President Museveni has reiterated his call for Makerere University to focus mainly on science and research to help solve the country’s problems.
“Science is the prima of all social change. If you don’t deal with science you might not even exist. You may even disappear. You either disappear or survive at mercy of others. I won’t allow Ugandans to be part of that(survive on mercy of others) and that’s why I am insisting on science and technology. If we are to survive in modern world we must deal with issue of prosperity of society. You can’t be prosperous unless you produce more goods and services of all types,” Museveni said.
The president was on Thursday speaking at a function to commemorate 100 years of Makerere University.
Museveni explained that whereas other continents have made great strides towards development, African has remained behind because of failure to embrace science and technology as a key to growth and development.
He noted that where science has been applied, there has been good progress, noting that he maintains his stance on paying scientists better than their arts counters.
“With science, there has been some good progress. With science, we have moved a bit and now going to move more decisively. I congratulate Makerere especially the science branch( for a job well-done). The faculties of medicine, agriculture, engineering, food science and ICT have done well and I encourage you to continue.”
The president however urged their social sciences counterparts to have something to show of their efforts to solve the country’s problems.
“Social scientists and economist should be talking of economic integration. For social scientists, let’s get time and talk .If Makerere has survived 100 years, what has not been done will be done.”
In her speech read by read by the state minister, First Lady and Education Minister, Janet Museveni described as historic, the attainment of 100 years by Makerere University.
She mentioned a number of great leaders including former African leaders Mwai Kibaki(Kenya), Julius Nyerere(Tanzania) and Benjamin Mkapa(Tanzania) as some of the alumni of the oldest university in Africa.
“As we commemorate the significance of the past 100 years, we must leverage the vast experiences to spur national development. We need to restore what has been broken to set new path for future generations. I challenge Makarere to step out of the past and intentionally seek to provide solutions to society’s needs. As government we are committed to supporting you in this endeavor,”Mrs Museveni said.
She insisted that it is high time Makerere spearheaded home grown solutions to Uganda’s problems.
Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere became an independent national university in 1970 and the largest and oldest institution of higher learning in Uganda.
Makerere was earlier this year ranked as the seventh top university in Africa.