The East African Uongozi Summer School 2014 participants have vowed to protect the East African identity and to promote unity and peace on the African Continent. At their graduation ceremony held on 15th August 2014 in the Makerere University Main Hall, the participants, through their representative, Ms Naome from the University of Rwanda, noted that after the six-week training at the Uongozi Institute, they were more united and committed to causing positive change on the Continent. The students expressed gratitude to the Summer School initiators and their facilitators for the knowledge and leadership skills they attained during the training. This year’s Uongozi Summer School was held under the theme “African States: Competing Identities and Democratization”. The 52 participants, 23 female and 29 male, were selected from Makerere University, the University of Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam, University of Burundi and the University of Rwanda.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, advised the participants to uphold the knowledge, professional skills and maturity attained at the institution.
“As you start the next stage of your journey, you take with you the knowledge, professional skills and maturity to make a major contribution to your chosen field, and to society. Since many of you will end up in leadership roles sooner or later, I believe the knowledge and skills acquired from the Uongozi Summer School 2014 will remain of relevance,” he noted.
According to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam, Prof. Rekaza S. Mukandala, participants in the Uongozi Summer School 2014, explored the realities, opportunities and challenges of nation building within the context of multiple historical differences and competing identities especially in the quest for democracy. Addressing the graduands, Prof. Mukandala noted that one of the objectives of the Uongozi Institute is to explore possibilities of generating politics that is informed by principle and universal values of freedom, equality and justice, rather than the mandate and parochial concerns of power grabbing and power holding at all costs.
“Hence the key objective of the Uongozi School is to nurture, mentor and mold the next generation of leaders in our region who are intelligent, well-educated, cosmopolitan, highly patriotic and committed to the values of freedom, development for all, justice, fairness and community well-being,” he added.
Uganda’s Minister of State for Primary Education, Hon. Kamanda Bataringaya, urged the participants to demonstrate their newly attained competence by giving the best of what they acquired from the institution. Hon. Bataringaya represented the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Jessica Alupo. The graduands were awarded certificates of achievement for successfully completing the leadership programme.
The Head of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Dr Suzie Nansozi Muwanga, congratulated the participants for successfully completing the programme. She expressed gratitude to the coordinators and facilitators of the programme for their efforts in ensuring the smooth management of the Uongozi Summer School 2014.
The ceremony was attended by among others, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, Prof. Benson Bana from the University of Dar es Salaam and members of staff from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.
Uongozi Summer School is one of the activities of the East African Uongozi Institute, founded in 1998 with the aim of inculcating leadership qualities and competencies among the next generation of East African leaders. Officially opened on 7th July 2014 at the University of Dar es Salaam, the Oungozi Summer School 2014 had two sessions. The first was held at the University of Dar es Salaam, while the second session was held at Makerere University, and hosted by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. The intensive six-week training included presentations from prominent resource persons especially politicians and academicians in the region.