Ankole Western University (AWU), is a higher learning of institution of learning founded by West Ankole Diocese is destined for greatness as remarkable breakthroughs continue to happen each day.
Having Bishop Johnson Twinomujuni, the bishop of West Ankole Diocese as its Chancellor, whose love for education is undoubtable, the university is fostering a culture of innovation backed by communities to see AWU become a regional hub for science and technology in the nearest future. All these come at a time when AWU is looking for over 4billion Ugandan shillings to complete a five-level science and technology block at its campus in Kabwohe, Sheema Municipality.
In his opinion as Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Sheema Municipality legislator and Coordinator Friends of AWU, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye says, AWU has big potentials and once exploited, not even the sky will be its limit.
“My support for AWU is total and this is premised on the fact that he is the area Member of Parliament, and also a member of the synod of West Ankole Diocese.
I have closely worked with institutions and programs to have AWU be fully fledged since 2002.
I have confidence that with support from all of you, church and government, AWU will rise to become areal leading center of learning and research. I also believe that in the coming years, AWU will also be the light of the world particularly in science and technology.
I am also aware and I have travelled all over the world that a University becomes a nucleus for city development. A university in our case can become a nucleus for municipality development, and sub-regional development. A university is a driver of local economic development. It helps to create jobs and generate wealth within the catchment area.
You will find that if AWU gets 5000-20000 students, people will have to establish hostels where these students will stay, various businesses are going to spring up.
A lot of development will come as result of having that university. We have seen this in Baltimore, where many people are employees of John Hopkins University and University of Merryland. When you go to Manchester City, you will find that the whole city is built around the University of Manchester and a few other universities, and even when you go here in Wandegeya, you can see the impact of Makerere on Wandageya and other places.
We really strongly believe that AWU will stimulate development in Sheema municipality and in future when its campuses are created in different parts of West Ankole Diocese, Greater Ankole, or even Kampala, they will also generate local economic development.
We want this university to actually create or be a catalyst for creation of municipal innovation and technology center, be a catalyst for industrial park, but we hope to establish this in future.
Many companies will spring up because of the university. In many countries that I have visited, I found that industries in a given area do inform curriculum development, research in universities, and in our case, we can attract industries, which are coming to this area such that students can actually work in those industries and can use them for internship, not only in Sheema, but also in Mbarara, Bushenyi and Ishaka. You will find that our university should be able to have course that are related to the local economy.
If many people are involved in banana production, we should be able to have courses and people who are specifically trained in bananas up to value addition and therefore, companies can also spring up to supply the whole world with banana-related products. Our area is also endowed with coffee. Our coffee is needed the USA, Russia, China. We should be able to have courses that are able to train our people from technicians to PHD level, to be able to do coffee research. We should be able to make basic research up to the level of value addition including different combinations that you can have that require coffee flavor.
Our area is also endowed with dairy cattle. So, we should be able to have a university that can be able to do research in animal health, have a laboratory that can be able to test animal disease and also produce vaccines that can be used against ticks, be able to stimulate production, and also add value to what we produce.
We should also know that our area is endowed with minerals. We can have a university that can also focus on minerals and material science leading to that.
We can have young people that can work as technicians and produce different value-added materials. Our area can be a source of many other industrial applications, industries, and all this can be coordinated from this University.
We are aware that our area is the only area in the whole of Africa that has a working sericulture factory and you well know that by 2050 the world will have 9.8billion people. Out of these, 2.5biliion will be Africans and we are already talking about continental free trade area. In Uganda alone, we have around 40million people now, by 2030 we shall have around 60million people.
All these people have got to be clothed and we know that our area is where we are producing a lot of sericulture and silk cloth is very expensive. In future, this university should have a center for textile research, where we can have composites between cotton and others that will generate a lot of money, research that can bring a lot of many small and big enterprises. We are going to ensure that we have all these established.
I want to appeal all people of good will to support this university. This university is basically a public one owned by the church, but for all religions, and all nations. In future we shall have people from Rwanda and Congo coming here to study.
We are also appealing people to support us. We are going to use money generated from this fundraising to build up to roofing stage. We have a building of five levels. In these five levels, we have science laboratories, a library, lecture theaters, computer lab.”