KAMPALA: The Female Future Program (FFP), established in 2011, is a transformative initiative exclusively for women. It empowers participants to step out of their comfort zones, unlocking their full potential. FFP equips women to become more effective leaders and advocates for their organizations’ strategic goals. This program fosters self-awareness, confidence, presence, visibility, and resilience, while also imparting essential skills like successful negotiation and a strong sense of belonging.
Furthermore, FFP enhances participants’ abilities to express themselves effectively, construct compelling arguments, and excel in influence and negotiation. The Board Competence module equips them with both hard and soft skills required to be valuable board members, steering organizations to new heights. Remarkably, all 140 women who have attended this program have seen career advancement, positioning FFP as a regional and international leader in leadership development. Notably, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has recognized FFP as one of the ten best practices in promoting gender equality.
The conference was kickstarted with a keynote address from Eng. Nancy Maluleke, the CEO at Ndzlaka Engineering and Projects.
In her address, Eng.Nancy emphasized the importance of women in leadership and governance. She began by sharing her experience and acknowledging that the Executive Director FUE, Mr. Douglas Opio had already highlighted the need to prioritize good governance in businesses and government entities to promote economic growth and development in Africa. It was mentioned that this is crucial for attracting investment.
Eng. Nancy Maluleke pointed out that Africa is rich in resources but faces challenges in achieving financial empowerment. To address this, a focus on good governance was deemed essential, with women playing a pivotal role in this endeavor. It was noted that women possess innate qualities such as multitasking, resourcefulness, resilience, tenacity, and a fighting spirit, which are crucial attributes for women aspiring to reach leadership positions, especially when starting from the grassroots level.
The speaker also noted that women have the potential to become leaders in sectors vital for the continent’s progress. With the right skills and determination, they can actively participate in shaping the future of the continent. In conclusion, the speaker expressed their gratitude to all the individuals who had contributed to the event, emphasizing that everyone was contributing to the betterment of Africa, and together, they could continue to make a difference on the continent.
This was then followed by remarks from the chairperson of the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE).
In his opening remarks, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha acknowledged the presence of all the esteemed guests and delegates from across Africa.
He expressed his gratitude to Engineer Nancy Maluleke, the CEO at Ndzlaka Engineering and Projects, for her insightful keynote address, stating that her remarks truly resonated with him and that he believed her wisdom would inspire many.
Dr. Eng. Silver also extended his appreciation to the members of the governing council for their excellent work and dedication to the program, stating that the testimonials seen were truly encouraging and that they highlighted the value of participating in such a program.
Dr. Mugisha stated that leadership is a complex concept and urged the audience not to oversimplify it. He said there are many aspects to consider, and continuous learning is crucial. He emphasized that leaders must ask themselves three important questions: What does it take to be a good leader? What do they need? And how can they become effective leaders?
He went on to stress that leadership is fundamentally about people and that it’s essential to understand how to work with them effectively. He added that setting the right tone, whether in terms of vision, mission, or strategy, is critical, and it’s equally important to demonstrate true leadership through honesty and transparency.
Dr. Mugisha emphasized that different leadership styles, such as democratic and autocratic, have their place, depending on the situation and the people they lead. He mentioned that the role of a leader extends beyond merely organizing people, as one should aspire to be recognized and effective at leadership.
He reminded leaders of large institutions present that understanding sustainability, including environmental issues, corporate social responsibility, and governance, is vital. He suggested that this could be achieved by simplifying their focus on the “Three Ps” – people, planet, and profits, hence guiding their decisions and actions.
Dr. Eng. Mugisha also reminded those present that leadership is not about self-confidence alone, but about instilling confidence in others. He noted that character and competence are two important attributes to consider when recruiting, with character being more important in an era where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can handle many tasks.
He concluded his remarks by stating that resilience and risk orientation are critical for leaders to navigate challenges effectively. He mentioned that building resilience in the organization and being proactive in risk assessment are keys to success.
The conference was concluded with the awarding of certificates to the graduands from both the 20th and 21st cohort and representing the corporation were Mrs. Lucy Atwinne, Ms. Diana Kyarimpa, Ms. Denise Kukundakwe and Evelyn Nafuna.
Also in attendance was the Director HR, Ms Eunice Alanyo accompanied by Ms. Mary Ikazi, Mrs. Evelyn Mukajusi, Ms. Barbara Noowe, SM.Mrs. Gloria Bashemera and SM. Mrs. Hellen Ejang.