I take this opportunity to welcome our Chief Guest for accepting to officiate at this function of the 27th graduation ceremony of Kampala International University. We thank the Almighty God for enabling each one of us to witness this day to celebrate the achievement of students, staff, guardians, and sponsors. We are also aware, some of our dear ones have since left the life of this World and we all pray that their souls rest in eternal peace. Ameen.
At this moment, I wish to warmly welcome our newly appointed Chancellor, Prof. Yunus Mgaya, who we know as a great scholar, academic leader, and administrator. KIU is very lucky to have him as her titular head of the University. Today will be his maiden graduation to preside over. The University Management wishes to extend its sincere thanks to Prof. Mahmoud Mamdani who is the immediate past KIU Chancellor for his stewardship while he served. We all remember that his tenure was the most challenging due to the extended Covid-19 lockdown and other related limitations. We continue to pray for his good health and the continuity of his global scholarly achievements.
Let me take this opportunity to welcome Prof Maud Kamatenesi Mugisha, the newly appointed Chairperson of the University Council, and wish her the best in her new role in this great University. In the same vein, I greatly thank Prof Fred Wabwire-Manghen, the outgoing Council Chairperson for his tremendous contribution in the 8 years he served. He has indeed left a positive outstanding legacy.
KIU continues to make tremendous strides in Research, Innovations, and Entrepreneurship and maintains its position as the overall 2nd best ranked and leading private University in Uganda and in the East African region. With the realization that most of the brilliant and innovative ideas originate from young people under the mentorship of their supervisors, the KIU Management with guidance from the Board of Trustees, and University Council, is focused on strengthening the Center of Excellence, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation (CoEEI) to ensure that innovations can be turned into commercial products and services. I encourage the KIU students and the entire youth of this country to take advantage of the KIU infrastructure set for this cause. We are also mainstreaming our resource mobilization, grant writing, and fundraising portfolio. Our staff are receiving continuous training to enhance their capacity to attract grants, and collaborative projects and increase their publication, innovation, and community impact.
I also take this opportunity to thank the Yunus and You Foundation for funding a very successful Project that has empowered secondary school and University students, the out-of-school youth, and several community organizations in Northern, Western, Central, and Eastern region of Uganda. KIU has championed this Project and is indeed grateful to the Yunus Social Business Centre in Bangladesh and its partners. The University has a permanent Yunus Center for Social Business and therefore I call upon all continuing students to enroll in the different short courses and skilling programmes.
I am also pleased to inform you of the completion of the NUFFIC DISH-Digital Innovation and Skills Hub Project in which KIU was a Dutch Partner with Tilburg University, Netherlands as the principal coordinating Institution. Youths in their thousands received training in skills that are going to be turning points in their lives. We are indeed grateful to NUFFIC and its partners for supporting this project.
I wish to inform you that the misconception about the so-called “expiry of academic programmes and degrees” has since been cleared by the National Council for Higher Education. As a University, we took the lead to prove that the use of the word “expiry’ was inappropriate and not supported by the legal regime of the law that governs Higher education in Uganda. Our position on this matter was fully backed by the Government of Uganda Attorney General Hon Kiryowa Kiwanuka. I rest assured our past, continuing, and prospective students that the University runs accredited academic programmes, and will continue to ensure that all KIU programmes meet contemporary requirements and are up to speed with global changes. We wish to affirm that KIU will remain ahead of the other institutions in terms of academic programme development, delivery, and enhancement so that our products are the most competitive in the job market and champions of creating their own work and employing others.
I wish to congratulate our several staff who attained higher ranks through the KIU robust promotion process. I invite other staff to also work harder to take advantage of their career progression. At this moment let me also thank all our staff who have since been appointed in different managerial, administrative, and academic positions within the university and in the service of public or private sectors. You will continue to be our ambassadors.
Today, we are graduating 2530, out of which 1398 (55%) are males and 1132 (45%) are females. Comparing the contribution of campuses to this number, Western Campus has 1370 (54%) and 1160 (46%) are from the Main Campus. Out of the 2530 graduands, 1440 (57%) are from non-science disciplines and 1090 (43%) from the sciences. I specifically congratulate the graduands who will be graduating with their PhDs (Biochemistry, Counselling Psychology, Conflict Resolution, and Peace Building and Management Science).
There are also those undergraduates who distinguished themselves by obtaining 1st Class degrees.
Let me congratulate all our graduands for making it this far. You have sacrificed your all, and therefore, you have the duty to protect this award being obtained today. Reflect on your colleagues who have been unable to complete their studies for one reason or another. Wherever you go, be generous to others, forgiving is the best way to save. This may sound like a contradiction, but life requires that we feel for others and in that way, we build strong bonds that will become meaningful later in life.
Appreciations and Conclusions
I also appreciate the different organs of the University, top on the list being the Board of Trustees, University Council, Management, Senate, teaching and none teaching staff, and also the nearby communities of KIU for sustaining this great institution to date. The University working with its partners has embarked on setting up model communities, within ecosystems of existing indigenous knowledge and natural resources. The rollout will be made public in due course.
I take this opportunity to thank the Government of Nigeria for its continued support of the TAC Volunteers. Recently, 18 of the TAC staff members were seen off and appreciated by the University after their tenure of duty of two years. We also thank all our partners (government and private) for their continued support. We are highly grateful to the Government of Uganda for its support.
I once again appreciate all my staff teams at the Main and Western Campuses that always make the university the winner, through their relentless efforts. Live long my students, staff, and all the KIU stakeholders. I look forward to continuing my leadership role at KIU in exploring greater heights.
Prof. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo