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Speech of The Chief Guest Her Excellency, Hon. Jesca Aluopo At The 27th Graduation Ceremony Of KIU



 The Chancellor,

Specially invited Guests, 

 Hon Cabinet Ministers Present;

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 of Other Universities;

Deputy Vice Chancellors, Other Members of KIU Management, and staff of KIU;

Alumni of Kampala International University (KIU);

Continuing Students of KIU;

The Graduands;

Ladies and Gentlemen; in your various capacities;

 I salute you all and thank you for honoring the invitation to this great occasion where I am officiating as Chief Guest.


 Welcome Remarks

I am exceedingly humbled to be here at the Kampala International University for the very first time and standing in for Her Excellency as the Chief Guest. H.E. the Vice President, Hon. Rtd Maj Jessica Epelu Alupo is unable to be here due to state duties. She would have loved to be with us to join the graduands in these celebrations. I am here today Saturday 17th June 2023 to officiate at the 27th Graduation and Awards Ceremony.

I thank the Chairman Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, the University Council, and the KIU Management team led by the Vice Chancellor for identifying me to be the Chief Guest on this occasion. I wish to congratulate the University for its great transformation in the past decade. I am privy to the fact that a lot of investments have been made in infrastructure, Human resources, global partnerships, and collaborations by the founders of this University led by Hon. Al Hajj Dr Hassan Basajjabalaba. I request all of us to applaud him for his great contribution to higher education in this Country and the East Africa region.

As you may recall or are already aware, I served as the Minister of Education and Sports for several years, and higher education, where KIU falls. I thus witnessed the journey this university has made to reach this far. On behalf of the Government of Uganda and on my own behalf, I salute KIU for demonstrating that private higher education provision can work. This is in line with the liberalization policy of higher education started by the NRM government for which we are grateful to H.E. Gen President.

I re-echo the words of H.E. The President when he presided over a similar function in June 20I8, and stated, “Mr. Basajjabalaba is a hero because he defied all odds, by being successful in operating a Private University, against the doubting people who thought that the University would not live to the expectations of the public”. The government will continue to support private institutions as well as public ones to ensure the quality provision of education services.

KIU Ranking

Here we are, witnessing university rankings putting KIU as the 2nd Overall, and the leading private University in Uganda. KIU has crossed borders and is a reflection of a truly East African university by establishing another KIU in Tanzania and an upcoming one in Kenya.  KIU has become one of the best private institutions we have in the country that has contributed to the human capital development of not only Ugandans, but also other neighboring countries like Somalia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and many more, and bringing together both staff and students from over 23 countries around the World.

Apart from teaching and research by the University, the KIU Board of Trustees (BOT) has for many years been offering bursaries and many forms of scholarship without discrimination in race, tribe, religion, or gender. Many Ugandans and non-Ugandans have benefited. We thank the KIU BOT.

Recent Turbulence in Higher Education

As you are all aware, two aspects of higher education have recently created unnecessary uncertainty and concerns among students, parents, employers, and institutions of higher education, namely: the placement of medical interns and the delay for deployment; and the second is, the issue of “expiry of academic programs and degrees”.

If I may address the first issue of placement of medical interns and Senior House Officers (Masters of Medicine-Postgraduate students), the government continues to engage in finding a lasting solution to the financing of this category of health workers. We are considering various financing models, and consultations with various stakeholders are ongoing. We are hopeful, an amicable and sustainable solution will soon be reached.

The second issue is about the so-called “expiry of academic programs and degrees”. This matter has been clarified and put to rest by the National Council for Higher Education. So be rest assured that this was but a simple short-lived wave of wrong use of terminologies. I call upon graduates, current students, and prospective ones to carry on with their academic studies and plans.


Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to appreciate the Outgoing Chancellor, Prof. Mahmud Mamdan for his dedicated service as the 3rd Chancellor of Kampala International University. In the same vein, I welcome the 4th Chancellor Prof. Yunus Daud Mgaya, and thank him for accepting to serve one of the most vibrant and dynamic institutions in the Country and spearheaded by leaders that foster development and positive transformation of any institution in line with the the Agenda of Government.

I would also like to appreciate the Outgoing University Council Chairperson Prof. Fred Wabwire-Manghen for steering the Council for the time he served and also welcome the new Chairperson Prof. Maud Kamatenesi, one of the re-known women scientists in Uganda and beyond. You are indeed welcome to perform that new role.

I want to recognize the efforts of Prof Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, the Vice Chancellor, and his team for doing a great job. I am not surprised about the progress of the University because your Vice Chancellor and his team have brought on board great experiences, himself having served for 10 years as a member of the National Council for higher education, and still serves in different aspects in other government and non-government agencies. Thank you Mr Vice Chancellor and keep it up.

As you are already aware, the Uganda government through the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, is now asking universities and other organizations to come up with inventions and innovations that will address societal needs. I urge the KIU management to take advantage of these opportunities, particularly in supporting your center of excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation as has been mentioned by the Vice Chancellor. I am happy to note that the University continues to participate in the National Science Week exhibitions and seeks collaborations and partnerships at national, regional, and international levels so as to enhance benchmarking to help the University to enhance its research and innovations portfolio. Please, exploit all available opportunities for the benefit of the University and its beneficiaries- students, parents, employers, and other stakeholders.

 Today’s Graduands

Today, KIU releases yet another batch of graduates into the world of work in the most difficult of times given the economic hardships resulting from recent long lockdowns, skyrocketing commodity prices, and generally tough times of the national and global economies. We are hopeful that what the graduands have acquired at KIU, will be the springboard of their success in the years to come. I call upon all the graduands to consider their achievement today as a starting point to get themselves to the next level. For example, if you undertook a certificate, you should think about advancing it further to the degree level and beyond. The same applies to those who will be awarded PhDs, to plan to contribute to new knowledge, pursue postdoctoral programs, further their research unearthed from their PhD work, and come up with different innovations in order to remain relevant to society.

You being part of today’s youth

I would like to remind all our guests today that persons the age of 30 years and below form the largest percentage of the population, with many challenges and a multitude of opportunities. We are also aware that in some parts of the World, many inventions and innovations have been championed by young people, including here in Uganda where you recently saw young scientists who were part of the design team to launch Uganda’s first satellite launch.

I once again congratulate you for your lifetime achievement and thank all the guests for being in my company to officiate at this function. Today we witness your release to the real world and we can only wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


For God and my Country

Her Excellency, Hon. Jesca Aluopo

The Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, ably represented by Judith Nalule Nabakooba, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.