Grace Akello

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Grace Akello

Grace Akello (born 1950) is a Ugandan poet, essayist, folklorist, and politician.[1] She is the Uganda Ambassador to India.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Dinah Grace Akello is Iteso, and was born near Soroti, in the Eastern Region of the Uganda Protectorate. She studied social administration and social work at Makerere University in Kampala. In 1979, she lived in Tanzania after fleeing from Idi Amin's government as a refugee.[4]


She worked as a magazine editor in Kenya and Tanzania before traveling to England in the 1980s to become an assistant editor for the Commonwealth Secretariat. Akello held the position from 1983 to 1990.[4]


In 1990, Akello went back to Uganda and created a commission to help solve the issue of the displacement and killing of Teso people during Amin's presidency. This commission lasted until 1996.[4] In 1996, she became a member of the Parliament of Uganda, and in 1999 was appointed Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development.[5]

From 1999 to 2006, Akello was a member of the Cabinet of Uganda. She held the position of Minister of Microfinance Initiatives from 1999 to 2003, and the Minister of Northern Uganda from 2003 until losing her seat in 2006.[4] In March 2014, during her position as High Commissioner of Uganda to Malta, Akello said that she believed that the controversy surrounding Uganda's criminalization of homosexuality was "blown out of proportion".[6] Akello is currently the Ugandan ambassador in New Delhi, India.


In 1992, her poem "Encounter" from her collection My Barren Song was included in Margaret Busby's Daughters of Africa, a selection of works from women authors in Africa.[7]


  • Iteso Thought Patterns in Tales, 1975
  • My Barren Song. Dar es Salam, Tanzania: Eastern African Publications, 1979
  • Self Twice-Removed: Ugandan Woman, London: Change International Reports, 1982

Personal life[edit]

Akello married her husband, Hugh Mason, in 1983. They have four sons together and live in Kenya.[1]


  1. ^ a b Umeh, Marie (2001). "Akello, Grace". In Miller, Jane Eldridge (ed.). Who's Who in Contemporary Women's Writing (1st ed.). Routledge. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0415159806.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d "Sacrificial love helped bring peace to Uganda" (PDF). Pompey Chimes. February 2007. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  5. ^ "2020 Africa Conference - Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020". Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  6. ^ Cooke, Patrick (7 March 2014). "'Too much fuss' over Uganda anti-gay laws". Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Encounter", in Busby, Margaret, ed. (1992). Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Women of African Descent from the Ancient Egyptian to the Present (1st ed.). Jonathan Cape. pp. 638–39. ISBN 9780224035927.