72nd Graduation Ceremony of Makerere University Monday 23rd May,2022

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Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of
Uganda,
The Chancellor, Makerere University, Prof Ezra
Suruma,
Honourable Ministers,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Chancellors and Former Chancellors,
The Chairperson of Makerere University Council, Mrs
Lorna Magara and Members of Council,
The Vice-Chancellor Makerere University, Prof
Nawangwe, and your team,
Members of the University Senate,
Parents, Guardians, Sponsors
Graduands
Distinguished guests and Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be present at the 72nd
Graduation Ceremony of Makerere University. This 72nd
graduation is exceptional because it is taking place as we
celebrate 100 years of Makerere’s existence and distinguished
service to humanity.
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Words are not enough to express our gratitude to God and
those who laid the strong foundations of education that has
gone on at this University in these 100 years.
Hearty congratulations to the Graduands. Today you join the
admirable worldwide community of Makerere University
alumni who impact their communities and nations.
Congratulations! We join you in celebration of an achievement
attained through resilience, perseverance, dedicated hard
work, and the immeasurable sacrifices of your parents,
guardians, and benefactors.
In a special way, I would like to appreciate the leadership of
Makerere University and the staff who have worked tirelessly
to ensure the graduands achieve their academic and
professional aspirations, allowing all of us to celebrate their
success.
To the parents, guardians, and sponsors, whose labor and
sacrifice of love have made this day possible and your dreams
and children’s dreams come true, congratulations!
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Each milestone in life provides us opportunities for lessons to
learn. Today we have a golden opportunity to reflect on
Makerere’s 100-year-journey and draw life lessons. I will
highlight a few for the graduands reflection:
a) Makerere University started as a colonial Technical School
hosting 14 boys and their five white instructors. I am told it is
now the leading Black University globally, with about 38,000
students and over 1,400 academic staff.
The lesson to learn: Success is a result of hard work,
persistence, and consistency in doing the right thing
undergirded by the fear and knowledge of God. Success is not
an overnight achievement as young graduates may have
found out. It takes working hard, making the most of every
opportunity to learn new skills, and gaining valuable
experience critical for the next stage of your life.
b) Makerere University experienced social, economic, and
political turmoil at the hands of the brutal forces that ravaged
our nation between 1966 and 1986, resulting in students,
parents, and staff suffering and loss of lives.
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Through perseverance and the years of peace ushered in by
the NRM government, Makerere rose from the ashes
alongside the rest of the country to the renowned and robust
University we see today. Together with our Partners in
Development and friends, we are still striving to improve the
working conditions, to revamp the University infrastructure,
set up new and needed structures, and we have new curricula.
Therefore, we are very grateful to our Partners in
Development and friends who have stood with us but most of
all we are grateful to our government.
Why are we grateful to the NRM Government?
We are grateful because the government shepherds the
Ugandan child right from birth, by ensuring this child will live
by God’s grace with no feeble mind or body by immunizing
them from various childhood diseases.
Government then ensures that at 6 years of age the child can
walk to a Universal Primary School (UPE) within their Parish
to receive Primary Education.
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At 13 years, that child can transition to a Universal Secondary
school in their Sub-County. Government’s hope and prayer
now is that the Parish Development Model will empower the
family to support the child with other needs such as transport
to school each day. Then, at 19 years of age the child is ready
for post-secondary education which can be Makerere
University, another University, a Technical, a Teacher
Education or a Health training Institution. Government is
doing everything possible to organise our education as we
strive to transform our homeland.
Therefore, as we celebrate Makerere University 100 years this
year, we must thank God for where He has brought us from
and where we stand today. From 14 students when Makerere
opened its doors to 38,000 (Thirty-eight thousand) students
today.

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The lesson to learn: We must strive to stand together and
not allow anyone or anything to divide us. Divisive forces do
not promote development. Seek dialogue in conflict resolution
rather than strikes and violence.

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The Uganda Government and the taxpayers have invested
heavily in education and certainly in Makerere University more
and more as the funding becomes available. Recently for
instance, more funding has been invested in research, and we
also received funding for the construction of a 300-bed
teaching hospital and other vital structures that will help to
expand the University.
c) Thankfully, Makerere has produced high caliber human
resources serving and thriving in all spheres of life worldwide:
medical doctors, agriculturalists, teachers, social scientists,
engineers, lawyers, architects, journalists, economists,
accountants, mothers, fathers, and the list goes on and on.
The lesson to learn: The work and output of our lives must
positively impact our community and society. Education must
be relevant to meeting the needs of our community for
transformation. Education is part of the nation’s ecosystem.
Its output must have demonstrable economic, social,
environmental, and health impacts.
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An efficient and effective human resource buttresses the other
National Development Plan (NDP) areas such as
industrialization, innovation, mineral resource development,72nd Makerere Graduation ceremonyand private sector development, to mention a few.

As I conclude, let me reiterate Government’s commitment to
supporting the growth of higher education in Uganda and the
unwavering support of Makerere University. The NRM
government treasures Makerere University as a high-value
partner in the modernisation and transformation of our
society. That is why Government’s investments in this
institution have increased over the years. For example,
between 2009 and 2021, the University’s wage provision
increased from UGX 49 Billion to UGX 206 Billion. There has
also been considerable growth in the University’s non-wage
and capital development budgets. Since the financial year
2019/2020, Government introduced an annual contribution of
UGX 30 Billion towards research funding at Makerere
University.
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And as some of you may remember, only a week ago we were
here to lay a foundation stone for the reconstruction of the
Main Administration Building and for another building at the
School of Law. We also commissioned a building at the Central
teaching facility and another building at the School of
Dentistry. And all this is being done using funding from
Government of Uganda. Makerere is beginning a new century
on a very positive note, and its trajectory is very promising.
As we celebrate your success today, I challenge you not to
forget where we have come from as a nation, love your
nation, defend it, and diligently work to address the
aspirations of our nation articulated in the current National
Development Plan and the many yet to come for the
transformation of our communities and posterity.
It is now my singular honour to invite the President to
address the Congregation.
Thank you and God bless you!

 

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