We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus Joe Lugalla, former Dean of Aga Khan University's Institute for Educational Development, East Africa (IED, EA). Professor Lugalla passed away peacefully on July 25, 2023 after battling a long and serious illness. His contributions to AKU were immeasurable, and he will be missed greatly.
Professor Lugalla – fondly known as Joe – joined the Aga Khan University in 2015 from the University of New Hampshire. During his six-year tenure, he actively championed the mission and vision of AKU, making many significant contributions to the region.
Notably, Professor Lugalla built a real sense of esprit de corps among IED, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and Medical College in Tanzania. Through his open and gregarious style, he turned the AKU campus in Dar es Salaam into a warm and friendly hub of academic and social activity. Dr Lugalla also expanded IED's footprint in the region, launching national and regional educational conferences, which led to greater engagement with educational leaders in government and other stakeholders.
Throughout his tenure, Dr Lugalla developed and nurtured successful relations with the Government of Tanzania and its agencies, including the Tanzanian Commission for Universities (TCU), the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, as well as the President's Office, and other members of Regional Administration and Local Government. He also provided invaluable insight and advice to AKU's Senior Leadership Team in his capacity as the Associate Vice Provost, Tanzania.
AKU greatly benefitted from Dr Lugalla's intellectual leadership and dedication. He was known for his commitment to his colleagues, where he promoted employee welfare through various initiatives, including the revision and enhancement of the medical insurance to accommodate health needs of all staff at AKU, Tanzania.
Professor Lugalla was also a fierce proponent of AKU community engagement. Chief among his numerous activities was the expansion of the Reading Clubs Project, which now works in eight regions in Tanzania (Dodoma, Arusha, Morogoro, Iringa, Singida, Manyara, Dar es Salaam and Mtwara).
Professor Lugalla's will be sorely missed by all who knew him. We extend our deepest condolences to Professor Lugalla's family and the AKU Tanzania team during this difficult time.