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Museveni launches Great Lakes University fund

20 February 2012, 10:11 Willy Mulobi

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni launched the Great Lakes University of Kisumu(GLUK) Education Trust fund with a personal contribution to the fund of  Kshs. 8.2 million.

Speaking at GLUK’s main campus in Kisumu, President Museveni called on African Universities to teach courses that can empower the African people economically and are relevant to the international job market.

Saying Africa needed technological innovation as well as political innovation, President Museveni decried the tendency by African Universities to produce graduates who cannot contribute to the economic growth of the people.

The Ugandan leader said  it was unfortunate that  most African economies  were subsistence economies  that were not sustainable  adding it was prudent for African Universities to develop skills that  would remove African countries from  this economic quagmire.

President Museveni said it was imperative for those charged with formulating economic policies on the continent to come up with ideas that resonate with the local people, saying frequent calls for food security should go together with economic empowerment of the people.

“We should for instance improve the value of our produce by selling processed goods as value addition.” Museveni reiterated.

Addressing the congregation, Prime Minister Raila Odinga issued a stern warning to those involved in corrupt practices in the border towns of Malaba and Busia that they will be dealt with accordingly.

He regretted that due to corruption at the border towns, long queues of trucks running to nearly 10 kilometres had formed at the border town of Malaba in Kenya sabotaging the economies of the East and central African countries that depend on the port of Mombasa.

He said a cabinet committee headed by Internal Security Minister Prof. George Saitoti that was sent to Malaba town on a fact finding mission revealed that the underlying reason behind  the long queues was the insistence on payment of borders fees through a system that encouraged corruption.

“Any officer found to be involved in thiscorrupt practices will face the full force of the law,” he warned.

At the same time, Mr.Odinga paid glowing tribute to President Museveni for his contribution to the expansion of democracy in this region.

He disclosed that President Museveni had personally assisted him escape arrest and possible detention during the peak of the second liberation in Kenya in the 1980s.

Mr. Odinga said in one incident he escaped through Lake Victoria to Sigulu Island in Uganda where with permission of President Museveni, he was issued with Ugandan travelling papers that gave him a new identity that enabled him to move to Jinja then Kampala where he joined other UN recognized refugees.

He said, “While on the run in Uganda, the country’s security caught up with me but President Museveni guaranteed my safe passage to Europe  when I was issued with  the travelling papers to escape possible arrest and detention back home in Kenya.”

And added,“Like me, President Museveni  benefitted from the brotherhood in East Africa when he sought refuge in Kenya when he was fighting dictatorship in Uganda,”

Noting that President Museveni is a firm believer in the unity of the five countries that make the East African community, Mr. Odinga pointed out that indeed the Ugandan leader was committed to a political federation of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania had very close relations dating to pre-colonial times that was eventually soured by bad politics of the 1970s.

While emphasizing the need to grow the economy of this region, Mr. Odinga pointed out that Uganda remained the biggest market for Kenya which should be nurtured together with other markets in the region.

More than kshs. 31 million was raisedat a funds drive for the trust with Premier Odinga and friends donating shs.5.4 million. President Kibaki sent shs. 2 million through Prof. Saitoti.

Disclaimer: News24Kenya encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24Kenya.

- News24Kenya

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