The Chancellor, Dr. Patrick Bitature
The Graduands who are our Guests of Honour Today
The Commencement Speaker, Prof. Charles Kwesiga
The Distinguished Invited Guests in Your Various Capacities
Members of UTAMU Fraternity
Parents and Guardians
Our distinguished guests, it is with great honour and humility that I congratulate Dr. Patrick Bitature on being called to serve as the Chancellor of Uganda Technology And Management University (UTAMU), the University that aspires to be the MIT of Africa.
‘’1 Peter 4:10-11: 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.’’
Mr. Chancellor Sir, we take pride in having a personality of your caliber and stature as the titular head of UTAMU. I thank you for the promise of unwavering commitment towards UTAMU.
Dr. Patrick Bitature is the 2nd Chancellor of UTAMU. Dr. Patrick Bitature holds an honorary doctorate and is a graduate of the London School of Accountancy in the United Kingdom. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, an astute businessman and entrepreneur. Dr. Patrick Bitature is the founder, chairman and CEO of Simba Group of Companies, an East African conglomerate, with interests in telecoms, energy production, mining, media, real estate, travel, and leisure. Dr. Bitature has chaired and still chairs key public and private sector boards including Private Sector Foundation Uganda and the board of directors of Umeme. He also serves as the honorary consul of Australia in Uganda. Dr. Patrick Bitature brings with him immense knowledge and experience in business development, innovation and governance of public and private sector institutions. He is a person that affirms faith in business i.e., professes business. He is indeed a practice professor of business. This business giant joins UTAMU, with a business mind and an international perspective that will inspire and change the mindset of today’s graduates. He is the perfect fit for the 21st Century University Chancellor of a University such as UTAMU that focuses on producing graduates that are job creators instead of job seekers.
The United States is number one economy in the world mainly due of its education system and not because of the size of its land or population. Former US diplomats and judges, Chief Executives and others with practical experience serve as Professors at Ivy league Universities. In Uganda, our retired diplomats should be serving as practice professors at our universities training the next generation of diplomats. Likewise the judges and justices should be appointed in law schools to train lawyers. Also outstanding business executives should hold professorial research chairs in Universities. Imagine, someone who has never run a business, lecturing about how to succeed in business to Executive MBA students? It’s high time, we changed our education system and brought onboard practice professors in addition to academic and research professors in order to produce all-round graduates.
Mr. Chancellor Sir, it is with a big heart that I extend a word of appreciation to your predecessor and Founding Chancellor of UTAMU, His Excellency Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, who served as Chancellor of UTAMU from June 2013 to June 2019. UTAMU is grateful to him for successfully steering the University over the last 8 years into a centre of academic excellence. His contribution has been central to the progress and promise of driving UTAMU to international stature in the service of higher education. Amidst his busy schedule, he dedicated tremendous time and effort in ensuring that the University is globally recognized, inclusive and acknowledged as an institution of uncompromising quality that meets the needs of today’s world.
Mr. Chancellor Sir, UTAMU is working with the government of Uganda through the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance in implementing the National 4th Industrial Strategy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances commensurate with those of the first, second and third industrial revolutions. These advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create huge promise. The speed, breadth and depth of this revolution is forcing countries to rethink how they develop.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)—characterized by the fusion of the digital, biological, and physical worlds, as well as the growing utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, virtual reality and advanced wireless technologies, among others—has ushered in a new era of economic disruption. UTAMU is part of a network promoting an African wide challenge of graduation projects and start-ups in Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (https://africaiotai.org) with the aim of spurring innovations in these areas among the young the Ugandan young generation. The Ministry of ICT and National Guidance is supporting this initiative. UTAMU has expressed interest in working with the Ministry of Education and Sports to establish and promote innovation and entrepreneurship clubs in all schools across the county.
UTAMU will also continue to strengthen innovation and research partnerships with Uganda Industrial Research Institute(UIRI) under the able leadership of UIRI Executive Director, Prof. Charles Kwesiga.
Mr. Chancellor Sir, Higher education is about partnerships and collaborations and not competition. UTAMU’s strategy is to have 75% postgraduate students and 25% undergraduate students and focus on becoming a leading research university in the region. As part of UTAMU becoming a research and innovation hub in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, virtual reality and advanced wireless technologies, it has agreed with its international collaborative Partners to establish the School of Research, Innovation and Enterprise and the Institute of Public Health and Health Sciences. The School of Research, Innovation and Enterprise will coordinate and manage research and innovation projects and programmes with our national, regional and international partners. This school will also host professorial chairs in research, innovation and enterprise. The Institute of Public Health and Health Sciences shall not run any academic programmes but shall host researchers and PhD students that are part of collaborative research projects and programmes. This institute will focus on multidisciplinary research in public health and health sciences that is inclined to new technologies.
In the United Kingdom (UK), our main collaborative partner is University of Liverpool and in the course of this year we shall receive cutting research infrastructure donations from them. Other research infrastructure shall be accessed from different sources including research grants. One of the best researchers at the University of Liverpool, Prof. Fred Paul Mark Jjunju is relocating back to Uganda in October 2021 to serve as the pioneer Dean of the School of Research, Innovation and Enterprise. He will be responsible for initiating, coordinating and managing research projects and programmes with the University of Liverpool among other research partners from across the globe. Before June 2022, we will have recruited and relocated back to Uganda a total of 10 Ugandan senior scientists in new technologies currently working at Ivy league Universities in the West. These will work as Principal Investigators and Chief of Party of collaborative research programmes with our international partners.
As a result of COVID-19, many floors of prime buildings in Kampala are empty and we shall take advantage of this to set up laboratory facilities in some of these buildings. We shall concurrently continue with construction of the permanent UTAMU main campus on our 20 acres of land on Block 82 Plot 6 Kkungu, Matugga, Kyaddondo, Wakiso District, that will initially host undergraduate students, innovation and startup facilities.
UTAMU is committed to working with government to solve most of the pressing issues including developing and deploying smart forensic investigation tools to curb crime in the country. All successful private sector institutions have strong departments of research and innovations that keep them on top of the game and UTAMU can provide them with research services under Non-Disclosure Agreements.
In addition to the forementioned, UTAMU provides top-notch consultancy services in technology and management. In a nutshell, UTAMU is a consultancy powerhouse. For instance since last graduation ceremony, I have been lead consultant for the following consultancies within the East African Community:
- A Situational Analysis And Needs Assessment For Enhancement Of Research Management For Improved Performance Of Higher Education Systems In East Africa, 2021
- The Competitiveness and Development Strategy for the Business Process Outsourcing Sector in Uganda, 2021
- The East African Regional Strategy For Indigenous Knowledge And Technologies Systems, 2021
- The East African Community (EAC) Buyers and Sellers Platform, 2021
- The Study on Status of the East African Community (EAC)’s Higher Education Information Management Systems, 2020
- The East African Community (EAC) Investment Guide, 2020. Etc.
Mr. Chancellor Sir, a Guest of honour is the most important guest at an occasion. It is a person for whom an event was planned or a person who an event celebrates. At a graduation ceremony, our guests of honour are the graduands and at UTAMU, we shall always accord them that status. Starting with the 7th Graduation Ceremony, which is scheduled to be held in 2022, UTAMU will have a ‘’commencement speaker’’ and a ‘’student commencement speaker’’. The commencement speaker that will address the graduating class will come from outstanding personalities who are renown motivational speakers. At each graduation ceremony, a student commencement speaker will be given an opportunity to speak before the commencement speaker. The student’s speech will provide an opportunity for the selected student to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class, reflect upon the past few years, and convey a message for the future.
Mr. Chancellor Sir, on behalf of the Board of Directors of UTAMU, I congratulate the UTAMU fraternity upon this indelible occasion of the 6th Graduation ceremony when we usher into the world graduates whose contribution will make UTAMU proud.
To the graduands, your network is your net worth. Many of you may not know that Networking is the key in business: Who you know is more important than what you know. In China, you do business based on trust and relationships, not necessarily on contracts or the rule of law. Graduands, you need to be trusted. Your actions speak louder than words. You must work and nurture your current relationships and build new ones every day. If you are to succeed in the knowledge economy, referral is key. As professionals and experts, most of the work we do is through referrals. For instance, I cannot give you a reference unless you are good at what you do and can be trusted. So be the best at whatever you do. Stay away from corruption and fraud as a means of getting rich quickly. Hard work pays. So never ever give up on your dreams, keep your dreams alive. It may take you years, but keep focused on your dreams. ‘’The day you will stop dreaming is the day you will start dying’’.
For an open mind. For God and my Country. I thank you.END.