Today, Makerere University is celebrating 90 years of its existence. On the 4th of August 1922 Makerere College was born out of a vocational school called Uganda Technical College, which had previously opened its doors to 14 day students studying Carpentry, Building and Mechanics. The College was later to grow into Makerere University, the oldest and premier University in East Africa and one of the most prestigious universities in the world today. The Webometric ranking of universities worldwide in July 2012 listed Makerere as the eleventh best university in Africa and the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP) Centre Turkey ranks Makerere 8th best in Africa. The university’s star continues to shine.
Indeed, Makerere University boasts of having nurtured the most renowned leaders in Africa and globally, including Mwalimu Julius Nyerere the founder President of Tanzania, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who led the independence struggle in Kenya, Sir Edward Mutesa the first President of Uganda, Milton Obote former President of Uganda, Mwai Kibaki the President of Kenya, Benjamin Mkapa former President of Tanzania, President Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo, and President Yoweri Museveni who joined Makerere’s distinguished alumni when he recently received an honorary Doctorate.
The list of its renowned alumni includes Vice Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, top scientists, leading writers, judges, Central Bank Governors, Cardinals and Archbishops, United Nation Diplomats and Ambassadors.
It is therefore fitting that Makerere University celebrates its 90 years of existence as Uganda also celebrates its 50 years of Jubilee (1962-2012). The history of Uganda’s existence as an independent nation is inseparable from that of Makerere because the key architects of Uganda’s struggles for freedom and self-determination have all been Makerere University’s distinguished alumni.
Moreover, as the mother of all universities in Eastern and Central Africa, Makerere University and its alumni also gave birth to the independent nations of East Africa. They have been at the forefront of the anti-colonial and independence struggles in Eastern Africa. This is especially memorable as East African countries celebrate their independence Golden Jubilee: Tanzania 1961-2011, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda 1962-2012, and Kenya 1963-2013.
Despite some difficult moments in its 90 year journey, Makerere has begun to rise and shine again and its renaissance is worth celebrating.
Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi
Chair, Department of Journalism & Communication/
Chairperson, Publicity Sub-Committee
Mak@90 Organising Committe
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