Winnie Byanyima handed another 5-year term to lead Oxfam

Winnie Byanyima handed another 5-year term to lead Oxfam
Winnie Byanyima

Former Ugandan legislator Winnie Byanyima has been reappointed to lead Oxfam, an international confederation of charitable organizations focused on the alleviation of global poverty.

A statement from Oxfam International shows that Byanyima has accepted an offer from Oxfam’s board of supervisors to serve a second five-year term.

Byanyima said she was honoured and humbled by the board’s confidence in her continuing an “exciting, roller-coaster journey” and felt a sense of duty to “carry on fighting, particularly for the women and girls in the South facing poverty and injustice” with whom Oxfam works.

“We are thrilled. Winnie is a visionary leader in the fight against inequality and poverty, and an inspiration to our teams and partners around the world. We look forward to continuing to work with her to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty,” Oxfam board chairman Juan Alberto Fuentes is quoted in the statement saying.

Byanyima joined Oxfam in 2013 from the United Nations after serving in the Ugandan Parliament for 11 years and in the African Union Commission.

“I have never enjoyed a role as much as I have at Oxfam,” she said adding that its staff, partners and volunteers make it a “tough and pragmatic organization… impatient with poverty and injustice and willing to tackle root causes.”

In the next five years, Byanyima says she is eager to expand and deepen Oxfam’s work in advancing women’s rights and “tilt the balance” of Oxfam’s humanitarian work toward prevention, such as building up people’s resilience to the ever increasing and more intense crises.

She said she will push Oxfam to become much more ambitious in its understanding and use of the vast knowledge base of its staff, partners and volunteers around the world, saying “our knowledge is our power to change the world.”

Byanyima says she excited about seeing through investments Oxfam is making in new, agile technologies. And she promised to push through her vision to trust the future of Oxfam more in the hands of young people in the South who are “the architects of our economies and our societies of the future.

In her first term, the statement says Byanyima initiated the “One Oxfam” restructure that enables Oxfam to be a more globally balanced organization with a stronger voice in the South, and transforms decision-making so it is happening more directly from Oxfam’s country teams.

Byanyima recently moved the Oxfam International HQ to Kenya.

“This is vital to our mission as we must influence change from a position of integrity,” she said.