Rotary International African President – Elect passes away

July 25, 2017
Source: l Ghana
Rotary International African President – Elect passes away

Sam Frobisher Owori was poised to become the President of Rotary International – one of the world’s largest service organization.

Sam's term as Rotary International’s 108th president would have begun on 1st July 2018 and he would have been the second person from the African continent to hold this position.

During his tenure as President, he was hoping to "harness the Rotary enthusiasm and pride so that every project becomes the engine of peace and prosperity.” He had embarked on a campaign of increasing Rotary’s membership through the recruitment of more women, youth and community members. "There are many places which need Rotary and numerous potential members who have never been invited," he said. "The problem is Rotarians who got in and closed the door." 

 Sam F. Owori, Rotary International President-Elect, died unexpectedly on Thursday 13th July 2017 as a result of post-operative complications from a planned surgery in Texas, USA.  

 Sam was a member of the Rotary Club Kampala, Uganda, for 38 years. Under Sam’s leadership, the number of Rotary clubs in Uganda swelled from 9 to 89 over the course of 29 years. Sam saw in Rotary members, "an incredible passion to make a difference" 

  “Rotary has become a way of life for me – with the intrinsic value and core belief in mutual responsibility and concern for one another as a cornerstone,” Sam said when he was nominated last year. “I feel immense satisfaction knowing that through Rotary, I’ve helped someone live better.”

 Sam was also the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU), whose mission is to promote excellence in corporate governance principles and practice in the region by 2020. Previously, he was Executive Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Managing Director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd. (UCB) and Director of Uganda Development Bank.  He has also served as Corporation Secretary of the Central Bank of Uganda (BOU).

 He had served as Member and Chairman of several boards including FAULU (U) Ltd (now Opportunity Bank), The Uganda Heart Institute, the Centre for African Family Studies (CAFS), Mulago Hospital Complex, Mukono Theological College, and the Kampala City Council. Sam was also the current Vice Chair of the Hospice Africa Uganda, and member of the board and chair of the Audit Committee of PACE (Programme for Accessible Health, Communication and Education) in Uganda.

 In his statements, Ian Riseley, Rotary International President (2017/2018) said “Please remember Sam as the outstanding, hardworking Rotarian he was. In this difficult time, I ask you to keep his wife, Norah, the Owori family, and Sam’s millions of friends around the world in your thoughts.    Sam was a special person in so many ways and his unexpected death is a huge loss to Rotary, his community and the world. In addition, we are establishing details on plans to celebrate his life as they become available. Rotary is establishing a memorial fund in Sam's honor. 

 He also stated, “There has been an outpouring of heartfelt messages since President-elect Sam’s passing last week. Rotarians and members of the public have been sharing memories and recalling how Sam inspired them through his hard work as a Rotarian and as a dedicated civil servant. It is clear that his impact and legacy were felt worldwide. Memorial contributions in honor of Sam will be directed to the Sam F. Owori Memorial to Polio. This fund has been established to honor his commitment to Rotary’s polio eradication efforts. Sam was a member of both the Africa Regional PolioPlus Committee and the International PolioPlus Committee.” 

Born in 1941 in West Budama district, Uganda to the late Zephania and Mary Ochieng; Sam was the third child in a family of fourteen. Sam is survived by his dear wife Norah, three sons, siblings and grandchildren.

 An inspiration to Rotarians in Africa especially and all over the world, Rotary International President – Elect, Sam Frobisher Owori will be greatly missed. culled from