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Governance: Acceptance Speech from Mr Karia Wallace, the new CECAFA President (Verbatim)

Date 18th December 2019

Silver Springs Hotel, Bugolobi-Uganda


New CECAFA President Mr. Karia Wallace

My Dear Friends, fellow Federation Presidents, General Secretaries, Delegates and stakeholders of the beautiful game of football.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take this opportunity to thank our hosts the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and the CECAFA Secretariat led by Mr. Nicholas Musonye for organizing the General Assembly today.

I take this opportunity to humble myself before you and thank all of you for entrusting me with the top leadership of CECAFA as President for the next four years.

It is an honor that I have taken with humility, knowing very well that you have singled me out from many of other able leaders to be your servant with obedience.

My dear colleagues I would like to thank you for giving me the mandate to serve you without going through the challenges of electioneering. You have done this through your own consciousness and the trust you have in me. I salute you all.

You have shown your trust in me and I will reciprocate that trust by serving you diligently, honestly, transparently and observing the tenets of our constitution and with respect to all of you and to those contributing immensely to the game of football in the CECAFA region.

Ladies and gentlemen, may you also allow me to thank our out-going CECAFA President Dr. Mutasim Gafar for holding our organisation together and serving us with devotion and dedication for the past four years.

We shall always appreciate your contribution and efforts towards CECAFA all aimed at development of football in the region.

We shall still need your words of wisdom and we shall not hesitate to consult and tap into your experience to guide us in running the administration of CECAFA.

I promise to ensure that you remain one of the pillars of CECAFA that we shall count on as we start our new journey today.

As we move forward in the next journey of transformation in the CECAFA region, I would like to ask all of you to be aware that servant leadership is a calling that entails sacrifice and commitment.

I want to assure you that the new team will commit itself to ensuring that the leadership of CECAFA is an all-inclusive organization that welcomes different ideologies to be shared with the football fraternity to move forward as one family.

I would like to accept my new calling with a promise that I will commit myself to serve all of you without bias. We shall draw on the talent we have in the region, use our experts and ensure that we run our organization for the good of the future generations.

As we move into another era, we shall have to re-look into our programs and be very strategic in which competitions we are going to put emphasis in order to develop our region.

In this regard, I want to thank FIFA for the FIFA Forward Program and CAF for enabling us utilize the FIFA resources to organize youth and women competitions in our zone.

We shall continue to engage with CAF and FIFA to ensure that we utilize this program well to the benefit of our zone.

My dear colleagues, May I also take this opportunity to thank and congratulate our MA’s for hosting and participating in our various competitions. This year alone, we have organized six competitions in five months. This is not a small achievement. In this regard, I wish to thank our Secretary General and his backroom staff for the hard work and commitment they have exhibited under difficult conditions.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are all aware that CECAFA, like any other organization faces a cocktail of challenges. For us to overcome these challenges, we must have a sense of collective responsibility which calls for honoring our obligations, commitments, respecting our Statutes and valuing the ideals of CECAFA.

One of the major challenges facing CECAFA today is lack of commitment from some Member Associations (MAs). We have to change this attitude and commit to work in unison and build a culture of inclusivity and cohesiveness.

Another challenge facing CECAFA today is lack of resources to run our football events and activities. We need to put a plan in place so that we attract more sponsors and partners to enable us run our activities without constraints. Football in this region is capable of attracting corporate sponsorship.

In conclusion, I once more wish to reiterate that the new team that you have given the mandate today will endeavor to work with devotion and make CECAFA stronger and united.

We count on your support to achieve this.

I wish to conclude by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020. May God bless you all.



New Executive Committee of CECAFA:

President: Karia Wallace (Tanzania)

1st Vice President: Francis Amin (South Sudan)

2nd Vice President: Esayas Jiro (Ethiopia)


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