Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged universities to be dynamic in addressing the country’s economic needs by avoiding cheaper-to-run courses which are irrelevant to strategic development requirements.
“An educated and skilled human resource is indeed a strategic precondition for a country’s sustained economic growth and development,” Mr Mbabazi said.
He was speaking as chief guest at the 15th graduation ceremony of Uganda Christian University (UCU) at the main campus in Mukono yesterday. The university awarded degrees and diplomas to 1,239 graduands.
Mr Mbabazi said Uganda had emerged as the leading centre of excellence in education in East and Central Africa, adding that government was proud of the remarkable expansion of the tertiary education sector which boasts of 34 universities, including 28 private ones.
He said UCU must stay true to its motto of being a centre of excellence in the heart of Africa.
“Youth unemployment and underemployment are some of the development challenges in developing countries like Uganda where the youth constitute the highest percentage of the labour force,” he said and urged graduands to be innovative and create jobs in the private sector.
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda and Chancellor of the University, Most Rev Stanley Ntagali, urged government not to tax tertiary institutions which serve the public good but rather enable them plough back any surpluses to develop themselves.
He also appealed to government to support private universities to access facilities for quality education such as research funds for academics and to continue protecting religious-founded institutions in the impartation of godly values because education without values only makes clever devils.
Mr Mbabazi also launched a book, More Than One Wife, Polygamy And Grace, co–authored by Rev Ntagali and Eileen Enwright Hodgetts.