Museveni looks at works works with Makerere students



President Yoweri Museveni has said his government is willing to support Makerere University so that it becomes the best institution of higher learning in Africa.

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“I heard Makerere was ranked 5th in Africa, I challenge the university administration to let me know how we can support you so that you are ranked Number One in the continent,” he posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Museveni made the statement on Wednesday after visiting the university to look at the innovations on display at the institution’s Agricultural Day and Exhibition held at the Freedom Square.

“I thank the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the principals of the colleges and the staff for re-orienting the university and firmly moving it towards research and innovations,” he said.

Makerere University was ranked the fifth best institution in Africa in the latest 2020 World University Rankings by the Times Higher Education.

According to the rankings released early this month, the university is also the best in East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa.

Makerere’s only superiors are institutions from South Africa.

The September rankings have also placed Makerere University College of Health Sciences in the second position on the continent.

Globally, the College of Health Science is in the 250th position.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020 were released on September 11, revealing that in Africa, the University of Cape Town is the best while on the global scene, the University of Oxford leads.

The rankings consider research publications, education and general performance of the institution.

Museveni said Makerere was undergoing a renaissance. “I visited all the stalls at the exhibition and I could see that people are waking up. Education is being made practical unlike in the past where all we did was rote learning as we copied and pasted from the West,” he said.

He added: “Makerere scholars are increasingly becoming inquisitive and seeking answers to society problems. We already had the Profs Muhanga (bananas), Kyamuhangire (banana juice), Tickodri (Kiira EV), etc, whom I helped to patent their works.”

“I have seen lots of other important research being undertaken. I must congratulate you. In the past, Africans abstained from thinking, and kept aping the West to the point of bleaching their skins in what Frantz Fanon called “self-hatred”.”

“From Prof Kahwa who has developed a vaccine to kill all types of ticks, to the veterinary lecturer who is studying leather technology, to the students who are extracting medicine from banana peelings, I was impressed.”

He said he will in mid-October hold a symposium in Entebbe with all the exhibitors at the university, where he will link them to relevant government officials to ensure all their innovations are supported and promoted. “What I urge you now is to link your research to our African heritage,” he said.

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