Celebrating Allen Kagina, The Selfless Mother Turning Around Things At UNRA


Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months May.

Today we are celebrating a special Mother of the nation, perfectly known for hard work, unmatched integrity and desire to see Uganda become a better place.

Allen Catherine Kagina, a renowned a born again Public servant. She is the executive director of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) a position she took on 27 April 2015.

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is the government agency mandated to develop and maintain the national roads network, advise the government on general roads policy, contribute to the addressing of national transport concerns, and perform certain other functions. This role had almost stifled the agency for a long time until the coming of Allen Kagina.

Kagina who has been described by many as Mama a Kiswahili word that means mother, has turned things at UNRA and with her fantastic leadership, the future of the Uganda’s infrastructure progress can be guaranteed.

Who Is Allen Kagina?

She was born in Rukungiri District, Western Region of Uganda, in 1961 to Hezron and Catherine Kakuyo. Kagina studied at Gayaza High School, a prestigious, private, boarding, all-girl middle and high school. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology obtained from Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest and largest public university. She also holds a Master of Public Administration obtained from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

Kagina started her career in 1985 as a teaching assistant at Makerere University. She later moved to the Office of the President. In 1992, she joined the URA as a senior principal revenue officer, serving in that capacity until 1998.

In 2000, she was promoted to the rank of deputy commissioner for customs at URA, serving in that capacity until 2001. She was appointed commissioner general of URA in 2004. She is credited with improving the URA’s financial performance. She was awarded the Corporate Leadership Award in February 2006, by Destiny Consult, an industry group, for turning around the performance of the tax body since her appointment to head the organization in 2004.

In October 2010, her contract was renewed for another three years. On 27 April 2015, John Byabagambi, the Ugandan Minister of Works and Transport at that time, appointed her as the executive director of the UNRA, effective 1 May 2015.

BE A GOOD EXAMPLE: She is known for her well groomed administrative skills and integrity.  She is credited with turning around the performance of URA and has been recognized by a number of institutions, including the Parliament of Uganda, for transforming URA into a reputable Government organization.

Allen Kagina

Allen Kagina supervising road works

AMBITION: Allen Kagina describes herself as ambitious and a learner when she is asked to describe herself in two sentences.

SPIRITUALITY: She admits that one of the things that has kept her going is her faith in God. ’’I believe that my life is given to me to live for Christ.’’

INTENTION: ‘’It is a privilege to work and if I know I can make a difference through my work, then it is an honor to work.

DO NOT DESPISE WORK: ‘’There are a lot of people that do not work not because there are no jobs but because they despise work.’’

DON’T LET GENDER DETERMINE YOUR CAREER: She believes that if the tables turned and she were a man, she would still not change a thing. ’’I do not think I am this because I am a woman. I think God created me to do more than the confines of gender. There is nothing in the market place that God has designed specifically for men or for women. For the transformation of this nation, God is asking for all troops all women and men.’’

BE HAPPY: ‘’I always find reason to be happy. When my family is well taken care of, and I have people around me that are happy. When I can solve someone’s problem, I am happy.’’

ORGANISATION: ‘’We are not a poor nation, not by any means, but I think getting ourselves organized so that we can mobilize the resources is one of the things we are addressing.’’

BE SOLUTION BASED: ‘’My mind is always in the mode of problem solving. I am always solving problems either at home or at work or in my personal life and so often I go to sleep thinking, ’’What is the best way to address this?’’

FAMILY: On the advice she always gives her children ‘’I always tell my children God is uppermost, that they cannot go wrong if you trust God; you can ask God anytime, anyplace for anything. If they come to me for something and it is a challenge, I always tell them ask God.’’