Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has appealed to higher institutions of learning in Africa to stop copying but embrace a home grown curriculum, which he says can solve Africa’s problems.
He made the remarks while presiding over the 6th graduation ceremony of Cavendish University Uganda in Kampala on Friday.
President Mkapa, who is the university’s chancellor, also challenged universities to train their students to be innovative, creative and entrepreneurial rather than continuously sticking to western subjects.
He explained that Africa should stop looking to developed countries for the next solution and innovations to address the continent’s challenges, but should equip African scholars with the skills to come up with African solutions.
“We must train our youths to invent the next solutions, careers, and the next big thing. We have heard over and over that Africa is on the brink of greatness, but who is reaping our greatness? If we do not think and innovate, we will simply be re-colonised but this time, economically,” Mr Mkapa said.
East Africa called upon
He asked all East African member states to create an enabling environment that can help innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive.
Education minister Janet Museveni thanked private universities and particularly Cavendish University for supporting government in its bid to close the gap of the increasing demand for higher education.
“The government has encouraged the starting up of private universities to meet this increasing demand for higher education in Uganda. I am, therefore, happy to note that Cavendish University is playing a major role in meeting this demand,” Ms Museveni said in a statement read by Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, the minister in charge of General Duties (Office of the Prime Minister).
At least 1,368 students were awarded degrees and diplomas in different disciplines. Of these 432 were female with the rest of the graduating class (936) male.