KAMPALA–Oxfam International has given Winnie Byayima another five-year term to serve as its executive director.
According to the Oxfam International website, Byayima, a wife of Uganda’s leading opposition figure Dr Kizza Besigye, accepted the offer and commended the board’s confidence in her.
“I feel a sense of duty to “carry on fighting, particularly for the women and girls in the South facing poverty and injustice” with whom Oxfam works,” Byayima said.
She added, “I have never enjoyed a role as much as I have at Oxfam,” adding that its staff, partners and volunteers make it a “tough and pragmatic organization… impatient with poverty and injustice and willing to tackle root causes” all of which “fit my values and life experience.”
Oxfam’s board of supervisors endorsed Byayima’s second term of office. Byayima joined Oxfam in 2013, after working with United Nations, African Union Commission and Parliament of Uganda.
Oxfam Chair Juan Alberto Fuentes said: “We are thrilled. Winnie is a visionary leader in the fight against inequality and poverty, and an inspiration to our teams and partners around the world. We look forward to continue to work with her to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty.”
Byayima said she was proud of the heritage and all they have built upon it in five years.
In her first term, Byayima initiated the “One Oxfam” restructure that enables Oxfam to be a more globally balanced organization with a stronger voice in the South and transforms decision-making so it is happening more directly from Oxfam’s country teams.
Oxfam has welcomed new affiliates in Brazil and South Africa and a new observer member in Turkey. She recently moved the Oxfam International Headquarters to Kenya.
“This is vital to our mission as we must influence change from a position of integrity,” Byayima said.
According to Oxfam International website, Byayima also explained that in the next five years she was eager to expand and deepen Oxfam’s work in advancing women’s rights.
“And tilt the balance” of Oxfam’s humanitarian work towards prevention, such as building up people’s resilience to the ever increasing and more intense crises,” she noted.
She said she would push Oxfam to become much more ambitious in its understanding and use of the vast knowledge base of its staff, partners and volunteers around the world.
Byayima also promised to push through her vision to trust the future of Oxfam more in the hands of young people in the South whom she described to be the architects of our economies and our societies of the future