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Speech of Dr. Didas Kayihura Muganga, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Rwanda

22 Nov 2022

The University of Rwanda held a colourful 8th graduation ceremony that took place at Nyagatare stadium in Eastern province on Friday, 18th Novwmber 2022, where 5702 graduates tapped into the labour market.The event took place at the Stadium of Nyagatare District.

The transcript of the Speech of Dr. Didas Kayihura Muganga, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Uniuversity of Rwanda, is as follows :

"Right Honorable Prime Minister, and our Guest of Honor,
Honorable Minister of Education
Esteemed Guests
Beloved Graduands
Dear Parents and Guardians
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honor and privilege for me to address you on this auspicious occasion. Every graduation ceremony is unique for the simple reason - it has fresh graduands each time. For me too this 8th annual graduation of the University of Rwanda is a memorable one as it is my first, when serving as Vice Chancellor. I take this opportunity to congratulate every graduating student for achieving your invaluable goal and making your dreams come true. Most of you are young women and men who just finished climbing the first footsteps of your academic careers. You can only continue to grow from here, and the University of Rwanda desires to remain your committed partner in hiking even further up your different academic ladders.

With and to your families, dear graduands, this is a moment of celebrating together the fruits of a worthy co-investment in higher education. Parents and guardians here present, we are extremely happy for you. Please receive the University of Rwanda’s heartfelt cheers in recognition of this milestone where you played a pivotal role. You made it despite the hardships.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world is going through tough times economically. As we thought the effects of COVID-19 were receding to the past, a war in the North (Ukraine and Russia) which we have no control over broke out, the effect being a cost of living that remains high. I call upon you to cease the moment instead of ever feeling dejected. I implore you to grab the bullying world by its horns, especially now that you are equipped with those valuable skills you acquired from UR. You can go out there and choose determinedly to be counted among those who looked at the current times from an opportunity-to-transform point of view, rather than viewing the situation as being unbearably challenging. It will all be up to your attitude and approach. You now have all it requires, as a global citizen.

Esteemed guests, ladies and gentlemen, as the graduands celebrate, you can be sure the UR family will deservedly join in as well. We too are achievers along with you. To us there is nothing as satisfying as a moment such as this when we put out to the market a sizable contingent of mainly African brains just made more employable. And it is a joy shared by Rwanda as well as government. The public resources ploughed into our great University make everyone a winner when the return on such a strategic investment into higher education is this handsome. Almost 6,000 graduands, with over 150 of them coming from 17 other African countries and 4 Asian nations, is as significant as it gets. Yet we want to do more and better, particularly by positioning UR in a way that will attract higher numbers of international students and researchers.

And so, this is not an end but a beginning. Over the last few years, you have been undergoing transformational training. By now you should all be aware that it is for superior purposes than merely being academic awards. The expectation from the world is such that each one of you will now have improved capacity to solve problems and turn situations around. Having greater abilities to play enhanced roles individually and collectively in the social, economic and political transformation of our countries, continent and the world is the standard gauge against which you will be measured from now onwards. We have all the trust in you just in case there are any doubters.

What more do I say ? As Vice Chancellor, I am so privileged to have you as my maiden graduating students. I pay tribute to my hard-working team – colleagues without whom I would not be saying this here. My dream going forward, is to collectively as a family, to walk into the rhythm of sustainably delivering impactful higher education for Rwanda, Africa and the world.

I have tremendous confidence, shared equally by my colleagues, with strong back up from the rank and file of UR, that from here we can only take this noble institution to higher levels. Counting on the unrelenting support from the Government as visibly displayed by the presence of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and the Honorable Ministers as well as all of you, our esteemed stakeholders, our belief has been truly enhanced.

Our Guest of Honor sir, we feel extremely energized in a good way by your participation in this event. Time being one of your most precious resources, we interpret your presence here to mean that there is nothing that the Government will hold back from the University of Rwanda if we clearly demonstrate what we wish to be, with a clear vision of where we wish to see our dear University in ten, twenty or fifty years from now.

And by extension I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the local government organs’ involvement, particularly the Eastern Province as well as the Nyagatare District leaderships. Your unreserved support is something we honestly could not have done without. In the same spirit of appreciating worthy partnerships, special mention here is reserved for our collaborators, specifically those of you who helped with availing tangible and valuable awards to our best student-performers, all of you who dedicated not only your time with us, but also committed your resources to be here with us. To those too, who are with us thanks to the technological support, we say thank you. Thank you very much, and please count on UR tomorrow for returning a similar gesture, or even better, during your own moment of need.

Lastly, my prayer, my wish to you - graduands : that we stay connected even after here to forever remain in touch for mutual gain. Never forget UR – what you achieved at the University, but also as alumni what you can give back tomorrow. It was for a good reason that you came to our life and experience as UR. For even a better reason of continuing to build together, let UR remain in your hearts and thoughts.

Thank you all for your kind attention and may God bless you always."

This time, it was a great pleasure for graduates as they were given their degree certificates and transcripts on the same day of graduation, hence puting an end to delay in getting them.

Published by
NTIRANDEKURA Schadrac
Public Relations and Community Engagement
University of Rwanda-College of Education

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