By Stephen Ssenkaaba
The Minister of Health Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda has called upon all stakeholders in the knowledge and publishing industry to support works that document indigenous knowledge.
Rugunda said that books that tell our stories play an important role in documenting our unique experiences.
They are also important reference points for the future. “I call upon concerned government bodies and the National Curriculum Development centre to support local publishing of our stories as a sure way of boosting our knowledge industry,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Rukakana Rugunda(L) launching the book written by the Commonwealth Assistant Spokesperson for Africa, Julius Mucunguz(C). Left, is his father John Masanyu in Kampala.
Ruguda said this recently while launching Once upon a time… THE STORY OF KEEPING HOPE ALIVE, a book written by Julius Mucunguzi, former Ugandan journalist and now communication specialist at the Commonwealth office in the United Kingdom at Kembabazi’s catering centre in Naguru.
Rugunda said that support for locally generated knowledge and content will develop our society and unlock the potential of many gifted people in our communities.
“Mucunguzi could have published his work from abroad with any of the reputable publishing houses, but he chose to work with a young, upcoming publisher,” Ruguda says.
The book was published by newly opened Optimist Media Limited, run by a young writer Dennis Muhumuza.
Speaking at the same event, Murindwa Rutanga, a Makerere University Political Science don said that time has come for Ugandan universities and academic institutions to promote indigenous knowledge by considering works published and written locally and which provide material that is relevant to our own communities.
He said that universities in Uganda and other parts of Africa today tend to consider works that have been published outside of Africa when looking at academics’ contributions to knowledge and research in their fields.
Many of such works have little relevance to our local situations.
Julius Mucungu (left) autographing his book after it was launched by the Minister of Health, Rukakana Rugunda. PHOTO/Wilfred Sanya
“What is worse, publishers outside of Africa are not interested in research and work that is not done by their own scholars,” he said.
He called for a policy change to ensure that 40% of the books and materials considered and promoted by Universities here are those written and published locally and which reflect our local situations.
Mucunguzi thanked the several people who have played an important role in his life and who have supported him in his endevour to write his story.
Once upon a time… THE STORY OF KEEPING HOPE ALIVE is an autobiographical inspirational story told through the life experiences of Mucunguzi- from a deprived background to a successful academic and professional career.
It tells of difficult times of despondency, translated into moments of opportunity by sheer willpower of Mucunguzi and the support of generous people that he met on his life journey.
The book now on sale has been well received.
Hon Ruhakana Rugunda described it as “a must read for all, most especially those who have the opportunity to reach and influence millions of underprivileged citizens where Julius once was and inspire them with his own testimony.
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