Thursday, January 14, 2010

Anne Mugisha, Next President of Forum for Democratic Change

Anne Mugisha is a US based activist of the Forum for Democratic Change, a Ugandan political party. She plans to return to Uganda ahead of the 2011 elections to support the Party's candidates during election campaigns. She will also reacquaint herself with grassroots members in a bid to become the party's next President.  

Anne holds the position of Deputy Secretary for International and Regional Affairs and coordinates FDC's external relations, liaising with democracy activists based in the Diaspora and drawing international attention to the democracy deficit in Uganda. She is a lawyer and human rights activist who has held diplomatic and management positions in Uganda's civil service and in the NGO sector. She is also a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow and a regular contributor of democratization and human rights OP-EDs in Uganda's media.  

Anne joined active opposition politics in November 2000 as a publicity Secretary for the Elect Kizza Besigye Task force which offered the first serious challenge to President Yoweri Museveni’s government in an election that was ranked as Uganda’s most violent election. She stood for Parliamentary elections and contested for the seat of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala in May 2001. Shortly after the presidential and parliamentary elections Anne left Uganda following constant harassment and threats from security operatives. She stayed briefly in South Africa where she continued to interact with other Ugandan dissidents and opposition politicians leading to their founding of Reform Agenda; a political pressure group established to advocate for democratic reforms in Uganda.  

Anne moved to USA in February 2002 as Executive Director of RESPOND Uganda a Diaspora Organization based in Washington DC that sought to create awareness about political persecution and regressing democratic development in Uganda. It was here that she was awarded the Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington DC. When Uganda instituted a multiparty system of governance, Reform Agenda merged with other newly formed political groups to form Forum for Democratic Change in December 2004. Anne was named External Coordinator and was appointed Special Envoy in the President’s Office at the Party;s first Delegate's Conference in 2005. She remained in the USA from where she assisted in coordinating a communications and fundraising initiative for the 2006 general elections in Uganda. In 2009 Anne was appointed to her current position of Deputy Secretary for Regional and International Affairs at the party’s second delegates conference.  

Anne has harnessed the power of the World Wide Web to develop a virtual network of Ugandan political activists who support mobilization and movement building activities at the grassroots in Uganda. She started and moderated a virtual discussion forum in 2002 for the Reform Agenda that brought together over 700 Ugandan activists based in the Diaspora. The forum later became the launch pad for communication and fundraising campaigns for the 2006 elections and was renamed FDC Discussion Forum. In addition to moderating the forum Anne commissioned the design and construction of the the party’s first website which became an important source of campaign news from the opposition and was a source for the media in Uganda and for Ugandans in the Diaspora during the 2006 election campaigns.  

Anne builds and maintains effective partnerships with Donor organizations, think tanks, Diaspora communities and individual rights activists to foster financial, technological and material support for the opposition in Uganda. She plays an important role in communicating with varying stakeholders. Between Oct 2004-2006 Anne was a Program Associate at Women's Learning Partnership in Bethesda, Maryland, USA; where she coordinated leadership training projects for transnational partner organizations working with women living in adverse conditions, including refugee women, women living under Islamic laws, and women living in post conflict communities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

For more information visit Anne's Campaign Page on Facebook

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