KAMPALA – The tenure of the United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac has come to an end with President Donald Trump announcing her replacement.
She bows out in February 2020.
A September 2019 statement on the US Department of State announced that Natalie Brown, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, who has also served as the Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea, since 2016, will be Ambassador Malac’s replacement.
Ms Brown also previously served as Deputy Permanent Representative and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, Italy, 2013-2016. Ms. Brown also served as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S Embassy Tunis, Tunisia, 2010-2013.
The statement read “In a career that has spanned almost three decades, she has garnered experience in both bilateral and multilateral diplomacy with a strong focus on Africa. That experience, coupled with her distinguished record of leadership, makes her an excellent candidate to serve as U.S Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda.”
Ms Malac, also a career diplomat was nominated by former US President Barack Obama in September 2015 and took over from Ambassador Scott Deilsi who had announced his retirement from service with the top legislative organ, Senate confirmed her appointment in November 2015.
She took her position by presenting her credentials to President Yoweri Museveni in February 2016.
The Parliament of Uganda has confirmed Ms Malac’s departure through its Twitter handle noting; “Speaker Rebecca Kadaga wishes US Ambassador to Uganda well as she reached the evening of her service as American Ambassador to Uganda, and gifted her with a locally made painting, to help her remember and keep appreciating Uganda’s natural beauty.”
Before coming to Uganda, she was the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and also worked as Director of the Office of East African Affairs in Washington among others.
During her senate confirmation hearing, Ms Malac highlighted helping Uganda not become complacent in its HIV fight after good performance,the peace agreement in South Sudan and ensuring Uganda uphold human rights top on her agenda.
Ms Malac said that as a daughter of an immigrant, she described her service to the US as a small repayment for all US has afforded her having embarked on this journey 1981 with an appointment in Cameroon.
During her meeting with Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker reiterated the need for foreign companies investing in Uganda to support locally made materials and products in a move to promote local content.
Ms Kadaga said that many foreign companies have been given opportunities by the government to invest in Uganda but have failed to give priority on opportunities like jobs and raw materials to nationals.
“Our people in Bunyoro are not happy because most of the drivers of trucks for the companies in the area are foreign, yet there are able Ugandans who can do the job,” said Kadaga.
She made the remarks in a meeting in her boardroom with officials from the American Embassy in Uganda led by Ambassador Deborah Malac, on Wednesday, 13 November 2019.
Kadaga also expressed disappointment with many companies in Uganda that continued to import perishables like tomatoes and eggs from other African and South American companies for sale in Uganda, yet such products are readily available locally.
We just need these companies to promote knowledge transfer so that our people can be empowered to provide such services because they can handle these tasks,” Kadaga added.
Ms Malac told the Speaker that as regards local content legislation in the oil and gas sector, the United States Chamber of Commerce had expressed interest in meeting with Ugandan legislators so as to give their input on how to push the sector forward.
She also called on Parliament and Ugandans at large to better appreciate the merits associated with the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill, 2018; that is set to be brought back to the Floor of the House for debate.
“I have seen the benefits that come from using genetically modified crops in a well-managed and conditioned way and thus we would no longer worry about inconsistent weather patterns,” said Malac.
Kadaga wished Ambassador Malac well as she approached the evening of her service as US Ambassador to Uganda. Her tour of duty ends in January 2020.