KAMPALA — The President of African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina has reassured Makerere of his institution’s support in implementing the University’s 10 year strategic plan (2020-2030) that seeks to make it research-led. Dr. Adesina made the remarks at a meeting with the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara and University Management on Friday 21st May 2021 ahead of the fifth session of the 71st Graduation Ceremony where he received the Honorary Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) of Makerere University.
In his welcome remarks to the AfDB President and his delegation, which included Equity Bank CEO, James Mwangi, Prof. Nawangwe congratulated Dr. Adesina upon his Honorary Doctorate Award in recognition of his exemplary service to the people of Africa in various capacities.
“Makerere University has also benefited from your visionary leadership in the various positions you have held in different organisations. The building where we are seated is one of the new facilities and labs constructed with the loan from the AfDB to support higher education institutions” remarked Prof. Nawangwe. The meeting was held in the Central Teaching Facility 1 (CTF1) Rotary Peace Centre Boardroom.
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina (L) being received by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) and Dr. Umar Kakumba (2nd Row R) into Central Teaching Facility 1 (CTF1), one of the buildings constructed using the US$29.2 Million loan to the Government under AfDB HEST. Photo credit: Davidson Ndyabahika
The Vice Chancellor further said that AfDB support has helped the University modernise laboratories and establish new ones. This has in turn enabled Makerere to produce vaccines and medicines, including the anti-tick vaccine and diagnostics for management of COVID-19 and other diseases as well as the low cost medical ventilator (Bulamu) to fight COVID-19.
Prof. Nawangwe noted that the increased output of research and innovations by Makerere would help Uganda reduce dependence on imports and upon commercialisation, provide an alternative source of revenue for the university while creating jobs for unemplyed youth. “We need support from our partners and friends to realise this plan.”
In her remarks, the Chairperson of Council Mrs. Lorna Magara congratulated Dr. Adesina upon his award, adding that it was in appreciation of his efforts to emancipate the peoples of Africa and unlock the continent’s potential.
“After today, you are going to be part of the Convocation of Makerere University and so we warmly welcome you and your team and look forward to long interactions” added the Chairperson of Council.
“University education is the most critical thing that any society should do and when it comes to Africa, you find that not more than 9% of our population has access to tertiary education” said Dr. Adesina as he made his remarks.
He noted that the times were changing at a very fast pace with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and advancements being made in the fields of artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology required us all to invest more in science and technology.
“If there is any place that I will gladly support without thinking twice, it will be Makerere University because it has first grade faculty members, it is a university that is focused on development, it is a university that thinks of not just its country; this is a global university that just happens to be in Africa.
“And so Mr. Vice Chancellor I just want to say that the campaign for you to receive more support from the African Development Bank is a campaign that has been made many years ago and that has been successful and so my answer is yes” remarked Dr. Adesina to thunderous applause from the members of Management in attendance.
Members present included; the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)-Dr. Umar Kakumba, Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration)-Dr. Josephine Nabukenya, Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, University Bursar-Mr. Evarist Bainomugisha, Director Research and Graduate Training-Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, Director ICT Support-Mr. Samuel Mugabi, Director Gender Mainstreaming-Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine, Ag. Dean of Students-Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and representative of the Director Estates and Works-Mr. Darius Muwanguzi.