By Namuli Rashidah
Dr. Peter G. Mwesige will be stepping down as Executive Director at the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), the Board of Directors has confirmed on Thursday June 2.
His last day at work is 30 June 2022.
Dr George W. Lugalambi, who was interviewed at the end of last year, has been appointed as the next executive director.
He will report on 13 June and work with Dr Mwesige and the management team to ensure a smooth transition.
Dr Mwesige, a co-founder of ACME, has served as executive director of the Kampala-based media support organisation since its incorporation in August 2009. Before that he worked as group training editor of Nation Media Group, head of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University, and executive editor at Monitor Publications Ltd.
“It’s been a great privilege to work with the amazing team at ACME to support excellence in our journalism,” Dr Mwesige said. “Now is the time to pass the baton to another person who shares our passion for quality journalism and vision for media support to take ACME to the next level.”
ACME’s board chair, Ms Susan Nsibirwa, lauded the outgoing executive director. “It’s no secret that Dr Peter Mwesige has been at the forefront of the organisation’s establishment, growth and influence,” she said. “He leaves behind a well-run and very productive organisation, healthy donor relations and a culture primed to promote media excellence across the region. The results of his tenure speak for themselves.”
Ms. Nsibirwa added that the board is retaining Dr Mwesige as an advisor because members did “not want to lose the institutional memory and his experience”.
Under Dr Mwesige’s leadership, ACME has grown into a leading brand in the region’s media support sector, delivering high quality mid-career training for journalists, media monitoring and research, commentary on journalism and media performance, excellence awards, media literacy training for civil society and the broader population, as well as press freedom and freedom of expression advocacy. ACME is steadily expanding its reach through implementing a range of new media development projects in East Africa. One of the centre’s strategic priorities for 2022-2026 is to expand its footprint on the continent.
Incoming Executive Director Lugalambi has promised to grow ACME’s continental presence.
Dr Lugalambi, who is also a former head of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University, has worked in academia, journalism, the NGO sector, and communication consulting.
He is a consultant at Hamwe East Africa Ltd, and previously worked with the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) as Media Capacity Development Officer. Dr Lugalambi coordinates the Uganda Media Sector Working Group (UMSWG), a multi-stakeholder forum that was established last year to “support the development of the media through effective regulation that is democratic, transparent, and responsive to the changing policy, legal, social and technological environments”.
Commenting on his appointment, Dr Lugalambi said he was “entirely sold on ACME’s mission of inspiring African journalists and media practitioners to seek and achieve professional excellence”.
“I look forward to consolidating and advancing the work ACME has done over the years to facilitate the continuous professional development of journalists and media practitioners in Africa,” he said.
Ms Nsibirwa said Dr Lugalambi was more than qualified to take over at the helm of ACME. “He comes in at the time when a new five-year strategic plan has been approved by the board, and his evaluation will be based on how well he executes its implementation,” she said. “We are confident that the board made the right selection and ACME can only rise higher.”
ACME, which commenced formal operations in December 2009, has over the years trained more than 1,000 journalists from Botswana, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The centre has also trained hundreds of civil society actors and government officials on media relations.