President Yoweri Museveni showed optimism in the future of Uganda’s science and technology, citing developments achieved by Makerere University.
"I congratulate Makerere University, especially the science side… those ones are a little bit in the line of God,” President Museveni, who was Thursday the chief guest at the university’s 100 Anniversary Main Celebrations Held at Freedom Square, said.
The president gave examples like Kiira Motors, which came out of the College of Design, Art and Technology and Tooke, which was born out of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.
He, however, noted that there’s more that still needs to be addressed, giving examples of climate change, and diseases like Ebola and Covid-19, which continue to destabilize socio-economic progress.
According to President Museveni, “the primer of socio-economic change is science and technology.”
President Museveni, who is the former chancellor of Makerere University, noted that he ordered the start of the facilities of food science and quantitative economics at the university.
President Museveni urged researchers at the university to look into why Africa has lagged behind yet it was initially at the forefront of invention, noting that fire, iron and agriculture were invented here.
"This imbalance between Europe and Africa was not always there... because God gave us mandate to establish dominion over nature,... which means understanding science,... dealing with the drought,... diseases…,” he said.
"In NRM, we always teach our people that the primer of social economic change is the development of science and technology. When man invented fire… it caused a big change in society.... with the invention of fire, people moved from trees to caves,... that's progress… African did that,” he went on.
“That's what the education system should bring out? How did Africans lag behind?”
The event was also graced by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa, who said that if it wasn’t for joining Makerere in 2001, he might never have come to Kampala.
“I'm one of the testimonies of this government that you [President Museveni] created opportunites for people,... and offered them a chance to serve in big positions,” he said. The Managing Director of Vision Don Wanyama, who also came from Mbale to join the university in 2003, said the company he heads has contributed over Shs300 million toward the celebrations.
Mak Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe used his speech the celebrate people like former Buganda Kingdom Prime Minister Martin Luther Nsibirwa who on September 4, 1945, signed a law to give land to set up the university.
"Makerere has been part and parcel of Uganda and East Africa's modern history,” he said. Former Makerere University Chancellor Prof Mondo Kagonyera thanked President Museveni for promoting the teaching of science.
The Chairperson of the University Council Lorna Magara said NRM policies have promoted higher education, even among the less privileged. Some of the activities that have been conducted toward the main event are public lectures, visiting partner states to engage alumni, and Twitter space engagements to invite the entire alumni, among others.