“As you leave the great gates of Makerere University, always remember you are from the great and mighty University. Therefore, whatever you do, do it in a way that will uplift the name and uphold the image your alma mater,” said Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs.
The Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Ezra Suruma conferred degrees and awarded certificate to a total of 13,350 students during the 69th Graduation Ceremony held from 15th to 18th January 2019. During the same graduation week, 34 Mastercard Foundation Scholars graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in their respective disciplines. On 16th January 2019, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University recognized its best student of the year 2019; Mr. Katulamu Charles who scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.58, earning himself a First Class Honors degree.
Speaking at the graduation party that was held on Saturday, 19th January 2019, at Makerere University Guest House, Hon. Nakiwala Kiyingi congratulated granduands upon reaching the coveted milestone and advised them to use the knowledge attained to solve societal problems and develop their country.
“The world needs determined, hardworking, and energetic people like you. You are young and fresh with sharp minds; well trained to cause change in your communities. With you we hope to change Uganda for the better,” she said.
She commended Mastercard Foundation (MCF) and Makerere University for enabling vulnerable Uganda children to access quality higher education when she said, “you have educated and imparted relevant skills upon them. Above all you have trained these young leaders on the importance of giving back to community. Such a well-groomed and educated team, will never disappoint you,’ she said.
She urged granduands to always remember their roots and the people who impacted their lives. The Minister advised students to emulate the people who sacrificed their money, life and effort to ensure that they have a better life. She encouraged them to always answer the call that requests for their contribution towards bettering the lives of others.
Representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Dr. Umar Kakumba urged granduands to uphold and protect the image and name of Makerere University by being good ambassadors.
He commended the Steering Committee and the Program Implementation Team (PIT) for building a firm foundation for the students through capacity building and mentorship.
The Country Coordinator of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University, Dr. Florence Nakayiwa acknowledged the tremendous work done by the Mastercard mentors and coordinators and teachers in grooming the young generation of African leaders.
“You have groomed our students to be problem solvers and innovators with a business mind. This will help them during their career days but also change societies for the better,” she said.
She thanked the Mastercard President Reeta Roy, for being a thoughtful leader and an advocate for empowering the world’s most vulnerable children.
Addressing the audience, the Regional Program Coordinator of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Dr. Codou Diaw congratulated the graduates upon the great achievement and called upon them to be responsible citizens by adding great value to their country.
Dr. Sarah Ssali, the Dean of School of Women and Gender Studies (SWGS) and Member of the Steering Committee, encouraged graduates to go out and conquer the world with the knowledge and skills they have attained.
Representing the graduates, Miss Hilda Adur and Gai David thanked Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University for giving them an opportunity which enabled them to continue with their studies. According to Miss Adur, Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University provided the scholars with a favorable learning environment that enabled them to succeed in their studies.
“We have lived a good life at campus. We were provided with all the requirements we needed in our studies these included; laptops, allowances, free counselling programs, travels to other countries. We were mentored, counseled and guided” he said.
She thanked the Programme Implementation Team, the Steering Committee and Selection committee, Makerere University Management, staff, parents, guardians and fellow students for the support they rendered to students during their time of study.
Ms. Lisa Anenocan, who graduated with the Bachelor of Journalism and Communication, thanked her mentor Ms. Ritah Namisango, the Principal Public Relations Officer Makerere University for the kind advice that helped her to develop and grow her career.
In his testimony, Mr. Charles Katulamu who graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Population Studies (First Class Honors) revealed to the guests that, “Mastercard Foundation changed my life. My education life had come to an end since I had no hope of advancing my studies. However, in 2014 Brac Uganda came in to give a helping hand and later on Mastercard took over while at Makerere. Mastercard Foundation’s investment is able to change the world and I am ready to contribute by adding value to the educational sector in Uganda.”
Mrs. Teopista Kigongo thanked the Mastercard Foundation for shouldering the burden of educating her son and other students. She said that until Mastercard came along, she had given up on her son’s education since she could not raise his tuition.
Article Mak Public Relations Office.