President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday visited Makerere University to look at the innovations on display at the institution’s Agricultural Day and Exhibition.
He thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the principals of the colleges and the staff for re-orienting the university and firmly moving it towards research and innovations.
Below is an excerpt of his speech:
No doubt Makerere is undergoing a renaissance. I visited all the stalls at the exhibition and I could see that people are waking up. Education is being made practical unlike in the past where all we did was rote learning as we copied and pasted from the West.
Makerere scholars are increasingly becoming inquisitive and seeking answers to society problems. We already had the Profs Muhanga (bananas), Kyamuhangire (banana juice), Tickodri (Kiira EV), etc, whom I helped to patent their works.
What began as a trickle is now a flood. Today, I have seen lots of other important research being undertaken. I must congratulate you. In the past, Africans abstained from thinking, and kept aping the West to the point of bleaching their skins. This is what Frantz Fanon called “self-hatred.
From Prof Kahwa who has developed a vaccine to kill all types of ticks, to the veterinary lecturer who is studying leather technology, to the students who are extracting medicine from banana peelings, I was impressed.
In mid-October I am going to hold a symposium in Entebbe with all the exhibitors here, where I will link them to relevant government officials to ensure all these innovations are supported and promoted. What I urge you now is to link your research to our African heritage.
I heard Makerere was ranked 5th in Africa, I challenge the university administration to let me know how we can support you so that you are ranked Number One in the continent. I thank you.