Edson Ngirabakunzi, executive director, Nudipu
Edson Ngirabakunzi, the executive director of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (Nudipu), has joined the race for parliament in next year’s elections.
Ngirabakunzi, who turns 44 this week, wants to represent persons with disability (PWDs) from Western Uganda. The position is currently held by Hood Katuramu. A member of the National Resistance Movement, Ngirabakunzi said he had already picked his nomination papers and would submit them at the earliest opportunity.
In charge of Nudipu since June 2012, Ngirabakunzi wants to go to parliament to strengthen the voice and participation of PWDs in taking Uganda forward.
“My major goal to ensure the full, effective participation of PWDS in the development process of Uganda,” he said last week. “We need to push for a better future of PWDs while leaving no one behind.”
Asked about limitations that stand between PWDs and full participation, Ngirabakunzi lists lack of job quotas in public services, as well as inadequate funding for education specifically for PWDs.
“Quality education remains a problem for PWDs,” says Ngirabakunzi, who is physically disabled. “At the moment, less than one per cent of the education budget is going to PWDs, yet we need at least ten per cent”
Ngirabakunzi says he has done a lot at Nudipu, a non-governmental organisation championing the rights of PWDs. He is an accomplished human rights activist with more than ten years’ of working experience in promoting the rights of people with disabilities.
During his three years as executive director, Ngirabakunzi has been able to stabilise the organisation, especially wining the donor confidence necessary for continued funding to the organisation.
Prior to his current position, Ngirabakunzi also served as a programme officer in Nudipu. He was promoted to the position of a programmes Manager, rising to head of programmes and deputy executive director, a position he served for one year before being appointed executive director. He is currently leading a campaign aimed at ensuring that the World Bank becomes disability- sensitive.
Ngirabakunzi has served on several services commissions for several years including Kisoro district Service Commission. He is a board member at NGO forum, UNASO, among others.
Born on August 5, 1971, at Guhuranda village, Nyarubuye sub-county, Kisoro district, he holds a diploma in Education, a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Makerere University, a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management, and a master’s in Human Rights. He is also pursuing a PhD in Human Rights.