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MUSEVENI: Makerere should be Africa’s number one University

President Museveni (middle) is briefed at one of the exhibition stalls. Far right is Prof Nawangwe. PHOTO PPU

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  President Yoweri Museveni has said Makerere is on track to regain its past glory. He has challenged Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe to aim for the number one position among African universities.

“I heard Makerere was ranked 5th best university in Africa. I challenge the university administration to let me know how we can support them so that you take the number one slot on the continent,” he said when he visited the campus during their Agricultural Day and Exhibition on Wednesday.

“No doubt Makerere is undergoing a renaissance. I visited all the stalls at the exhibition and I could see that people are waking up. Education is being made practical unlike in the past where all we did was rote learning as we copied and pasted from the West,” he said, adding that it was an edifying experience to look at the innovations on display .

He pointed out recent innovations from Makerere academicians that have put the institution in the news worldwide.

“Makerere scholars are increasingly becoming inquisitive and seeking answers to society problems. We already had the Profs Muhanga (bananas), Kyamuhangire (banana juice), Tickodri (Kiira EV)…. whom I helped to patent their works. I thank the Vice Chancellor, Prof Nawangwe, the principals of the colleges and the staff for re-orienting the university and firmly moving it towards research and innovations.”

He also hailed  Dr. Margaret Saimo-Kahwa who has recently developed a vaccine to kill all types of ticks, the veterinary lecturer who is studying leather technology, and the students who are extracting medicine from banana peelings.

“What began as a trickle is now a flood. Today, I have seen lots of other key research being undertaken. I congratulate you. In the past, Africans abstained from thinking, and kept aping the West to the point of bleaching their skins in what Frantz Fanon called “self-hatred”.”

He promised that next month, he will hold a symposium in Entebbe with all the Makerere exhibitors to link them to relevant government officials. He said this will ensure all innovations are supported and promoted. “What I urge you now is to link your research to our African heritage,” he said.

Prof Nawangwe hailed President Museveni’s major role in reshaping thinking at Africa’s premier university and for support rendered to the university through the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology.

“You have already made the first steps towards ensuring that Makerere University climbs to the top of the regional global rankings through provision of the largest ever research fund in the history of Makerere,” Nawangwe said.

“Thank you Your Excellency for the inspiration and guidance you have given us over the years. With your dedicated support, Makerere will surely climb to the top of not only regional but even global rankings.”



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