West Nile university opening hangs in balance - Daily Monitor

West Nile university opening hangs in balance

Monday July 4 2011

By Felix Okello Warom

The opening of the long-awaited Muni University in West Nile has been hindered by inadequate finances. The university acquired 35 acres of land at Muni and Madi-Okollo, a former refugee settlement in Arua District, to set up the infrastructure.

On Friday, West Nile leaders gathered to find solutions to fast-track the operationalisation of the university. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Christine Dranzoa, said the university would provide a platform to improve literacy levels in the region.

“We must take this responsibility of nurturing it because it has opened opportunity for our people that has been lacking,” Ms Dranzoa said.
She said the university has acquired Shs1.4b to implement output on architectural designs, purchased three vehicles and developed five academic programmes for the start.

“We are facing problems of physical infrastructure because we do not have enough funds. But with the intervention by South Korea, we are hopeful to start next year,” Ms Dranzoa added.

Now with funding of $30 million (Shs75b) from South Korea, the university is set to kick-off. The fund is expected to be used for infrastructural development.

The Obongi County MP, Mr Hassan Fungaroo, said there was need for government to offer more financial support. “We should support this initiative regardless of political affiliations because majority of our youths are unemployed because some did not complete their education,” Mr Fungaroo said.

The State Minister for Finance, Mr Fred Jachan Omach, said leaders should avoid any false start with whatever little money is available. “It should be a university that will train people holistically and we shall provide more funds,” he said.

This Financial Year, government committed Shs 1.4b but only half has been sent. It would be the first public university in the region and is expected to attract students from DR Congo, South Sudan and even Central African Republic.