Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe

Her Excellency Dr Speciosa Wandira-Kazibwe is a former Vice President of Uganda.

Dr Wandira-Kazibwe served as executive Vice President of Uganda for nearly 10 years, from 1994 to 2003. She was the first woman to hold the office of vice-president in Africa. Dr Wandira-Kazibwe has dedicated her life to the advancement of women, reducing poverty and promoting social justice.

She has held various cabinet portfolios, was a Member of Parliament and was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted Uganda’s 1995 constitution. From 1991 to 1994, she was Uganda’s Minister for Gender and Community Development.

Dr Wandira-Kazibwe was the first President of the African Women’s Committee on Peace and Development, a committee of eminent African women who advise the Secretary-General of the African Union on gender issues and the involvement of women in Africa’s development.

In 2002, Dr Wandira-Kazibwe publically took on the taboo subject of domestic violence against women in Uganda when she filed for divorce from her husband, saying that she refused to be a victim. She resigned from her position in government in 2003, but her influence sparked debate over legislation to outlaw marital rape, ease divorce laws for women, grant property rights to wives and regulate polygamy.

Currently, Dr Wandira-Kazibwe is a Senior Adviser to President Museveni on microfinance, health and population. She also serves on a number of international boards, including the Hunger Project in New York and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, and is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Special Task Force on Agricultural Development. Dr Wandira-Kazibwe served as the Special Envoy to the United Nations Secretary-General on HIV/AIDS in Africa from 2013 to 2014. In September 2014, she was inaugurated into the African Union Panel of the Wise.

In 2013, Dr Wandira-Kazibwe received a Doctor of Science Degree in Population and International Health from Harvard University. She is also a poultry farmer, special banana grower and a banana juice manufacturer.