VP ALUPO LAUNCHED CONSTRUCTION IN KOTIDO ON FRIDAY
Known for being a notorious place full of armed cattle rustlers, Karamoja may soon drop this negative image and acquire a new name following a decision to construct a university in the sub-region.
The university is unique in a way that its design encompasses an element of Peace; a factor that has for long been a mystery not only among Karamojongs but also their neighbors.
Baptized as Karamoja Peace and Technology University, the institution is being established in Losilang Ward-Kotido district and is being spearheaded by Kotido Catholic diocese led by Rt. Rev Dominic Eibu [Bishop of Kotido diocese] and the Catholic Lawyers Society International led by city lawyer Severino Twinobusingye as president.
On Friday, the Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo was in Kotido to represent Gen. Yoweri Museveni at the launch of the construction of this important project. Museveni is its Chancellor while former premier John Patrick Amama Mbabazi is its chief fundraiser. It is envisaged that Karamoja Peace and Technology University will foster Peace and Education in the Great Lakes region.
Upon completion, the University will offer courses in Computer Science and Applied Technology, Oil, Gas and Metals Industry and Education, Peace and Security Studies, Environment, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Health Sciences, Business and Entrepreneurship and Law among others.
Alupo; whose Katakwi district is always among those on the cattle rustlers’ menu, said the establishment of this university will drive and lead the process of providing quality transformational and inspiring education to produce practical and skilled professionals. She noted that these professionals will greatly contribute to the process of social-economic transformation and development of the great lakes region.
“The University will help conduct research and build capacity of the youth, women and community leaders to develop knowledge and community-based peace- infrastructure to promote harmony, security, and stability in the region. We want Karamoja sub region to be part and partial of the rest of the regions of Uganda without those isolated incidences of cattle-rustling” Alupo, the undisputable Queen of Teso said.
Also the Katakwi district woman representative, Alupo added that when completed, the University will develop appropriate technology to harness natural resources for wealth creation and integral human development.
She authoritatively assured locals and development partners that government supported the establishment of this university from inception and that it will ensure its sustainability.
The VP, who is its Vice Chancellor and President Museveni as Chancellor, said both principals will ensure that all programs are relevant in the job market, adding that as government, they fully support the idea of the peace programs and also going home to home teaching about the value of peace.
She raised her voice urging everyone to embrace technical education and the presidential industrial hubs saying these offer skills which make one readily available for work in the job market.
“I want to appeal to the university management to offer small jobs to the indigenous people when construction starts to create a spirit of ownership. Let’s have the communities here participate in the construction process to avoid bringing people from far, give priority to Karachunas on the construction sites” the vice president in a motherly tone said.
She urged the people of Karamoja to take children to school to ensure their children make the biggest population in this university. She thanked religious leaders for demonstrating a very strong solidarity through the Inter-religious Council for making education all inclusive to Ugandans no matter their religious denomination. Alupo was all-smiles towards Bishop Eibu for donating over 2000acres of prime land to establish thjis important University.
She noted that right now Karamoja needs only books, pens, pencils and rubbers but not guns and urged other youths still harboring guns to surrender them like their peers have so far done, adding that they will be granted amnesty.
Meanwhile, Bishop Eibu asked government to support the initiative to ensure it becomes a success.
“Together we should hold this project at heart for the good of Karamoja and the great lakes region,” the Man of God said and also didn’t forget to ask Karamojongs to embrace government programs especially the Parish Development Model whose aim is to fight household poverty at the parish level.
In another Development, Twinobusingye appealed to all young and old to come so that they can learn together, acquire knowledge and skills that will help them transform their lives for sustainable growth.
He explained that in the faculty of peace and security studies, their first students will be warriors and Karachunas.
Twinobusingye noted that in the faculty of agriculture and environmental sciences, they plan to set up large scale scientific agricultural farms in Karamoja sub region and turn it into a green land and world food basket among other innovations being planned.
“This university will promote adoption of appropriate technology to supply clean water for agriculture, human and animal consumption, and mitigate the challenges caused by climate change. Train communities and set up pilot projects of large-scale scientific farming techniques to produce sufficient food for the population and turn Karamoja Sub-region into a world food basket,” the Lawyers president said.
He said that the university will serve communities across the international borders of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, south Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.