The Chancellor is the titular head of the University. He presides at all ceremonial assemblies of Makerere University and in this name, confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions. The Chancellor is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the University Council.
Professor Ezra Suruma is a distinguished scholar and statesman with a wealth of experience in the field of finance and banking, spanning more than 25 years. He attained a doctorate degree of economics in 1976 from the University of Connecticut, USA; a Masters of Arts in Economics in 1972 and a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 1969, both from Fordham University, New York, USA.
He is a person of high integrity, excellent public relations and with proven ability to market and internationalize the University. Prof. Suruma is a Senior Presidential Advisor responsible for Finance and Planning. He serves on the Board of the National Planning Authority, participates in numerous national and international economic policy discussions and initiates proposals for policy change. He is the Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit responsible for the implementation of priority programmes of the Uganda Government.
From 2005 to 2009, Prof. Suruma served as the Minister of Finance. He was internationally recognized for his outstanding service when he won the award of Africa’s Best Minister of the Year 2008.
Prof. Suruma has been at the centre of objective interactions and negotiations with numerous financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank, China Development Bank among others. He is also a Founder Member of Ugafode Microfinance Ltd, a bank with 12 branches in Uganda.
In 1972, Prof. Suruma began his academic career as Assistant Professor at Florida A&M University, USA. He joined the Makerere University service in 1973. From 1973 to 1975, Mr. Suruma was a Lecturer in the Department of Economics, Makerere University. He returned to Florida A&M University in 1976 as Associate Professor of Economics. In 1979, Dr. Suruma returned to Makerere University at the rank of Senior Lecturer, a position he held until 1981 when he moved to Coppin State University in the USA as Professor and Head of the Department of Management Science. To date, he continues to pursue academic interests with several recent publications including “Advancing Uganda’s Economy: A Personal Account” and “African Perspectives on Sovereign Debt Restructuring”.
Following a distinguished career in universities in Uganda and the Unites States, Prof. Suruma joined Government service in 1987 as the Director of Research in the Central Bank. He rose to the rank of Deputy Governor of the Bank in 1990 and later served as the Chairman/Managing Director of Uganda Commercial Bank.
Between 1990 and 2009, Prof. Suruma held various positions including Chairman Governing Council of the African Export Import Bank from 2008 to 2009; Vice Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Panel of African Finance Ministers from 2007 to 2009; Chairman Governing Council of the East African Development Bank from 2006 to 2009; Chairman Governing Council of the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Bank from 2007 to 2008; Secretary of the Commission for Fast Tracking the East African Federation from October 2004 to January 2005; and Director of Economic Affairs for the National Resistance Movement Secretariat.
Prof. Suruma has been a significant player in the stabilization, reconstruction, restructuring and management of the Ugandan economy since 1986. He has always maintained a passion for economic justice and economic emancipation of the Ugandan people.
He went to Washington in 2010 as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and in 2014, the Brookings Institution Press published his book, Advancing the Ugandan Economy, A personal account. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada.
He is married to Specioza Suruma, blessed with ten children of whom six are adopted orphans. He enjoys tennis and music.
- Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera (2007-2015)
- Rt. Hon. Apolo Robin Nsibambi (2003-2007)
- H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (1986-2002)
- H.E. Idi Amin Dada (1971-1979)
- H.E. Apollo Milton Obote (1970-1971, 1981-1985)