Foremost lawyer and politician Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has no doubt engraved her footprints in the Ugandan legal, political landscape and beyond. A game changer, she holds records of being the first woman to establish a law firm – Uganda-Kadaga & Co. Advocates (1984) and First woman in Uganda to hold the office of the speaker (May 19, 2011).
Tirelessly fighting for Women’s Rights, Youth Emancipation, Social and Economic Justice, she has presented many papers on the subjects and has raised controversy following her staunch stance against homosexuality.
Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, notably served as Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda from 19 May 2011 – 21 May 2021 – she was elected for a second term May, 2016. She currently serves as the First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda as well as Minister for East African Community Affairs, in the Cabinet of Uganda and current Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kamuli District Women’s Constituency, Busoga sub-region.
An enviable career with stellar resume to show, Rt. Hon. Kadaga served as a Legislature for almost three decades.
Between 1984 and 1988, she was carving out a career in private law practice.
She served in National Resistance Movement since 1989 as member of Council, as back bencher for (1996 to 1998), Minister of State for regional cooperation (1996 to 1998), Minister of State in charge of Transport (1998 to 1999), Cabinet Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs(1999 to 2001), rising to Deputy speaker of Parliament (2001 to 2011) and speaker from 2011 to date. She has also served as Inter-Parliamentary Union as President, Africa Region (October,2014 to 2016) and the Chairperson of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (2014 to 2016).
On 14 January 2021, Kadaga got re-elected to Parliament as a Woman Representative for Kamuli District, she launched a campaign to retain her position as Speaker of Parliament for a third term but lost.
As a lawyer, she earned repute for her advocacy of human rights and offering pro bono services to clients of the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and the Uganda Law Society Legal Aid Clinic.
Born in Kamuli District, Eastern Uganda, on 24 May 1956, Rebecca Kadaga, a lover of education studied law at Makerere University, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB), in 1978. She went on to obtain a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center in Kampala in 1979. In 2000, she obtained a Diploma in Women’s Law from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2003, she obtained the degree of Master of Arts (MA), specializing in Women’s Law, also from the University of Zimbabwe.
Her amazing work has earned her several prestigious honours including receiving the Golden Jubilee Award by the president of Uganda in 2013, a year later in 2014 she was honoured with the Grand Officer of the Republic of Benin from the President of Benin in recognition of her work to empower women. In 2019, Nkumba University, awarded Kadaga an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.