In 2014, West Nile opened its doors to a new university, setting off a wave of growth and change with in the community.
Nine (9) years later today, 260 students of which 190 were Males and 70 Females have graduated in different disciplines including Bachelors of information systems, of Science in information technology, Bachelor of Nursing Science among others.
The graduation ceremony which took place at the University Premises in Arua was presided over by Vice President Jessica Alupo who represented President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Before she read the President’s remarks, a
moment of silence was observed in honour of the late Prof Christine Dranzoa who was the founding Vice Chancellor of Muni University.
In his remarks, the President Museveni congratulated Bishop Orombi, who replaced
Rt. Hon. Eng. Dr. Eric Tiyo Sekebuga Adriko, whose term expired in August 2022. He
called the moment of installation a “historic occasion” and commended the stakeholders for maintaining stability when a dark cloud covered the University with Prof Christine’s death, who he described as “a dependable and selfless cadre that stood strong on the plight of the girl-child education and left many foot prints in Uganda’s education sector”.
The President also commended the staff on the resilience and hard work, that he said, had registered significant growth in the areas of teaching, learning, research and community engagement.
The President recounted moments from six years ago, when in 2016, he presided over the commissioning ceremony and installation of the first Chancellor of this University. “At that time, the University had one (1) faculty offering four (4) academic programmes; it had not graduated any students and had only thirty two (32) academic staff.
Today, I am happy to note that the University has grown to six (6) faculties, fifteen (15) academic programmes, one hundred (100) faculty staff and has graduated a total of 379 graduates during the last six years”, Museveni remarked.
He further commended the University leadership on heeding his advice and guidance on thr
type of programmes the University would champion. “I am happy to note that nine (9) new relevant programmes have been accredited by the National Council for Higher education (NCHE). The programmes are very exciting because they are strong science programmes. These academic programmes should not only train graduates but those whose innovations can support industrial growth, thereby creating jobs. I, therefore, salute the University upon this achievement”, Predident Museveni added.
Museveni said that over the years, the NRM Government has continously supported sciences because through scientific research, the country is able to generate innovations which support industrial growth.”Industries provide jobs and, therefore, the tax base of the country is widened, hence spurring socioeconomic transformation” he said, as he congratulated Muni University for having curved a niche in techno-sciences which resonates very well with the government’s effort in promoting science and technology.
The President thanked Ministry of Education and Sports,saying the Minister-Janet Museveni’s stewardship had enabled our universities to move closer to their visions that are commendable for the growth and development of our country.
The President also congratulated the University Council headed by Joel Aita and urged them to continue providing policy oversight to the University.
He further congratulated the graduands and said government and indeed, parents would ask for accountability through their development, development of the
communities and the country. “Avoid reckless lifestyles and explore more opportunities for furthering your education so that with more advanced skills, you will be able to serve humanity better, use the entrepreneurial skills you have acquired to create jobs for yourselves and others”, he counseled.
The President referenced he fourth industrial revolution, which, he said, puts a responsibility on institutions such as Muni to play a key role in conducting relevant research and coming up with innovations that support industrial growth. “This spurrs transformation through the creation of more jobs”, President Museveni added.
Earlier, the Vice President led the congregation in a moment of silence for the last Prof Dranzoa.
She thanked everybody who has participated in the drive towards the objectives and aspirations of Muni University. “All of you have worked as a team together with Government from inception, up to the stage where we are now. But allow me single out Hon Fred Ombachi, former State Minister of finance for his role in providing resources for the establishment of the Universities like Muni, Soroti, Kabale, which were directives of the President”, Alupo remarked.
The VP also thanked Prof Tikodri for implementing the decision to realize that Science based programs are considered and achieved.
In her speech read by Dr. Joyce Kaducu the Minister of State for Primary Education, the 1st Lady and Minister for Education Hon Janet Museveni said that the 5th graduation ceremony and the installation of the 2nd Chancellor was a blessing, describing Archibishop Luke Orombi as a “dear friend and a servant of God”. She Congratulated him saying this milestone was in service to the nation and added that the University Community would benefit from his humility and outstanding leadership skills. “There would be “better and brighter days and years ahead”, she remarked.
The First Lady also took moments to remember the work of the founding Vice Chancellor Prof Christine, who she worked tirelessly to enable Government lay a foundation for this university. “We cant forget her excellent leadership and invaluable contribution to the education sector” Mrs Museveni added, further urging the University to carry her legacy for the University to grow from strength to strength.
Hon Janet Museveni thanked the University for providing demand driven courses for cadres who promote development and contribute to the transformation agenda. She encouraged the academic staff to continue undertaking research whose findings grow innovation that addresses societal challenges.
“Let the Impact of the University be felt in the region and beyond” she added.
The First lady mentioned that it was pleasing to see the fruits of the strategic investment made by Government from its own resources grow to bigger areas of focus.
She counseled the graduands with a teaching from the book of Colossians 3: 23-24 _”whatever you do, do at it with all your heart…it is the Lord Jesus you are serving”_
Use the skills and knowledge acquired in faithful service to the lord, she said,challenging them them to uphold the professional values from the training. “Go out and serve your country diligently ”
In her own brief remarks, Dr. Kaducu called upon parents and all stakeholders to support the feeding of children so as to keep them in school.
The newly installed Chancellor Archbishop Bishop Emeritus Orombi thanked God for his protection and for enabling him to be a witness.
He addressed the graduands, saying the academic gowns are a “testimony of your hard work, determination, focus, discipline and positive attitude to advance your understanding”.
He thanked Prrsident and Government of Uganda for the establishment of Muni University in the Westnile which he said, had already created a firm nuclear for social economic transformation in the region.
He was grateful for his appointment as a second Chancellor of the University which he said, was a moment of trust and confidence in him. “With God, I will use my skills, knowledge and values for work towards what has been achieved and taking Muni University to another level.”
Orombi said he found a warm and purposeful community full of positive energy ready to transform the lives of the a community and the whole of Ugandans.
In trying to move the University forward, Orombi encouraged the Senate, council, staff and students to focus on areas that are of global concern such as health, ICTs and Science and Technology for National Development and strengthening Research. “The University needs to play its central role as an epicentre of knowledge”, he remarked, further guiding on areas such as Mindset change.
“The skills and knowledge you are equipped with should make significant difference in your lives and enable you to change the lives of the people around you in a positive productive and fulfilling manner. I believe that an educated person is a change agent.
If the education you attained doesnt influence the person next to you, go back to class”, Orombi said, drawing cheers from.the audience.
“Your education should enable you to understand the current global correctly. Use your education to make the correct decision. If in any doubt, Seek God”, he added.
He pledged the University’s commitment in working with the Government to achieve the mission and visions set.
The Ag. Vice Chancellor- Prof. Simon Anguma Katrini congratulated the graduands and gave his commitment in driving the University forward.
Present at the ceremony were several Ministers-including Evelyne Anite-State for Investment and Privatisation, Grace Freedom-State Minister for Northern Uganda, Obiga Kania-State Minister for Housing and Urban development, Huda Olero-State Minister for Defence and Veteran Affairs, several current and former Members of Parliament, Vice Chancellors from Sister Universities, Regional and local leaders, among others.