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By Prisca Adaeze Nenger

In her main campus in Kansanga-Ggaba road, from 7:00 am 2:30 pm exactly, Kampala International University (KIU) on Saturday 15th June 2019, graduates 2,405 students from various disciplines, among who 42% are female, while 58% are males. It is also pertinent to note that 54% of the graduands are from the University's Western Campus in Ishaka-Bushenyi District, and 46% are from the Main Campus, out of which 23 students in all, graduated with a first class grade respectively.

Other than the university's management team present, a lot of notable personalities from within and outside Uganda also graced the ceremony, among whom are the Chief Guest; Honourable Minister of Science Technology and Innovation - Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Special Guest; His Excellency, Dr Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi - Director General of the Technical Aid Corps (TAC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Government of Nigeria, His Excellency; the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Uganda, the Acting Ambassador of Somali to Uganda, Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, as well as high calibre Academic and Administrative staff from other universities within the country, among others.

The Vice-Chancellor; Dr Mouhamad Mpezamihigo welcomed all for coming to celebrate with the university during her 20th graduation ceremony. Addressing the congregation, Dr Mpezamihigo specially thanked His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda and the government for creating an environment that has enabled the provision of private higher education in the country. Not failing to also show gratitude to the Nigerian government, the Vice-Chancellor, extended his appreciation through the Nigerian High Commission in Uganda and the Directorate of the Technical Aid Corps (TAC), for their continuous support to KIU and Uganda through professionally qualified TAC volunteers in her core areas of human resource needs.

Speaking of the university's science and technology agenda, Dr Mpezamihigo stated categorically that; "KIU is determined to become a centre of academic excellence and research with a special focus on science and technology. The BOT has stepped up investments in infrastructure that will be parallel to none."

KIU Provides High Skilled Labour

In his speech, the Honourable Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, remarked that Kampala International University (KIU) is one of the universities in the region that has continued to expand through the provision of high skilled labour. Marking the 20th graduation ceremony is a clear sign of expansion," he said. The minister appreciated and also congratulated the university for her various giant strides in Uganda, East Africa and Africa at large, in the aspects of higher education, laying emphasis on the elevated status of KIU's sister university in Tanzania from being a constituent college under the main campus here in Uganda, to being a full-fledged and independent private university in Tanzania, now known as Kampala International University in Tanzania (KIUT). In his words, the minister said: As the government of Uganda, we appreciate and congratulate the KIU group for its constituent College in Dar-es-Salaam having been elevated to a University status under the name of Kampala International University in Tanzania, adding that he is confident that KIU will make a big difference in creating opportunities for study and jobs to the indigenous nationals in Tanzania like it is already evident here in Uganda. Dr Tumwesigye further remarked that KIU's expansion in the region is a clear sign of spreading the East African Community (EAC) gospel of integration and confederation.

Kiu Conducts 20th Graduation Ceremony � Over 2,400 Graduates
Dr Elioda Tumwesigye - MINISTER for Science Technology & Innovation Speaking at KIU 20th GRADUATION CEREMONY

Still speaking, the Minister praised KIU's management council led by the Chancellor; Professor John P. M. Ssebuwufu, for their scholastic and unrelenting support to the university, as he appreciated the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), KIU; Al-hajj Dr Hassan Basajjabalaba for the continuous developments of the university in terms of infrastructures, which has brought about a positive mindset change with regards to private provision of higher education in Uganda. We have no doubts that the investments so far made in the university facilities and infrastructures by KIU, has created a positive mindset change regarding the private provision of higher education", Dr Tumwesigye states categorically.

More so, the Minister applauded the Vice-Chancellor; Dr Mouhamad Mpezamihigo for his love for science, technology and innovation as he has been instrumental in contributing his ideas and proposals to the ministry, and for being competent in directing the affairs of the university, since his assumption of office as the Vice-Chancellor of KIU. These were evident in the various developmental projects ongoing in the university, especially the soon-to-be-completed state-of-the-art Engineering Laboratories in her Western campus, in Ishaka-Bushenyi, as the university is set to announce and launch a new Science and Technology Hub there. Dr Elioda Tumwesigye added that the alongside the well-known Schools of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Allied Health Sciences, the establishment of a Science Hub will not only be one of its kind in the country but also in the region at large.

The Minister again, lauded the university leadership for the significant progress in the statistics of science and technology graduates in this graduation, as 41% of the outgoing students are graduating with science-based degrees and diplomas. He, therefore, pledges that the government will continually support KIU as part of the realization of her planned activities. Like KIU, the minister urged other institutions of higher learning to embrace technology and innovation, for their graduates to become more competent in today's world of evolving technologies. He further advised the graduands to make wise choices in life. You are free to choose your actions, you are not free to choose the consequences, Dr Tumwesigye emphasized.

KIU Has The Best Biomedical Labs In Uganda And In East Africa

While speaking to the congregation, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), KIU; Al-hajj Dr Hassan Basajjabalaba appreciated the management team, especially the Vice-Chancellor and his deputies for a job well done in taking KIU to greater heights. After rigorous processes from various regulatory bodies in higher institutions of learning, the university has achieved giant feats, some of which are the recent Certificate of Recognition awarded to KIU School of Health Sciences by the East African Community (EAC) Medical Boards and Council, and the permanent accreditations giving to KIU by the Pharmacy and Law Councils, all of which has at least a ten-year span respectively. In addition, Al-hajj Basajjabalaba posited that after visiting other prominent universities in the region during one of his university's tours, yet, he discovered that KIU has the best Biomedical Laboratories in Uganda and in the whole of East Africa.

KIU Regarded As One Of The Fastest Growing Private University In Africa               

On this historic occasion of her 20th graduation ceremony, Kampala International University (KIU) has been regarded as one the private universities with exponential heights in the continent. In his own words, the Director General of TAC Nigeria, H. E., Dr Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi said that KIU is considered as one of the fastest growing private universities in Africa, as a result of its positive contributions to academic and human resource development in Uganda.

KIU Contributes to Students Universality

The Vice-Chancellor in his speech to the graduands noted that KIU being a university of international repute has added and an international emblem to the graduating students. KIU has contributed to the foundation of your universality. You have had the opportunity to meet people of diverse nationalities, tribes, religion and nature. Let me hope that the relationships you built for the years you have been at KIU will forever positively impact your life. He went further by encouraging graduands to remain focused and not add to the number of those who are in a rush to accumulate wealth by taking shortcuts.

In all, the Vice-Chancellor thanked the Chairman BOT, the University Council, the Management Team as well as the entire staff for their immense commitment in ensuring that the university realizes its vision and mission. "KIU remains committed to empowering its students and staff with the best opportunities to explore the heights to their full potential and shall remain the premier university of choice in Uganda and the East African region." Dr Mpezamihigo recounted in his closing statement.