The Chief Guest, Her Excellency, The Vice President of the REPUBLIC OF Uganda, Hon. Jessica Epelu Alupo.
Hon Cabinet Ministers;
Hon Members of Parliament;
Chairman and Members of the Board of Trustees;
Chairperson and Members of the University Council;
The Vice Chancellor of Kampala International University;
Vice Chancellors and Rectors of Other Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning;
Deputy Vice Chancellors, Other Members of KIU Management, Academic, Administrative and Support staff of KIU;
Alumni of Kampala International University (KIU);
Continuing Students of KIU;
Ladies and Gentlemen in your various capacities.
Good morning! Mwasuze mutya nno! Habari za asubuhi!
It is my singular honour and pleasure as the Chancellor of Kampala International University to welcome you all to the 27th Graduation and Awards Ceremony, which is being held today, 17th June 2023.
I wish to extend a very special and warm welcome to our Chief Guest, Her Excellency the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Hon. Rtd Maj. Jessica Epel Alupo. Thank you so much for accepting our invitation and honouring us with your personal presence amid your very busy and tight schedule.
Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment as the Vice President of Uganda. You are a model to many women, ladies and young girls, who look up to you to get the motivation to work hard and achieve success in their own merit.
Our Chief Guest, as you may already know, I am a Tanzanian national, who has been given this privilege to serve as the Chancellor of KIU in a re-known Ugandan University. I don’t take this for granted and instead greatly thank Dr Alhaj Hassan Basajjabalaba, Chairman Board of Trustees, and the entire Board for selecting me through a rigorous process. It is indeed a great honour for which I will do my best to ensure that I propel this University to the greatest heights possible.
Tribute to the Out Going Chancellor
I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing Chancellor, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, for the contributions he has made to this University. I can only imagine the sacrifices he made especially since he was Chancellor during the most difficult time of the Covid-19 lockdown. We wish him all the best as a global scholar, academic and former colleague at the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Tanzania-Uganda relations-key to my new role
In serving in this role, I will exploit all opportunities for the cordial relationship between Uganda and Tanzania in particular and the East African region as a whole. As a Tanzanian, it gives me great pleasure to serve as the Chancellor because that is a testament to the excellent relations between our two nations. Indeed, Tanzania and Uganda enjoy warm, cordial, and fraternal relations which go way back and as your Chancellor, I consider it my solemn duty to cultivate that relationship further, for our mutual benefit. Here is to many more years of advantageous regional cooperation between Tanzania and Uganda.
As an academic and fellow East African, I have always taken a keen interest in the latest developments at this University. I am pleased to note that Kampala International University has grown from strength to strength since it was founded in 2001 and that it now boasts a student population of over 25,000 students from 23 countries worldwide. Despite the challenges of establishing an international institution, you have gracefully embraced the undertaking and I look forward to contributing where possible in this regard.
Ladies and Gentlemen and our graduands
It is my firm belief that an institution like Kampala International University needs to play a critical role in investing resources to find practical solutions for the problems facing our society. I also believe universities should take a leading role in nurturing mutually beneficial partnerships with other key stakeholders like the government and international organizations for the broader benefit of society as a whole. To my understanding, the University has been particularly exemplary in this regard, largely through the efforts of the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Alhaj Hassan Basajjabalaba. I am proud to be joining such an industrious and ambitious team and I hereby pledge my full support as we continue to take the University to even greater heights.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The world is changing rapidly and unsurprisingly, the new higher education landscape has put universities at the forefront of innovation and technology. I believe this is the space where the University should be focused, as emerging technologies like robotics and artificial intelligence continue to expand the global economy and revolutionize various sectors. Now more than ever, African institutions like Kampala International University need to stay relevant and up-to-date or risk being left behind. The potential of new technologies like blockchain and the artificial intelligence chatbot - ChatGPT is undeniably obvious and must therefore be examined further to determine the best way to apply them for socio-economic development.
As your Chancellor, I will make sure that the University keeps pace with the latest innovations in science and technology and to nurture young scientists who will make Africa proud. After all, the University’s mission is to strive for excellence and with hard work and consistency I believe we shall achieve our goals. And as the Luganda saying goes, ‘Akwata empola, atuuka wala,’ (He who takes things slowly with steady effort will go far).
To the Graduands
Allow me to congratulate the graduands in this 27th Ceremony of KIU. You are the reason we are gathered here today, to celebrate your achievement. Thank you for your hard work, endurance, and patience. This gives me the confidence to believe that your stay at KIU has not been a waste of time but has left a lasting and indelible positive impression on you. This is besides transforming you into better and more resourceful person. Please avoid being picky in the job search or creation. Start in your own humble circumstances and grow in the years ahead.
I thank you all and wish you peaceful celebrations and safe journeys back to your various destinations. May the Almighty Allah bless you.
Mweebale Nnyo (Thank you very much).
Thank you very much for your kind attention and listening to me.
Prof. Yunus Daud Mgaya, PhD
Chancellor, Kampala International University