President Yoweri Museveni has said that the National Resistance Movement government has put science education, scientific research and innovation high on its priorities and pledged that government will continue putting more resources into the sector because of its importance to national development.
The President was Tuesday speaking at Busitema University Campus in Busia district, Eastern Uganda where he was chief guest at the institution’s 8th graduation ceremony.
922 students graduated with Masters’ and Bachelors’ degrees as well as Diplomas and Certificates.
The institution used the same occasion to mark a decade of existence and also the installation of Professor Vinand M. Nantulya as its second Chancellor.
Prof. Nantulya replaces Professor Francis Omaswa who has been at the helm of the University since 2007.
Museveni hailed the leadership of the University for adhering to his advice and concentrating on the teaching of unique, skill oriented practical professions that are on demand on the labour market.
He noted that policy will make the university’s products be easily absorbed in the labour market or be equipped for self employment.
He said that professions such as irrigation, water resource, agricultural, marine, textile, computer and mining engineering as well as climate change and disaster management that are offered at Busitema University, are important for Uganda and provide explicit solutions to the daily challenges in the country.
The President, who earlier inspected many scientific innovation stalls manned by the institution’s students, was highly impressed by the level of research and innovation exhibited at the campus saying it could help provide solutions to the needs of the country.
“I am impressed by your innovation level and research. I need you to help me tackle the impact of drought through irrigation, agricultural value addition and packaging. Uganda imports what can be produced locally when we have the human resource and the natural resources. I am happy Busitema is trying to do that and I pledge all the support you need on behalf of the government,” he said.
The President revealed that he is awaiting a report by Makerere University Visitation Committee, led by Dr. Abel Rwendeire, which will help government rationalise a number of issues in Public Universities including the University Curriculum and Management.
He congratulated Busitema University for expanding from the original one to the current 6 campuses, churning out their first Masters’ graduates as well as producing corroborated research and innovations. He called on the graduates to re-orient their minds towards skills’ oriented jobs.
The President also advised the graduating students to avoid ideologically bankrupt groups who don’t wish Uganda well. He commended Professor Francis Omaswa, the pioneer Chancellor of the institution, for propelling the institution to greater heights.
The new Chancellor, Professor Vinand M. Nantulya, who said that he cherishes integrity and accountability, appealed to all members of staff and students to work together with him to advance Busitema University to greater heights.
He noted that the Busitema institution was well positioned to uplift the agricultural sector in Uganda.
He requested the President for increased funding to the university to enable the institution play its role in the social transformation agenda of Uganda.