On 4th March 2019, the long-serving Executive Director of Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Ms Lilly Ajarova handed over to Dr Joshua Rukundo who will be the Acting Executive Director. Lilly has recently been appointed and accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Tourism Board.
Mr Edgar Buhanga, the Board Chairperson and Deputy Director Planning in Uganda Wildlife Authority, flanked by the other board members, thanked Lilly for her long and dedicated service. He assured Dr Rukundo of the support of the board and said that while the position was interim, he expressed confidence in the ability of Dr Rukundo to become the substantive Executive Director of the Trust. Mr Buhanga announced that due to the wealth of experience that Lilly had accumulated over her time, both at UWA and at the Chimpanzee Trust, the board had passed a resolution to ask her to join the board as a special member, to allow management of the trust to continue to benefit from her expertise.
Dr Rukundo has served the Trust for the last 9 years, starting as the Sanctuary Manager and later as the Conservation Programs Director to date. In his remarks, Dr Rukundo appreciated the board for recognizing his capacity to continue with the growth of the Chimpanzee Trust operations. He expressed that he was confident in the team that he had and in the support of the partners, friends and donors, with whom he has worked closely with Lilly over the last 8 years. “Working closely with Lilly has taught me a lot about management of a sanctuary, and I am confident that I can ably fill the role of Executive Director of the Chimpanzee Trust. I will continue to look to Lilly and the board for guidance and am happy that Lilly shall be joining our Board of Trustees.”
Lilly appreciated the support of the board members over the last 14 years with Chimpanzee Trust and that she was sad to go but at the same time believes that with her new position as the chief of Uganda’s tourism marketing body, she was positioned to better market Ngamba and promised to ensure that Ngamba and chimpanzee Trust operations are recognized at National and International level. Lilly expressed confidence in the leadership of Dr Rukundo and having worked with him, strongly backed his capacity and character as a suitable replacement as Executive Director. “Joshua is a very committed and hardworking individual and I have absolute faith in his ability to perform as Executive Director, perhaps even better than myself.”