Over Shs.300 million raised for West Ankole University

Sunday 22nd July 2012

Over Shs. 305 million in cash and pledges has been realized for the construction of a science block for the proposed West Ankole University. The project will comprise a laboratory, library and lecture theaters to be to be established at Kabwoohe, in newly created Sheema district.

The Church of Uganda founded university emphasizes the teaching of natural sciences and is slated to offer courses that will target particularly the enhancement of agricultural production as the area of the university’s location relies on agriculture.

President Yoweri Museveni, who was the chief guest at the fundraising drive that took place today in Kabwoohe, contributed Shs.200 million towards the project. He lauded the founders of the institution for focusing on the teaching of sciences, especially agro-science which, he said, was very relevant to Uganda which is largely an agricultural country.

He, however, expressed disappointment with government agricultural officials and extension workers for their failure to advise the population on the current modern agricultural practices which has largely led to the poor performance of the agricultural sector resulting in household poverty and food insecurity in the countryside. He, therefore, instructed all agricultural officials to seriously embark on the project of educating wananchi on the new and modern ways of agriculture or risk being relieved of their duties.

The President who accepted to be the patron of the West Ankole University Founders’ Forum said that emphasis should be put on efforts to raise household income so that wananchi are empowered to address other necessary household chores. He also assured the founders and management of the institution of his continued support and that of the government towards the university.

During the fundraising drive, the President auctioned 2 heifers at a total of Shs.18 million.

The Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, Professor Ephraim Kamuntu, commended the President for his visionary leadership towards the development of Uganda and also for his particular interest in the education sector. He lauded commended West Ankole Bishop Emeritus, Rt. Rev. Yoramu Bamunoba, whose vision to start a university in the area, greatly inspired those who came after him to bring the project to fruition.

State Minister for Education, Mr. Kamanda Bataringaya, congratulated the Church of Uganda upon the establishment of the University and said his ministry would support the institution as its curriculum is in line with the Ministry’s programme of imparting practical skills to the people of Uganda.

West Ankole Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Yona Katonene, reported that the university is premised on making it the hub for agricultural research and education in the area. He said the university will lay much emphasis on training and equipping professionals with scientific skills so that its products are, in the main, self-reliant and practical-oriented.

Information and National Guidance Minister, Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut and a number of representatives of other religious bodies from all the country, among others, attended the ceremony.

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