President pledges revolving fund for Makerere researchers

Saturday 4th August 2012

President Yoweri Museveni has promised to support scientists and researchers of Makerere University with over Shs.10 billion to enable them improve and expand on their various undertakings.

The President made the pledge this morning at the institution’s Freedom Square while officiating at the launch of Makerere University 90 years’ celebrations since its establishment in 1922.The celebrations are being held under the theme “Leadership Towards Africa’s Transformation in the 21st Century”.

Before addressing the gathering at Freedom Square, President Museveni performed several ceremonies that included the raising of the flag that bears inscriptions pertaining to 90 years of the institution’s existence at the main gate; commissioning the new library extension and touring stalls by various faculties that exhibited various products. He also later laid a foundation stone for the construction of the Food Technology Business Incubation Centre; Multi-disciplinary Laboratory Complex and the Centralized Lecture Facilities.

Makerere University is Uganda’s largest higher institution of learning which was established in 1922 first as a technical school. In 1963 it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees from the University of London. It became an independent national university in 1970 when the university was split into 3 independent universities namely University of Nairobi, university of Dar-es-Salaam and Makerere University. Today, Makerere University has 22 faculties, institutes and schools offering programmes for over 30,000 undergraduates and 3,000 post graduates. According to the recent rankings in academic performance, Makerere University is the best in Uganda and the 736th best university in the world.  

The President was particularly impressed by exhibitions of the ICT, Food Technology, Animal Science, Plants and Botany as well as low cost irrigation scheme and pledged to support them with a revolving fund of Shs.10 billion.

Mr. Museveni re-emphasized the need to insure the African continent by developing Science and Technology as well as integration, noting that in the absence of those elements no nation can survive. He said that since 1971, Uganda, for 20 years, went through political turmoil but was glad to note that with the current scientific research and innovations carried out at Makerere and other Universities, the country is slowly getting back to its feet through being the cradles for scientific enterprises.

While citing the book of Genesis where God instructed Man to dominate the rest of the creatures, President Museveni explained that the population in Uganda was about 14 million in 1986, but during the NRM government, the country has realized a tremendous leap to 34 million people today indicating that the government has worked to contain and eliminate several killer diseases and as well as pacification of Uganda.

President Museveni congratulated Makerere University upon reaching 90 years since its inception adding that the University has since produced very useful people for the country. He, however, appealed to scientists in Uganda not to abandon their country by looking for greener pastures elsewhere in the world as he assured them of improved remunerations.

The Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo described the celebrations as not only historic for Makerere but also for the education sector.

President Museveni, who cut the commemoration cake, also received a plaque “Makerere since 1922” from the Chairman of the University Council, Engineer Wanna Etyem.

Present at the celebrations was the Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor Mondo Kagonyera, his Vice, Professor Venancious Baryamureeba and the institution’s alumni.

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