The International University of East Africa was last week a scene of pomp and pageantry as successful students recieved their degrees and diplomas cheered by their parents, guardians and friends.
Being the pioneers of the four- year old institution , the graduates were asked to use the knowledge acquired to shape the future of Uganda, and Africa as a whole.
Presiding over the graduation ceremony conducted at the IUEA main campus in Kansanga recently, Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile, the institution’s chancellor, said the current graduates are lucky that they have acquired education at a time when the continent is undergoing a renaissance .
“Unlike my generation, you graduate at a time of great hope and optimism for Africa. For most of my life, African economics were stagnant and dependent on foreign aid. As Governor of Bank of Uganda, I am pleased to inform you that African economies are no longer stagnant and dependent –they are reborn, they are now undergoing a renaissance,” he said
According to Prof. Mutebile, eight out of 10 world’s fastest growing economics are in Africa-painting a brighter future ahead for the continent.
A total of 264 students were awarded diplomas and degrees in various disciplines, including, architecture, civil engineering, information technology and business administration.
Instructively, 197 pioneer graduates were foreign students from Nigeria while others are from 29 other countries.
IUEA started in 2010 as one of the new private universities that emphasises practical learning, away from the traditional theoretical teaching.
Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, the vice chancellor of the university, urged the graduates to exhibit good morals whenever they will be employed .
“History is harsh and it will only judge you by what you do. You are great learners ,now go to the world and do great things,” he said
Recently, Higher Education minister John Chrysostom Muyingo, said at least 45 percent of Ugandans have to attain higher education if the country is to swiftly transform from a predominantly peasantry economy to a middle income economy.
Muyingo said any country with majority of her citizenry illiterate or semi-illiterate takes long to attain meaningful development.
Although Uganda is currently striving to build a high talented and skilled human resource base, a recent startling finding indicates that the country lacks latest data on available skilled workforce. The last time Uganda carried out a human resource survey was in 1989.
Unemployment statistics indicate that of the 400,000 who graduate from higher institutions of learning every year, only 160,000 can be hired.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor