In Uganda, apart from the massacres in Kasase, Rotary International’s Sam Owori’s death on 13th July 2017 was the most shocking disturbing news in the course of the year to those who understood the weight of the position he had been elected to that was to see him Rotary International President effective 1st July 2018.
Owori would have been the first Ugandan and second African to lead the global organization dedicated to serving communities.
His term of office as the 108th President was scheduled to begin on July 1, 2018, after the installation at the Annual Rotary Convention in Toronto-Canada. He died in Dallas, Texas in the United States of America after undergoing an operation on the leg.
A family member said that after the operation, his blood pressure dropped suddenly and never recuperated. He died on 14th July 2017 aged 75 years.
Owori is credited for an instrumental role in growing the number of clubs in Uganda from nine to 89 over the course of 29 years. He has been a member of Rotary since 1978, a commitment spanning close to 40 years.
Besides his work in Rotary, Owori has served as the chief executive officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda. He has previously served as the executive director of the African Development Bank, managing director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd., and director of Uganda Development Bank.
President Rotary International 2017-18, Ian H. S. Riseley confirmed the news saying Owori died during the night.
He further noted details on Owori’s funeral arrangements will be communicated later.
Owori was on in August 2016 nominated to head Rotary International as President for year 2018-2019.
He studied law, employment relations, business management, corporate resources management, microfinance, and marketing at institutions in England, Japan, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States, including Harvard Business School.
Since becoming a member in 1978, Owori had served Rotary as regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, regional RI membership coordinator, RI Representative to the United Nations Environment Program and UN-Habitat, and RI director.
Most recently, Owori served as trustee of The Rotary Foundation, chair of The Rotary Foundation's Finance Committee, and a member of the Investment Committee, according to the Rotary website.
He served as member and chair of several boards including FAULU (U) Ltd., (now Opportunity Bank), the Uganda Heart Institute, the Centre for African Family Studies, Mulago Hospital Complex, Mukono Theological College, and the Kampala City Council.
Sam also was the vice chair of Hospice Africa Uganda, and board member and chair of the Audit Committee of PACE (Programme for Accessible Health, Communication, and Education) in Uganda.
“Sam was a special person in so many ways, and his unexpected death is a huge loss to Rotary, his community, and the world,” Riseley said.