The East African Communications Organisation (EACO) Secretariat, on Wednesday, appointed a Ugandan as its first Chief Executive.
The former head of the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Hodge Semakula, was appointed CEO and is expected to assume office at the Kigali-based institution.
EACO is the regional body which brings together regulatory, postal, telecommunications and broadcasting organisations in the East African Community (EAC).
It has been in existence but was only composed of board directors, with no permanent office.
Semakula, who beat off three competitors from three other East African member states, will be heading an organisation of 25 staff members.
EACO has three departments each headed by a manager – Legal and Advisory Services, ICT Assemblies, and Human Resources and Administration.
“Semakula has been an invaluable human resource. A legal giant, he will always be missed. However, being appointed the maiden CEO of EACO, he has done us proud. We wish him well in his new appointment,” UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, said in an interview yesterday.
The decision to establish a permanent EACO Secretariat was taken during a meeting of the board and stakeholders last year.
A trained lawyer, Semakula holds a Masters of Laws (LLM) in IT and Telecommunications Law from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, a Masters in Public Administration and Management, a Bachelor of Laws both from Makerere University, and a Diploma in Legal Practice, among others.
Before joining UCC, Semakula worked as the Company Secretary and later Acting Managing Director of the then Nile Hotel International Limited (1995-2000).
His professional work experience started with the then Uganda Commercial Bank from 1977 to 1995 where he rose to the rank of Assistant Corporation Secretary before joining Nile Hotel International Limited.
Originally known as the East Africa Regulatory, Postal and Telecommunications Organisation (EARPTO), EACO is an example of a public, private partnership with a sole aim of improving access to affordable and quality communication services to the people of East Africa.
By Gashegu Muramira, The New Times