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In a heartwarming gathering that exemplified the power of collaboration between academia and global organizations, Kabale University students converged in the University Boardroom on Saturday, the 19th of August, 2023, to engage with Elsie G. Attafuah, a distinguished representative from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The event was the culmination of a series of interactions between the UNDP Representative, university management, guild representatives, and student innovators from various faculties. The aim was simple yet profound: to share success stories, insights, and strategies that could illuminate the paths of these aspiring young minds towards a future of achievement and contribution.

The master of ceremony for the event, Hon. Agarukamu Mackline, set the tone for the day with a flow of discussions that were both enlightening and inspiring. The students were eager to gain insights into the journey of the UNDP Representative, seeking to extract valuable lessons and motivation that could propel them toward success in both their academic pursuits and future careers.

Kicking off the series of speeches was Guild President Diaz Drake, whose gratitude for the UNDP’s presence resonated throughout the room. He underscored the importance of information in overcoming obstacles and highlighted the patriotic spirit that drives individuals to strive for greatness. Diaz shared a thought-provoking story about the limitations of certain curricula, citing an example of students asked to draw a map of China in Uganda and questioning its practicality. His words underscored the need for education that empowers and equips young minds to address real-world challenges.

Hon. Ajaa Sharan, the Former Minister of ICT at Kabale University and a representative of Youth Connect, took the stage to share her experiences. She expressed her delight in participating in the Youth Connect event held in Kigali, where Kabale University showcased 11 innovative projects. She extended gratitude to the UNDP for their support in this endeavor, highlighting the role of collaboration in enabling transformational change.

Mr. Amos Tukamushaba, affectionately known as “Uncle Dean,” conveyed his appreciation for the student leaders who rallied their peers to attend the meeting punctually. His words of encouragement were interwoven with the belief that discipline and dedication are vital cornerstones of success, reinforcing the idea that adherence to a principled path leads to enduring achievements.

Ms.Elsie G. Attafuah-The UNDP Representative, a beacon of inspiration, opened her address with a powerful question: “What Uganda Would You Like to See in the Future?” This query served as a rallying point for her message of hope and aspiration. She emphasized the importance of dreams, urging students to dream big and envision a country characterized by progress, innovation, and equitable development.

Touching on various facets of success, she prompted students to consider their driving forces and motivations. Poverty, in her eyes, should be eradicated, and she urged students to leave behind a legacy of positive change. The UNDP Representative delved into the realm of entrepreneurship, asking the thought-provoking question, “How can I Create a Job?” This question ignited conversations about creativity, resilience, and harnessing one’s passions.

Artificial intelligence, digital innovation, and the power of social media were themes that resonated throughout her discourse. She underscored the importance of determination and persistence in the face of challenges, driving home the idea that true leadership springs from the youth’s hands.

Underscoring the essence of discipline, the UNDP Representative stressed that time management and focused efforts are key elements in the journey to success. She urged students to expand their networks and forge connections with individuals who align with their aspirations. The concept of the digital era was explored, offering a glimpse into the evolving landscape that awaits these young leaders.

In her closing remarks, the UNDP Representative left the students with a resounding message: “The Future is Bright for the Young People.” With a renewed sense of purpose, the gathering came to an end, leaving a room brimming with inspiration, ideas, and a shared commitment to shaping a future where dreams are realized and success is a collective endeavor.

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