President-elect of Rotary International, Samuel Frobisher Owori, has passed on in a hospital in the USA while undergoing an operation.
Owori was going to be the only second African and first East African to head Rotary International since 1905.
He died on Thursday in Dallas, Texas in the United States while undergoing surgery on his leg.
In October 2016, Owori was confirmed president-nominee of Rotary International – a humanitarian service organization that unites leaders committed to improving lives and bringing positive, lasting change to communities around the world.
As a member of the Rotary Club Kampala, Uganda for 38 years, Owori said Rotary had become a way of life for him – with the intrinsic value and core belief in mutual responsibility and concern for one another as a cornerstone.
During his one-year term as Rotary’s 108th president beginning on 1 July 2018, Owori was to focus on building membership worldwide and increasing visibility and understanding of Rotary.
He played an instrumental role in growing the number of clubs in Uganda from nine to 89 over the course of 29 years.
Rotary members throughout the world take action to make communities better.
They contribute their time, energy and passion to carry out impactful and sustainable projects in the areas of peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.
As president, Owori was scheduled to oversee Rotary’s top humanitarian goal of eradicating the paralysing disease polio.
Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985, and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 26 confirmed to date in 2016.
Rotary has contributed more than US $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.
Owori was the chief executive officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda.
Before that, he was executive director of the African Development Bank, managing director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd., and director of Uganda Development Bank.
He studied law, employment relations, business management, corporate resources management, microfinance, and marketing at institutions in England, Japan, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States, including Harvard Business School.