ARUA - Uganda’s High Commissioner to India, Grace Akello, has pledged to support Muni University by linking it to higher institutions of learning in India and other parts of the world for benchmarking and collaboration on joint projects.
Akello was on Wednesday speaking at the signing of a two-year memorandum of understanding between Lemon School of Entrepreneurship in India and Muni University, at the university main campus in Arua, an arrangement which the commissioner herself connected.
Areas of collaboration include conducting training programmes in entrepreneurship development for students, conducting faculty development programmes in entrepreneurship for lecturers, conducting entrepreneurship orientation assessment for the Students and handholding support for setting up and management of incubator among others.
The High Commissioner said she wanted to support the West Nile region through Muni University because the region has been lagging behind in development from colonial times until the ruling National Resistance Movement came to power.
“West Nile was left at the back of this country from the 1900s until the start of the NRM government. For long, West Nile was the reserve for Ugandan labour, like workers in tea plantations and workers in sugar plantations, provision of private security. I want to help bring the minds, brains and thoughts of the West Nile to power Uganda’s development. That’s why I want to support Muni University,” Akello said.
She said she supports West Nile region because it is a strategic location as a business hub for four countries in the neighborhood, namely, DR Congo, South Sudan, Kenya, and Central African republic.
She also gifted the University with 19 copies of three of her books she has authored, namely: Women in Diplomacy; Thoughts of an African Ambassador, My Barren Song and Iteso Thought Patterns in Tales.
The Vice-Chancellor of Muni University, Prof. Christine Dranzoa, thanked the ambassador for presenting an opportunity for the University to collaborate with other institutions, saying networking is a critical factor in the development of the country.
“Our prayer is that you continue linking and networking with partners including refugee-support because West Nile hosts more refugees than any region in the country,” she said.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Associate Prof. Simon Anguma, said: “Through the collaborative programmes, we are going to develop the human resource that is critically needed for industrialization.”
He prayed that such collaborations continue even after the two years.