The Passing of an East African Community Gender Champion and Advocate

Ms Marren Akatsa Bukachi, the former Executive Director of the Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement for Women (EASSI), died on the 1st October 2017 in Nairobi-Kenya after a long battle against cancer.

Marren Akatsa Buchachi was a strong and tireless figure who fought bravely for the emancipation and empowerment of women, stood up for women rights and the prevention of HIV and AIDS as well as women in cross border trade in, East Africa and African as a whole. She initiated numerous rights-based projects, programmes and inspired many young women to ensure that gender equality is attained in all spheres of the society.

In time of her death, Marren had just succeeded advocating for the East African Community Gender and Development Act 2017 that was passed into a regional law on 8th March 2017, during the women's day celebration by East Africa Legislative Assembly. She also successfully developed and launched the gender barometer for Uganda.

She was also recognized by the EAC Secretariat as a strong advocate for gender equality in the region. As an inspiring speaker she was invited to several gender initiatives of the community to give technical and motivational presentations and speeches, the last one being on the International women’s day celebration this year in Arusha, Tanzania.

Ms. Bukachi was a partner of the GIZ-EAC programme for a long time and also one of the winners of the Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA). Partnering with Sauti, a Kenyan based ICT organization promoting women cross border trade in East Africa, she worked on project dubbed as “Mobile-based trade information and social accountability platform for SMEs engaged in cross-border trade in the EAC”. The project aims to empower women cross-border traders to exercise their rights as citizens of the EAC and to provide access to tailored trade and market information, including border procedures and documentation requirements, exchange rates and market prices.

She was a determined and passionate woman who dedicated her entire life in promoting gender equality, equity and development nationally, regionally, continentally and globally. It is more than sad that the East African region has lost yet another champion, advocate and icon in the gender sector.

GIZ-EAC programme in partnership with the EAC Secretariat, Regional Dialogue Committee and IIDEA Partners sends its sincere condolences to Marren’s family, EASSI Secretariat, friends and relatives during this difficult time. We will remember Marren and all those affected by her death in prayers and by carrying on the great legacy she has left behind.

May her soul rest in peace!

 

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