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Prof. Stanley Waudo Vice-Chancellor Speech

A SPEECH BY


PROF. STANLEY W. WAUDO, PhD

VICE-CHANCELLOR,


DURING

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY 7TH GRADUATION CEREMONY


DECEMBER 11TH, 2014

SALUTATIONS

  1. The Chief Guest, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Advocate of High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania and Director, Kenya School of Law
  2. Minister of Interior, Somaliland
  3. Assistant Minister, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
  4. Assistant Minister, Planning and National Development, Somaliland
  5. Your Excellences, Ambassadors and High Commissioners present
  6. Honorable National and County Government leaders
  7. The Founder of MKU and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Simon Gicharu
  8. The Co-Founder of MKU, Madam Jane Nyutu
  9. Members of the Board of Trustees
  10. Chairman and Members of the University Council
  11. Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wulsin
  12. Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha
  13. Members of the Staff and Students
  14. Distinguished Guests
  15. Ladies and gentlemen

Welcome Remarks

On behalf of Mount Kenya University fraternity, I extend my warm welcome to all of you esteemed guests. I am humbled and grateful that you could find time from your busy schedule to come and celebrate with us the achievements of Six Thousand, Three Hundred and Three (6303) graduands. Our Chief Guest Prof. P.L.O Lumumba, thank you very much for accepting our invitation and honoring us with your presence.

Graduands
Madam Chancellor, Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we celebrate the graduation of:

  1. Three (3) PhD graduands
  2. Three Hundred and Seventy Four (374) Masters Degree graduands
  3. Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety Five (3395) Bachelors Degree graduands
  4. Forty Eight (48) Postgraduate Diploma graduands
  5. One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty Four (1964) Diploma graduands and
  6. Five Hundred and Nineteen (599) Certificate graduands

Introducing the Theme of the Graduation Address

Madam Chancellor, allow me, to first highlight our theme for the 7th Graduation Ceremony: The role of the University in Steering Freedom of Thought for Socio-economic Development. The theme has the import of the role of universities in using truth with recourse to knowledge and reason to keep the society focused in the desired directions towards socio-economic development.

Congratulation to the Chairman, Board of Trustees, B.O.T

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Mount Kenya University fraternity, I would like to share the wonderful news that our Chairman, Board of Trustees and the founder of Mount Kenya University, Dr. Simon Gicharu was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Gulu University, in recognition of his contribution in the field of science education in the East African region. Dr. Simon Gicharu, congratulations! I am also happy to appreciate the presence of my counterpart, the Vice-Chancellor, Gulu University, Prof. Nyeko Pen-Mogi.


Mount Kenya University Quality Assurance

Madam Chancellor, our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen;
Mount Kenya University has a quality assurance system that ensures that the services we offer are of international standards. To this end, the university embraces the following:
1.    Effective implementation of the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System and
2.    Compliance with internal and external quality assurance standards.
 
Recognition

Madam Chancellor, our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen;

As a result of effective implementation of our quality assurance system, Mount Kenya University won four prizes in the annual ICT Value Awards held in Nairobi this year. And for the second year running, the institution received the overall best award. Besides the overall ICT award, the university also won the Digital and Virtual Learning Excellence award, Best Use of ICT in Education, and ICT Manager of the Year award which was given to Mr. Joseph Mworia, the Director, Internal Information Systems.

Employment
Madam Chancellor, our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen;

In a globalized world where jobs disappear in an eye blink and professionals must be attuned to the slightest changes in the global marketplace, students hope that upon completion of training, they deserve lifetime guarantees of employment. However, this desire remains a mirage. Driven by this conviction, at Mount Kenya University we place great responsibility on students to manage their own learning with emphasis to develop good transferable skills and attitudes.

New academic Programmes

Madam Chancellor,

As Huxley, an English biologist, said “The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge..... The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge”. In embracing Freedom of Thought for Socio-economic Development, at Mount Kenya University we look forward. This way, we continue to invest in the search for new knowledge through initiating new academic programmes and oversight systems. For instance, our new programmes are:

1.Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Processing Technology

2.Bachelor of Science in Animal Health and Production

3.Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Pediatrics

4.Master of Science in Statistics and

5.Master of Science in Nursing Education

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our new oversight bodies are, the Training Advisory Council for School of Law, the Training Advisory Council for Health Sciences (which include Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Clinical Medicine), the Training Advisory Council School of Business and Economics and the Training Advisory Council for School of Education.

The councils will from time to time, identify gaps, opportunities, synergies and give advice on overall academic and strategic directions of the respective schools.

Postgraduate Fellowships
Madam Chancellor,

Besides initiating new academic programmes and establishment of Training Advisory Councils as I have already mentioned, the university has introduced Postgraduate Fellowships at Masters and PhD levels to facilitate enhancing of human resource development at postgraduate level. The fellowships will initially support 3 masters and 2 PhD students.


Research, Publications and Grants

Madam Chancellor, Ladies and Gentlemen

Through the promotion of research and free enquiry, the open contestation of ideas, Mount Kenya University generates and disseminates knowledge and understanding, through support of conferences, publications and grants. Between August and November 2014 the University supported 8 international conferences and 6 local conferences as well as 25 refereed publications.

Madam Chancellor;

I would like to further mention that Mount Kenya University co-sponsored and co-hosted the National Water Summit 2014 together with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, UNESCO, County Government of Turkana, Nation Media Group and Equip Africa Institute at Kristine Camp, Lake Turkana, Kenya, from 9th to 10th October 2014 under the theme: Water for Socio-Economic Development. The Summit underscored the fact that provision of safe water as a public good is paramount for human health and increased productivity. The fruits of this Summit will soon be harvested by various state and non-state actors.

Application of Knowledge

Madam Chancellor, Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen

Two fundamental and coherent lines of development prevail the economic and social changes in the world today. First, is the increase of a world-wide integration and interdependency of markets, societies and cultures. Second is the obvious trend to an information and knowledge society. Companies have to stand their grounds in rapidly expanding more and more dynamic and translucent markets. They are not only in a world-wide competition for customers, but also in a stiffening world-wide competition for limited resources. In this scenario, at Mount Kenya University we take cognition of the fact that knowledge application is the decisive parameter.
Whilst a university degree is a valuable asset, the rapidly changing world that we live in requires us to constantly apply our knowledge, retrain ourselves to satisfy our life and work ambitions. In this regard, at Mount Kenya University we equip our students with ability to craft new career directions as opportunities emerge, and develop new knowledge and skills as their career evolves. It is likely that the jobs our graduates will one day have, do not currently exist.

To the Graduands

Madam Chancellor, Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen;

In the light of the views on knowledge application, allow me now to talk to our esteemed graduands.  Graduands, the opportunity to train you is a great investment by families and organizations that supported you. The long-term development and well-being of our organizations and nation at large depend on how effectively you apply the acquired knowledge. It is incumbent on you, graduands, to ensure that such knowledge as you possess, is shared and passed on to others for effective utilization and, therefore, survival of our nation.

Conclusion

Madam Chancellor, Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen, in concluding my speech, I wish our graduands all the best in their lives and wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New year.

Thank you

GOD BLESS US ALL

Speech by University Council Chairperson

OFFICE OF THE CHAIRPERSON, COUNCIL

A SPEECH BY

PROF.GRACE NJOROGE, PhD

CHAIRPERSON,

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITYCOUNCIL

DURING

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY 7TH GRADUATION CEREMONY

ON DECEMBER 11TH, 2014

SALUTATIONS

  • The Chief Guest, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Advocate of High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania and Director, Kenya School of Law.
  • Your Excellences, Ambassadors and High Commissioners present
  • Chief Executive Officer, Commission for University Education, Prof. David Some
  • Honorable National and County Government leaders
  • The Founder of MKU and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Simon Gicharu
  • Members of the Board of Trustees
  • Chairman and Members of the University Council
  • Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha
  • Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stanley W. Waudo
  • Members of the Staff and Students
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and gentlemen

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Welcome Remarks

On behalf of the Council, I wish to welcome all of you to this very special occasion of 7th Mount Kenya University. Graduation Ceremony

Congratulate Chairman BOT

 

Madam Chancellor, Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Before I proceed, please let me take this early opportunity on behalf of Mount Kenya University Council, to congratulate Dr. Simon Gicharu upon his award of Honorary Degree(Doctor of Science-Honoris Causa) by Gulu University, in recognition of his enormous contribution in the field of science education. Dr Gicharu is a man of passion and perseverance, inspiring ability and consistency and having reached this pinnacle of success is not a surprise. My heartfelt congratulations on an well-deserved award. You have indeed put in a tremendous amount of hard work and it is good to know that this has now been acknowledged even beyond the Kenyan borders.

Governance & Strategic Planning

Madam Chancellor, Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

From the humble beginnings in 2008 Mount Kenya University has grown in leaps and bounds to become one of the largest universities in Kenya. During the previous plan period significant achievements were realized including the award of a university charter, setting up of 12 campuses and 4 Open and Distance Learning Centers, increased student enrolment from….. to …., expansion of courses to cover medicine and law and offering cross-border access to MKU academic programs in Rwanda and Somaliland. The university has set up Research, Enterprise and Innovation Development Centre to enhance research and innovation as the country seeks solutions to its problems.

Madam Chancellor;

The current Strategic Plan focuses on provision and expansion opportunities to access higher education, nationally and regionally while keeping quality of education at the forefront. The plan is anchored on five pillars of quality teaching and learning, research and innovation, infrastructural development, enhanced student welfare, community outreach and institutional capacity. The pillars are anchored on the foundation of quality human resource development and corporate governance.

After an appraisal of the plan the following areas are perceived to be the main focus: increasing the number of staff to optimum student :lecturer ratio, providing adequate infrastructure, introducing experiential learning as well as new teaching and learning methodologies. It is also of importance to enhance Research and innovation as well as increase incubation facilities. Student welfare shall be invigorated to ensure holistic development of our graduates.

The University has developed a procurement and disposal policy to guide the process of procurement to facilitate accountability and transparency.

Academic Developments

Madam Chancellor, Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year 2014 is very unique in the history of Mount Kenya University. This is because we have managed to hold two graduation ceremonies, one that was in July 2014 in which we had over 5,000 graduands and this December 2014 one, in which we are having over 6,000 graduands hence churning out over 11,000 graduates this year.

Our Academic Programmes are approved by regulatory bodies and geared towards societal needs. In this regard, the University constantly reviews its programmes and restructures its academic engagement.

New developments here include:

  • Establishment of the Department of Nursing Education, Leadership Management and Research.
  • Change of name of Bachelor of Science in Clinical Medicine to Bachelor of Science in Clinical Medicine and Community Health. This is in accordance with revised Scheme of Service for Clinical Officers (April 2010).

Staffing

Madam Chancellor, Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Human resource is the greatest asset in an institution. In acknowledging its importance, the University has developed a Human Resource Policy to guide recruitment, management of Human Resource and the use of best practices.

Appointments

Recently the Commission for University Education issued guidelines on the minimum appointment and promotion criteria for Academic Staff. The University Council considered these guidelines and approved the University Designations and Minimum Requirements for Eligibility. This way, I am happy to let you know that all our Academic Staff meet and sometimes exceed the CUE requirements.

Infrastructural Development

 

Madam Chancellor,

The increase in student and staff population and diversity of our programmes necessitates the expansion of the University infrastructure. I wish to sincerely appreciate the support we continue to receive from the Board of Trustees. I also wish to thank the Board of Trustees for supporting the acquisition of Union Towers in Nairobi City, 6,100 square feet building that houses our study centre, the expansion of Mombasa Campus building and the current construction of Senate Plaza at Thika Main Campus, administrative and Tuition blocks in Kitale, Kakamega, New Science and Technology Complex in Lodwar among others.

Student Welfare

Madam Chancellor, Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mount Kenya University being committed to having its students develop skills for learning, work and life; and realizing that skills have become increasingly important in the globalized world, continues to ensure that its students acquire knowledge and expertise, and develop generic skills necessary in work place. To this end, the University has developed a Guide to Employability Skills designed to help our students to develop necessary competencies. To achieve this, the guide focuses on job-searching, curriculum vitae/resume writing and employability skills.

Concluding Remarks to Graduands

Madam Chancellor,

I now turn to the graduands who are the of our in today’s ceremony today. I congratulate all of you for working hard to satisfy the requirements for earning your degrees/diplomas. When you applied to join Mount KenyaUniversity; and eventually joined us; you made a wise decision because this is the place to be if you are looking for a holistic and empowering education.

As you go out into the world of work. I urge you to put to good use the skills, attitudes and training that you have acquired during your stay and time spent here in Mount Kenya University. There are numerous opportunities out there and that there are infinite possibilities of what you could do with your kind of training, talent, diligence, passion and character. I encourage you to be worthy ambassadors of Mount Kenya University. It is our collective responsibility to make Kenya a better nation, and with dedication, commitment and sincerity of purpose, we can make it to happen. The ball is now in your court. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

May the Lord Jesus bless the work of your hands: whatever you find to do, do it with all your hearts. Have a merry Christmas and a victorious New Year, 2015.

Thank you and God Bless You

Speech chancellor,by Prof. Victoria Wulsin

A SPEECH BY


PROF. VICTORIA WELLS WULSIN, PHD

CHANCELLOR,

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY

DURING MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY 7TH GRADUATION CEREMONY

ON DECEMBER 11TH, 2014

Salutations

  1. The Chief Guest, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Advocate of High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania and Director, Kenya School of Law.
  2. Your Excellences, Ambassadors and High Commissioners present
  3. Chief Executive Officer, Commission for University Education, Prof. David Some
  4. Honorable National and County Government leaders
  5. The Founder of MKU and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Simon Gicharu
  6. Members of the Board of Trustees
  7. Chairman and Members of the University Council
  8. Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha
  9. Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stanley W. Waudo
  10. Members of the Staff and Students
  11. Distinguished Guests
  12. Ladies and gentlemen

It pleases me to find it a great honour to be with you today in an occasion that will remain memorable in our minds, as I confer various degrees and award diplomas and certificates at this congregation of the 7th Graduation Ceremony of Mount Kenya University.

Congratulate Chairman Board of Trustees

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Simon Gicharu, the Mount Kenya University founder upon his award of an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by Gulu University, an award, he received on Saturday October 25th 2014 in Gulu, Uganda, in recognition of his contribution in field of science education in the East African region. Dr. Simon Gicharu, you are an inspiration and a cause of confidence to our community and nation as a whole. In history you have entered as a role model. We shall use your example to realize our vision and learn that with vigor of hard work, patience, forgiveness and follow-through, we can achieve our desires.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This 7th Graduation Ceremony is a special and momentous occasion in the life of our University, the life of the Graduands, the families that are directly involved, and in the life of our country, as a whole. It depicts the growth of our university and its commitment towards nation building. Indeed, Mount Kenya University churns out thousands of very able graduates who are always proud to serve their country beyond the borders. I am proud of Mount Kenya University.

MKU and National Development

At Mount Kenya University we are proud contributors to the realization of Kenya Vision 2030:

Through Public-Private partnership, Mount Kenya University has entered into collaboration with various health institutions in Kenya. This helps to provide a committed approach to working closely together to reach a common goal, BETTER HEALTHCARE FOR ALL. This is in line with our policy on the commitment to provision of quality teaching, research and consultancy.

Mount Kenya University has signed several MOUs with various County Assemblies to provide training that renews skills in political engagement. This way, Mount Kenya University contributes to the best practices in our national governance.
Mount Kenya University has signed several MOUs with various business and manufacturing groups and industries. Through these initiatives, Mount Kenya University contributes to our country’s economic wellbeing. This testifies to the effect that our programmes are not only market-driven but also need based.
Mount Kenya University, my university, your university, our university.


Mount Kenya University and Globalization

Mount Kenya University is now a global phenomenon. Mount Kenya University in Africa, Mount Kenya University in Europe, Mount Kenya University in Asia, Mount Kenya University in the United States of America. Mount Kenya University in the world. This is achieved through collaborations with key universities in the world and knowledge sharing and application.

Anybody across the world cantune in to MKU Royal FM Radio and learn of many things that happen across the world. The research, publications and conferences done by our staff increase access to knowledge. I always feel proud when either myself or my colleagues find publications by our staff and students.

Mount Kenya University’s collaborations with the University of Cincinnati continue to bear fruits. In March this year, Prof. Rusell Mcmahon from the College of Education Criminal Justice and Human Services, University of Cincinnati joined Mount Kenya University to serve as a visiting faculty. The collaboration between these two universities is here to stay. I wish to mention other collaborations with Xavier University School of Business and Copenhagen University Business School. These collaborations will open new opportunities in expanding the boundaries of knowledge.

To the graduands,

From this moment on, you will be confronting new horizons and challenges. Some of you may stay closer to home, some may move slightly further away and yet others may find themselves in a totally different continent. Wherever you may find yourselves and whatever challenge you may have chosen to follow and explore, you have to hold true to what shaped your yesterdays; acknowledge and appreciate what you are today and dare to be all that you can be tomorrow.
You need to dare to dream to be all that you can be tomorrow. It has been said, "The person who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare!" This is the challenge that lies before us. Dare to be all that you can be.

Dare to chase your chosen career ‐
Dare to excel ‐
Dare to go the extra mile ‐
Dare to show compassion ‐
Dare to make your mark in the world ‐
Dare to have empathy ‐
Dare to be the best you can be... and then DO it.

As it has been said by other before, today's achievements may fade or even be forgotten. The applause may become a distant memory and our degrees of accomplishment may gather dust on a shelf or in a drawer. But, you will always be remembered for caring enough, for helping someone, for making someone feel special and for being the kind of person that others enjoy spending time with. As you make a relatively smooth transition into life beyond school, I am sure that the fine education that you have received from Mount Kenya University will stand you in good stead ‐ time and again. My thanks must also extend to your parents and guardians. They have remained committed to your education, but more importantly, they have remained committed to us at Mount Kenya University community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Either way, today, we need to acknowledge where we are. We may find that our school days were well spent. We may regret some of the opportunities that we allowed to slip by. Acknowledge them, accept them and then prepare to move on...to tomorrow.
I congratulate the graduands, their spouses, parents, friends and relatives and also the staff of Mount Kenya University for their hardwork and determination.

In conclusion, I want to congratulate the graduands, their spouses, parents, friends and relatives and also the staff of Mount Kenya University for their hardwork and determination. I say many thanks and fondest best wishes go with you all. Have a merry Christmas and a happy prosperous new year.

Thank You

Remarks by Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha

REMARKS BY

PROF. CHAHCHA NYAIGOTI CHACHA, PHD

PRO-CHANCELLOR,

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY

DURING

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY 7TH GRADUATION CEREMONY

ON DECEMBER 11TH, 2014

 SALUTATIONS

  • The Chief Guest, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Advocate of High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania and Director, Kenya School of Law.
  • Your Excellences, Ambassadors and High Commissioners present
  • Chief Executive Officer, Commission for University Education, Prof. David Some
  • Honorable National and County Government leaders
  • The Founder of MKU and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Simon Gicharu
  • Members of the Board of Trustees
  • Chairman and Members of the University Council
  • Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha
  • Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stanley W. Waudo
  • Members of the Staff and Students
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and gentlemen

Madam Chancellor, Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In many years of my university engagement, I have learnt that Life Long Learning is no longer a concept, but a reality of the modern world. This way, knowledge creation and application remains cornerstone in the history of a university. It is in this regard that I would like to make some remarks touching on Mount Kenya University as a pursuant of frontier knowledge.

The notion of pursuing the frontiers knowledge can in its simplistic form, mean expanding the boundaries of knowledge. To pursue means you are not running aimlessly but there is a target of your pursuit. It is like you are hunting for a catch or following something desirable, in this case the frontiers of knowledge. In this context, knowledge is seen as the ability to adapt to any situation and never being caught unawares. Others refer to it as the information and skills one acquires through experience or education; both theoretical and practical. Knowledge is what is known in a particular field or in total about facts relating to a particular subject. Thus put together it means that Mount Kenya University is now focusing on expanding the boundaries of knowledge. This way, introduction as well as exploration of new programmes and pedagogical intercourse that generate new knowledge and its application are inevitable.

The knowledge pursued and sought at Mount Kenya University should be geared towards making a difference in the world we live in today and the days to come. This means that Mount Kenya University fraternity should aim for cutting-edge knowledge coupled with country, continental and global engagement to contribute to positive change to lives of individuals and our communities. As we expand globally, this should be our focus. As someone once said, basically we will be taking the best of our university to the global village and the best of the global village back to our university and country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Samuel Kobia once said, there is no greater fulfillment than equipping others for success and thereby adding value to their lives. It is equally fulfilling to see how those who are equipped for success are in turn bringing transformation and empowerment to their societies through commitment inspired by genuine spirit of service and focus on productive, people centered creative engagement. I find happiness to see Mount Kenya University realize this.

To end my remarks, I would like to say that graduation is such an important milestone for graduands and their families, and I congratulate you all on your achievement. The completion of your degree is a great personal accomplishment, and is also a milestone shared by parents, siblings and friends who contributed to your success. Staff are also proud of your achievement, and wish you well in your chosen career as you leave Mount Kenya University as one of our valued ambassadors.

Thank you, God bless you, God bless Mount Kenya University

Dr Gicharu 7th Graduation Speech

OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES

SPEECH BY

Dr. SIMON GICHARU

CHAIRMAN

DURING

MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY 7TH GRADUATION CEREMONY

ON DECEMBER 11TH, 2014

SALUTATIONS

  • The Chief Guest, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Advocate of High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania and Director, Kenya School of Law.
  • Your Excellences, Ambassadors and High Commissioners present
  • Chief Executive Officer, Commission for University Education, Prof. David Some
  • Honorable National and County Government leaders
  • The Founder of MKU and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Simon Gicharu
  • Members of the Board of Trustees
  • Chairman and Members of the University Council
  • Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha
  • Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stanley W. Waudo
  • Members of the Staff and Students
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure to join you today as we celebrate our 7th Graduation Ceremony. This is indeed an historic occasion, not only for our graduands but also for me in person. As it has been rightly mentioned, I was indeed accorded an Honorary Doctorate by Gulu University. I wish to thank Gulu University for this honour and at the same time, dedicate it to all of you. My success is indeed your success, and getting this award would not have been possible without your consistent support. For this, I say thank you.

Ladies and Gentlemen…………………

As we assemble today, allow me to dwell on the role we as Mount Kenya University have played in Steering Freedom of Thought and the challenge ahead for graduates and young people in general if we are to achieve Socio-Economic Development.

I have been assured that you have acquired the requisite skills to enable you forge ahead and chart a path towards a successful destiny.

But often, I find that young graduands such as you just sit back and relax at home once they graduate. They are not pro-active. They wait for things to come their way. This is not the way to go about it. You must be pro-active. You must do something, even it means volunteering. In life, luck is when opportunity meets preparedness.

We have prepared you by giving you the academic certificates which you will receive today. Now, you must get out there and search for opportunity.

Allow me to tell you a short story to illustrate my point…….

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a fire.

Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and coffee in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After 20 minutes he turned off the jiko. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then sieved the coffee and put it in a cup.

Turning to her, he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she replied.

“Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft.

He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich smile brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

The father explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee had each faced the same adversity-the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then its inside became hard. However, the coffee was unique. After it was exposed to the boiling water, it changed the water and created something new.

“Which one are you?” the father asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Ladies and Gentlemen…………..

More than one year ago, we started an entrepreneurship training and mentorship programme called the Enterprise Academy. We started with only eight alumni and I’m happy to report that this initiative has taken off. The alumni, whom we gave Ksh800,000 each are now employing more than 20 people and their businesses are thriving.

We are going to invest in this Academy as a strategy of tapping entrepreneurial talent, first and foremost among our graduates, and then roll it out throughout East Africa.

As you are aware, the government has set aside 30% of all tenders for the youth. The Enterprise Academy will help the youth garner these slots by giving them the right entrepreneurial skills.

I wish to call upon the banks to set aside some money for bid bonds and tender guarantees to enable the youth fulfil these lucrative government tenders.

I would also like to challenge employers and the government to consider adopting the concept of subcontracting, as opposed to just hiring more employees. Subcontracting is the trend worldwide, and its ripple effect is huge. It creates more jobs and more opportunities for more people.

Ladies and Gentlemen…………………..

In the recent past, there has been an increase in the number of strikes by students at universities and other institutions of higher learning. These unrests suggest a break down in civilised channels of solving problems and disagreements. When students go on strike, they stop being good role models in the society. They are also not good brand ambassadors for their institutions.

But have we ever paused to think about the amount of time and resources wasted through these strikes? I once visited a very old public university in Europe and in their history dating back over 100 years, there has never been a single strike on record. How do they solve their problems?

I would like to challenge the management of all universities to come up with strategies that will arrest these strikes before they take place.

Ladies and Gentlemen……………….

Moving into a new year 2015, I would like to reiterate the Board of Trustees commitment to continuously improve infrastructure throughout our network of campuses. We will also support the university management’s intiative of establishing local and international linkages for benchmarking and learning from the best in the world. I would also like to thank the Vice-Chancellor for utilising the resources given to him by the Board of Trustees to develop the university. That over 6,000 people are graduating today is clear evidence that these resources have been put in good use. I also wish to thank to the University Council, Senate, Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and all staff members for your support and selfless commitment in making this university a success.

I also wish to thank the county Government of Turkana for allocating the university 100 acres of land free of charge. We promised them that the land will be used for educational purposes, and come April next year, we will commission a new Science and Research centre, which we have built at a cost of Ksh200 million.

Ladies and Gentlemen…………………

I must also mention that I’m proud to serve as the Chairman of the Rural Electrification Authority. Whenever I visit a remote village in the country and meet people who are happy because they have access to electricity, my heart lights up with joy. This is because electricity opens up endless opportunities and has a great effect on the economy.

One of these opportunities is the upcoming laptops for primary schools project by the government. On this note, I would like to challenge our IT graduates to be at the forefront in utilising the opportunities that will come about as a result of the roll out of this project. These opportunities include servicing of the laptops and developing new applications.

In my capacity as the patron of the Enterprise Academy, I will be personally willing to assist our graduates who will come up with new, world-changing ideas such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc.

Ladies and Gentlemen………………..

As I conclude, I would like to mention that we have invested in infrastructure estimated at about Ksh20billion, for the sole purpose of enabling our young people develop their potential. As an alumni of this university, the best gift you can give back, given that it is privately- sponsored university is to take the following steps in-order to harness your potential:

1. Master yourself

To achieve major success in life, you must assume 100% responsibility for your life. Nothing less will do.

2. Don’t live someone else’s dreams

You can’t hire someone else to do your push-ups for you. You must do them yourself if you are to get any value out of them.

3. Don’t die with your potential

Thomas Edison, the man who invented the light bulb once said that “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, 2015.

Thank you and God Bless You all!

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