Makerere University’s Department of Journalism and Communication sealed its 30th-anniversary celebrations with a grand dinner at Hotel Africana on Friday.
The function attracted hundreds of alumni, academicians, media practitioners, and friends. The alumni were all in a jovial mood as they interacted and reminisced with their contemporaries.
Among the highlights of the function was the key-note address by Prof Monica Chibita, who spoke on the theme: Access to Information: A New Promise for Sustainable Development
Chibita’s presentation was later discussed by Joseph Ssekyewa (ED, Hub for Investigative Media) and Gilbert Sendugwa (ED, Africa Freedom of Education Centre).
In his message, which was delivered by the finance state minister David Bahati, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda praised Makerere University’s Department of Journalism and Communication for its enormous contribution to the development of the media industry in the country.
He encouraged journalists and social communicators to work positively with the government and help to disseminate information about its good development programmes.
The Vice-Chancellor of Makerere, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe encouraged the alumni to promote the culture of supporting their former institution.
Giving an example of Harvard University, which he said has an endowment fund that is five times the budget of Uganda, Nawangwe said universities in Europe and the US, relied on their alumni. He thus encouraged the former students of journalism to make relatively small monthly contributions, such as sh5,000 or sh10,000, towards the development of their former institution.
Nawangwe later caused excitement when he declared that he was securing a license for the university’s Radio and TV station, which he said would help to disseminate the enormous research information, which is currently on the shelves.
During the function, the alumni also fundraised for the proposed multi-media resource center, whose first phase requires over sh400m.
A total of about sh2m was donated in cash and pledges.