion and a total of 192 684 planned employment. Uganda Investment Authority won the Corporate Location Prize for the best investment promotion agency in Africa and the Middle East.
Maggie believes that it is her curiosity and desire to try new things that have most contributed towards her success, combined with the education she received. "Education is one of the best bases for success," Maggie states.
Of all her achievements, Maggie is most proud of the investors she has personally contributed towards attracting to Uganda. "I feel lucky and proud to have been given this opportunity to steer Uganda Investment Authority at a time like this. The Authority's work is very crucial in the economic development of Uganda.
"I am also very proud of my family. I consider my children and late husband a great accomplishment in my life. During the time I practiced human medicine I loved treating children. Seeing them get well always brought a great sense of accomplishment".
Loosing her husband, Eng Daniel Sserwano Kigozi was Maggie's greatest challenge. "Facing your challenges and working hard at what you believe in enables one to overcome," she says.
The fact that Nelson Mandela remained humane in spite of the difficulties he encountered in his life makes him the person that Maggie most admires. "He was able to guide South Africa through the difficult period when there were many changes taking place".
Kigozi consults Oryem at the "Home is Best" summit
held at Hotel Africana in Kampala (New Vision)
Maggie urges young entrepreneurs to have a vision for the people in their countries, as well as the continent as a whole. "Africa's leaders, both present and future, should strive to ensure good governance and democracy," she says. (www.ugandainvest.com, April 4, 2008)
At 60, Dr. Maggie Kigozi, is still striking, social and stylish, and thereby admired by many women as the model of a successful woman in the modern era. Walakira Nyanzi interviewed her for African Women’s Week…
Dr. Maggie Kigozi
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I was born on 5th July 1950 in Fort Portal. I grew up in Bweyogerere in Kampala and went to school at Aga Khan Primary School, Gayaza High School, Kololo Secondary School and then Makerere University where I got a degree in medicine.
Nyanzi: How did that begin and how did you end up at UIA?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: After graduating I worked in Kenya, Zambia and Uganda before joining the private sector as a Marketing Director of Crown Bottlers Ltd. While still working at Crown Bottlers Limited, I was elected a board member of Uganda Manufacturers Association. I became the Executive Director of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in 1999.
My First Job: Dr. Maggie Kigozi
Interviewed by Alex Balimwikungu
Sunday, 3rd May, 2009
I was a receptionist at British American Tobacco (BAT) in 1969 to early 1970. It was during my Senior Six vacation and lasted until I joined Makerere University medical school. I earned sh450 then and it was a lot of money.
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: During my tenure as the Executive Director of the Uganda Investment Authority, foreign and domestic investments have continued to increase and Uganda Investment Authority won the Corporate Location Prize for the best Investment Promotion Agency in Africa and the Middle East in 2001. I am also involved in a number of development activities in both local and international organizations and institutions like universities among others.
I have advocated for women's rights by fighting against gender discriminatory legislation in Uganda, advocating for women friendly banking products and because of this many women in Uganda are accessing business loans among other services. I am a determined and passionate person who has fought tirelessly for women's economic empowerment in Uganda and other parts of Africa.
On my achievements at UIA, I hail investors that they are the ones who have contributed to my success. I continue to encourage people to come and invest in Uganda because we have a good business climate and a big market as the East African Community and as gateways to neighboring countries.
Nyanzi: What would you say makes Maggie Kigozi tick as the boss of UIA?
I have high ethical conduct and integrity. You will never hear or read a news story that Maggie Kigozi has embezzled money at UIA or has been bribed to favour a given investor(s). I have strong leadership and public relations skills that I have used to sell UIA within and outside Uganda.
Nyanzi: What has been the biggest satisfaction you have had from your work thus far?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I am happy that I have used my post at UIA to create thousands of jobs for Ugandans, including women. Any investment deal I chair I make sure I am a winner.
I copied my late father, Engineer Blick. My father was a civil servant working with the Ministry of Works and Transport. My dad moved to all parts of Uganda serving the nation and I am also moving in all parts of the country, and outside, looking for investors and creating investment opportunities.
Nyanzi: Many young people look to you as a role model… a woman who manages one of Uganda’s most important institutions. What advice do you have for these young Ugandans?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi and Julius A. Kyazze at the UNAA Young Adult Mixer (projectdiaspora.org)
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I advise all young Ugandans to study very hard… not only for passing examinations but also to obtain lifetime skills. I advise students to fully participate in sports and music because sports and music have employed so many people in the world and they are rich today. I can give an example of footballers like David Becham, Christiano Ronaldo and Ugandan musicians like Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, among others.
Nyanzi: You mentioned you were a sports celebrity…
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: Sometimes back I represented Uganda in lawn tennis, table tennis, squash and hockey.
NYANZI: Many women look at you as a successful person in the area of business as well. Who is your mentor in business?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: My mentor in business is James Mulwana. I met him at Uganda Manufacturers Association and since then he has been working with me and has assisted me a lot.
Nyanzi: Tell us about your family. Children, marriage… ?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I am a mother of three children… now all graduates and occupying good jobs in different parts of the world. My husband late Dan Kigozi and children are a great accomplishment in my life.
Losing my husband Dan Kigozi in 1994 was one of the great challenges I have ever faced in life.
Hip Hop artist Navio – The most known of Dr. Kigozi’s children.
Nyanzi: Being a busy woman, how do you fulfill the role of a mother at home?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I take first being a mother and a married woman at home above my job. I thank God that when I lost my husband I managed to look after myself and the children. When my children were still at school, I never missed any of their visiting days.
Nyanzi: Can you tell us about your parents?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I am daughter of Eng. George William Blick and Miss Molly Blick who was a tailor.
Nyanzi: Dr. I detect a European heritage given that you are light skinned…
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: It is because my grandfathers were Europeans. They came from the United Kingdom. When they came to Uganda they married Baganda women. So I am a Muganda belonging to Ngeye, one of the 56 clans of Buganda.
Nyanzi: Girls face many challenges in African schools. What are some of the challenges you faced in school?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: I did not find problems with school fees because my parents and brothers were always there for me. Both my parents and brothers used to visit me while I was at school and I felt loved. This boosted my morale to read hard.
I spent much of my school days in boarding schools. During my school days my dad, Mr. Blick, inculcated in me a culture of hard work. He used always to advise me to read hard such that I don’t put his name to shame. My dad would bring me whatever I would request as long as I had asked for it. I have been so successful in life due to the good education my parents gave me and hard work. I try to do all job assignments that come my way.
Nyanzi: Who was your hero when you were growing up?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: My hero when I was still growing up was the late Michael Jackson. MJ (Michael Jackson) was my real music king.
Nyanzi: Who is your hero now?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: My hero now is the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, because the former President saved his nation from Apartheid. He served for only one term in the office of the presidency in South Africa and walked out of politics peacefully.
Nyanzi: What do you do before you go to bed?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: Before I retire to bed each night, I make sure I have worked out what I will do the next day, along with what to wear. I dress according to the programme of the day, mostly gomesi when going for traditional functions like introduction and long smart dresses when going for work.
Nyanzi: What do you do when you wake up in the morning?
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: When I wake up in the morning I freshen up and then take my breakfast. I am always on diet-doctor’s orders. Breakfast for me usually consists of fruits like watermelon, pineapple and tea among others. I check my weight every month and when it is up I cut it down.
Nyanzi: Dr. Maggie Kigozi, thank you for this interview.
Dr. Maggie Kigozi: You are most welcome.
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First published: August 17, 2010