Ms. Zoe Bakoru-Bakoko is the former Cabinet Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development and Member of Parliament of Uganda, Africa. She is a health policy expert with over 20 years of experience in legislation, budgeting, policy planning, evaluation and implementation at the national level.
As a public health nurse administrator, she recruited and trained community health workers, coordinated immunization and family planning programs, and developed health outreach programs to underserved communities.
Minister of Social Development
During her tenure as Minister, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko developed the Social Development Investment Plan (SDIP) and the Orphans; Vulnerable Children Policy (OVC), the guiding policy on orphaned children. She also led the tripartite delegation to the International Labor Organization Conference (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland and secured funding for community development ministry programs.
Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko has been recognized for her tireless work as an HIV/AIDS and peace activist and advocate for women and children’s rights. She has meet with several world leaders to discuss health policies, labor issues, peace processes, gender equality and children’s rights.
In 2006, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in a segment entitled, “Mothers/Moms of the World”. In the documentary, reporter Lisa Ling interviewed Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko about her work as a health advocate for children affected by HIV/AIDS and orphaned in Uganda. Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko founded an orphanage in Uganda that took care of over 40 orphaned children. As a member of Amnesty International (United Kingdom), she raised awareness on the genocide issues in Rwanda, DR. Congo, Sudan, Uganda and Somali.
Her speech titled “HIV AIDS in the Work Place/World of Work” led to workers and employers developing a joint action to fight HIV/AIDS in eight African nations. In 1999 and 2002, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko was hosted by the U.S. State Department. During her tour to several states, she gave lectures on governance, legislation, and policies related to women, youth, children and minority issues and later used the experience on those trips to reform the labor laws in her country.
In 2003, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko received two awards for the National Youth Council and Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development for her leadership role in developing policies in Vienna, Austria. In 2001, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko led the delegation to attend the 2nd Congress Against Sexual Commercial Exploitation in Yokohama, Japan. In 2001, she was a keynote speaker at a seminar organized by the Institute of Policy Research (FAFO) and NORAD titled “HIV/AIDS at the Work Place; Prevention Works.”
In 2005, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko was awarded the U.N. Peace Award for her work facilitating the Somali peace process. Her efforts brought awareness of the suffering of Somali women and children. In 2004, Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko was the key note speaker at the ICFTU-AFRO Regional Conference in Africa.
Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko has participated in several conferences, delegations, and international peace forums. She is an author of many articles, been the keynote speaker, and political newspaper columnist on topics such as HIV/AIDS, public health initiatives, democracy and governance, peace and disaster management, gender equality, and child/youth programs.
Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko holds a Masters of International Health from Queen Margaret in Edinburgh, Scotland, Bachelor’s of Public Health Nursing from the Institute of Public Health Studies in Kampala, Uganda, and Registered Midwifery from Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery in Kampala, Uganda and Registered Psychiatric Nurse degree from Butabika School of Psychiatry and Psychology Nursing in Kampala, Uganda. Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko is a member of several international organizations, associations and committees. These include:
- Co-Founder of TRIBE, benefiting youth and anti-violence programs.
- Positive Runway Stop the spread HIV/AIDS activist.
- Member of Uganda Women Parliamentary Women’s Association
- Member of Amnesty International (United Kingdom)
- Member of Caritas Nurses and Uganda Nurses and Midwifes Association
- Member of The Aids Support Organization (TASO)
- Member of To Love Children (TLC)
- Member of the Society of Women with AIDS in Africa (SWAA)
- Member of WRES working against racism and ethnic sensitivity
- Founder BBF bakoko bakoru foundation home for orphans
Ms. Bakoru-Bakoko is widowed and has forty five children (five biological adult children, five grandchildren and forty fostered children. “My children changed my life profoundly and I love them to death; there is nothing I wish for more than to live for my children and family. They are my life” says Ms Bakoru Bakoko.
Hear the Interview with Zoe Bakoko on the "Women On The Rise Program"