KAMPALA – Dr Michael Kansiime – the hitherto Executive Director of the Dairy Development Authority – DDA, is dead.
The authority confirmed the veterinary doctor, who oversaw the historic recovery of Uganda’s dairy industry’s demise through a social media post, early Wednesday.
“We regret to announce the death of our hitherto Executive Director Dr Kansiime who succumbed (to death) last night after a long illness. May the Lord grant him Eternal Peace. Pray for the family and staff in this dark hour,” read the DDA post on Tweeter.
Kansiime died after a long battle with kidney disease, according to family sources. He was in his early 60s.
According to reliable sources, Kansiime’s wife had donated a kidney to him for a transplant, but hopes of a full recovery faded out on Tuesday night.
Kansiime – a distinguished surgeon and professor at Makerere College of Veterinary Medicine, assumed office June 2020 – replacing Dr Jolly K Zaribwende – and soon after embarked on the task of restoring order at the authority. He successfully dealt with poor performance, intrigue, and infighting.
However, Kansiime was able to double the value of Uganda’s milk exports from Ugx176 bn in 2018/2019 to Ugx388bn in 2020/21. Milk production increased from 2.5 billion litres in 2019 to 2.8 billion litres in 2021, according to deliousfood.com.
A product of Ntare School in the Mbarara district, Kansiime joined Makerere University in 1984, graduating with a degree in veterinary medicine in 1990.
In 2010, Kansiime represented Uganda in the regional body CAHNET – Community Animal Health Network – providing oversight functions.
Kansiime also served as Director of the African Institute for Strategic Animal Resources Services and Development – AFRISA – at Makerere University.
At the time of his death, Dr Kansiime was spearheading efforts to boost Uganda’s milk exports.
“Uganda is poised to become Africa’s largest dairy exporter and the sector is slowly making its way into (the country’s) top exports, along with coffee and tea,” he is quoted as saying at a recent function in Kampala.
Dr Kansiime had convinced President Yoweri Museveni to completely overhaul the dairy industry through rehabilitation and equipping of milk collection centres – MCCs and upgrading of cold chain facilities to reduce losses.
He also played a key role in persuading the government to upgrade the Entebbe Dairy Training School – EDTS to the National Dairy Hatchery and Training School – NDTIC to produce Dairy Technologists and Dairy Technicians and also invest in regional operating units in nine regions of Uganda as a way of bringing services closer to the farms.
“I hope that the dairy sector will soon be Uganda’s top foreign exchange earner as we move further into the agro-industrialization agenda, thus offering more employment opportunities than any other sector and providing an excellent opportunity for national transformation,” he said.