PM RUGUNDA HOSTS THE FIRST EAST AFRICAN REUNION OF UNIVERSITY OF CARLIFORNIA ALUMNI IN UGANDA
Saturday, 04 February 2017
The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has asked the University of California alumni to optimise the knowledge acquired from Berkeley to impact institutions in their respective communities. He added that African countries should take advantage of the increased number of scholarships offered through the MasterCard Foundation, to acquired skills that will consolidate the East African development effort.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the re-union of alumni from East African, who studied at the University of California, Berkeley. The function took place at Kampala Serena Hotel. The Premier is alumni of the University of California, Berkeley where he studied from 1977-78 and obtained a Master of Science in public health.
Rugunda noted that many African countries have had their share of challenges like Uganda during Amin’s tyrannical regime and Rwanda during the genocide era. ‘Such bad situations should galvanise Africans to work for great things on continent, as the case was at Berkeley where students resisted against the war in Vietnam’, he said.
The Premier informed the Berkeley Alumni that one of the great things they ought to undertake apart from academics, was to pursue just causes. ‘We should endeavour to resist the negative things that happen in our respective countries and exercise free thinking’, he said.
During the session where the alumni shared memorable moments while at Berkeley, Rugunda on his part said the university provided an enabling environment to exercise free thinking and open mindedness. ‘Traits that have had remarkable impact on my career, networks and relationships’, he said. The Prime Minister’s peers remembered and described him as an individual who was politically active during their time at University of California, Berkeley.
The Prime Minister also thanked the members of the MasterCard foundation for accelerating the connections through their continued provision of funds and scholarships to the students and the university. He urged members to use the association to continue building connections globally and use them for enhancing world peace and development.
Dr. Robin Marsh, who is a Staff at the University of California, Berkeley, commended the alumni of the University for the continuous effort towards transforming society and other academic institutions. She advised the alumni to endeavour to create an enabling environment for the young graduates from the university through offering mentorship and guidance.
Dr Thelma Awori, an Alumni and also former Assistant Secretary for the UNDP in Africa said the aim of the association was to create a platform for networking and helping the young graduates from Berkeley, to settle into society through offering advice and networking.
The re-union was attended by alumni from Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.
By Doreen Nasasira