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Kabale University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uganda convened a significant meeting on Saturday, August 19, 2023. The meeting, held in the prestigious University Boardroom, brought together key stakeholders, including the University management, UNDP team, Guild Representative council, Guild Ministers, and Innovators from various faculties.

The proceedings were officially inaugurated by the esteemed University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joy Kwesiga, who expressed her profound gratitude to the UNDP for its unwavering support of Kabale University. “We are truly elated to host this pivotal meeting with UNDP Uganda,” she said, highlighting the institution’s appreciation for the increased budget allocation from USD 60,000 to USD 203,821. This enhanced funding will facilitate the acquisition of additional equipment vital for value addition in Irish potato production.Prof. Kwesiga commended the UNDP Representative for her steadfast commitment, referring to her as “a Real African” and applauding her love for the continent. In a heartwarming tribute, she thanked the UNDP for entrusting Kabale University with this important responsibility.

Assoc. Prof. Businge Phelix Mbabazi, representing the Kabale University UNDP Team, presented a comprehensive outline of the Kabale University Innovation/Business Incubation Center. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between Kabale University and the UNDP to produce high-quality potatoes and certified seeds. His presentation encompassed various segments, including an overview of Kabale University, the need for a Business Incubation Center, the role of a multi-disciplinary team in fostering an innovation ecosystem, creating symbiotic relationships with partner institutions, innovation and research, immediate requirements, challenges, expressions of gratitude, and an appeal for continued support.Prof.Businge highlighted concerning statistics, revealing that 77% of Uganda’s population comprises youth, with over 30,000 students graduating annually. Alarming unemployment rates were also disclosed, with 87% of graduates unable to secure adequate employment, and 20% of those employed being underemployed.

Elsie Attafuah -The UNDP Representative, in her address, extended her heartfelt appreciation to the Vice Chancellor and the University for embracing the partnership and fostering an environment conducive to innovation. She underscored the significance of Digital Transformation and the imperative of implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Addressing the prevalent challenges in Uganda, she emphasized the pressing issues of poverty, gender equality, and climate change, particularly the role of young people in driving positive change.

The discussion extended to the power of social media, where the UNDP Representative emphasized the transformative role of platforms like TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in creating economic opportunities. Virtual reality emerged as another pivotal topic, underscoring the need to shift gender dynamics and harness students’ ideas for the betterment of Uganda.

The UNDP Representative implored for a holistic approach, calling for increased collaboration among universities, and she emphasized the importance of value addition to Irish potatoes as a means of wealth creation. Recognizing the need to empower young entrepreneurs, she concluded her address with a resounding call to action, urging everyone to acquire valuable skills and to work strategically as a united team.

As the meeting came to a close, it was clear that this partnership between Kabale University and UNDP Uganda holds great promise for fostering innovation, addressing critical socio-economic challenges, and steering Uganda towards a brighter, more inclusive future. Prof. Joy Kwesiga’s visionary leadership and the UNDP’s dedicated support have set the stage for a transformative journey, where the energy and ideas of the youth will pave the way for lasting change.

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