3rd Annual Joan Kagezi Memorial Lecture in Kampala

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12-13 April 2018, Kampala, Uganda

On 13 April, Wayamo Foundation Director Bettina Ambach and Deputy Director Mark Kersten participated in the third annual Joan Kagezi Memorial Lecture on the theme of “Combating International and Transnational Organised Crime: Lessons Learnt and Best Practices”. The Wayamo Foundation had the privilege of co-organising the event with its partners in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The event celebrated the life of Joan Kagezi, a senior prosecutor in Uganda’s International Crimes Division, who was assassinated in March 2015.

Click here for Memorial picturesprogramme and report.

Speakers included Joan’s son, George Philipp Kagezi, Mike Chibita (Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda), Petra Kochendörfer (Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy), Nicholas Koumjian (International Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia), Rahel Gershuni, (Consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/UNODC and former National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator), Dr. Grace Ononiwu (OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands, United Kingdom), Charles Elem Ogwa (Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda), Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo (Deputy Chief Justice, Uganda), and Amos Ngolobe (Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Uganda).

This event afforded an opportunity to remember and pay tribute to the life and work of Joan Kagezi. DPP Mike Chibita noted that the annual Joan Kagezi memorial lecture “is a way of ensuring that her memory doesn’t die and that the subject of transnational crimes which we are battling, remains alive”.

“She paid the ultimate price for her commitment to justice and accountability. (…) I hope that in the near future, the promise of accountability that she represented is brought to bear on the injustice of her death”, Bettina Ambach added.

This event was preceded by a training workshop on 12 April with the focus on the fight against international and transnational organised crimes. In line with the Wayamo Foundation’s mandate and mission, the aim of the workshop was to build local capacities in order to address core international crimes and transnational organised crimes domestically. This workshop was designed as part of Wayamo’s ongoing efforts to put the principle of complementarity into effective practice, whilst simultaneously fostering co-operation between the international criminal justice community and national legal actors.

Participants in the training workshop included representatives of the Ugandan police forces, investigators, prosecutors and members of the judiciary. Institutions represented included the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the Office of the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) . The training session was opened by the directors of both institutions, DPP Mike Chibita and DCI Grace Akullo, and Wayamo’s Bettina Ambach. The participants engaged in inter-active training with three experts: Nicholas Koumjian, International Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, whose session focused on efforts to combat core international crimes; Rahel Gershuni, UNODC Consultant and former National Anti-Trafficking Co-ordinator, who addressed the substantive and evidential challenges in human trafficking cases; and Christine Alai, Head of Office, Physicians for Human Rights, Kenya, who explored the challenges of and opportunities for forensic investigations into sexual and gender-based violence.

Click here for workshop pictures.

Both events were held within the framework of the “Fighting Impunity in East Africa” Project, an initiative funded by the German Foreign Ministry.

George Philipp Kagezi


Petra Kochendörfer, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy

Dr. Grace Ononiwu, OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands, United Kingdom

Charles Elem, Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions, Amos Ngolobe, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions and Grace Akullo, Director of Criminal Investigations

Mark Kersten, Deputy Director, Wayamo Foundation having a conversation with Nicholas about Combating Core International Crimes