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IUEA graduates over 500 during the 2021 8th Graduation Ceremony



Once again, we have witnessed the end of a journey and the beginning of a new chapter. On Thursday, 25th November 2021, the International University of East Africa (IUEA) held it’s 8th Graduation Ceremony under the theme “Rethinking university education in a post Covid era” inside the university auditorium, one of the largest in Uganda. The event was also live online for the virtual graduates, parents, guardians and well wishers who couldn’t make it physically due to Covid-19 restrictions. The ceremony was presided over by the University council chairperson, Ambassador Moses Kiwe Sebunya on behalf of the Chancellor Prof Tumusiime Mutebile, the Governor Bank of Uganda in his Absence.

By 6 AM, excited graduands, parents, security, media, business men and women had already started to arrive at the venue. The event kicked off at precisely 10 AM with a procession of board members and staff who were accompanied by jubilations, drums and exceptional “intore” dance performance, a traditional dance for Burundi and Rwandans.

The vice chancellor, Dr. Emeka Akaezuwa, in his opening remarks, said to the graduands, “we are very happy that you went through International University of East Africa and we hope that you take those skills with you…we look forward to you going out there and changing the world.”
He later added, “Much as universities must rethink the future of education in a post Covid era, so too must governments… education provides knowledge and skills to the population as well as shaping the personality of the youth of a nation… universities, both public and private play a significant role in developing a country’s economy and society.”
The guild president of the institution, James Ukemeobong Okon from Nigeria, in his speech to the graduands said, “you will from this celebration become architects of your own life, so therefore make responsible decisions, dream big, work hard… become problem solvers…we will miss you all but we are glad that you have passed this hurdle of university education and you are boldly ready to take on the next phase of life by its horn.”

Representative of graduand’s students, Hussain Akil Bharmal, one of the youngest(21years) in the IUEA class of 2021 who was also a finalist in the 2021 TETRIX challenge and TEDxIUEA organiser emotionally said to the audience in the presence of his father during his speech that, “Today as we leave here, we have to tell our parents that we love them, thank them for bringing us into this world, for feeding us, nurturing us, giving us the gift of education. We are because of them. Thank you to all the parents that are here today for making us who we are.”

Assistant commissioner in charge of private schools and institutions from ministry of Education, George Mutekanga, delivered greetings from education and sports minister and First Lady Janet Museveni, and state minister for higher education Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo. He addressed the issue of online learning above all data challenges and poor concentration by students, he called upon school staff to manage online classes by ensuring that students have attended classes regularly. The commissioner also told the audience that government is coming up with a strategy to solve data issues.
“We are talking to service providers. As Government, we are coming up with a strategy, a policy on information, communications and management, which is still in the process.” Mr. Mutekanaga said.

During the event, the guest speaker, Dr.Micheal Koch, the head of SRH University Heidelberg in southwestern Germany addressed the audience virtually through a voice note. He said, “As Albert Einstein remarked so truly, ‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school’. As successful graduates, you are now prepared for the future and for tomorrow. Tomorrow belongs to you.”
“This global pandemic has taken a heavy toll not only on students, but also on the academic institutions themselves. Universities have lost billions of shillings and dollars from foregone fees.”
‘Therefore, universities have to react. They have to rebuild. More specifically, they must get ready to face a more digital learning environment. University education needs a true rethinking in a post-COVID-19 era.’ he finalized.
Before the graduand students were presented for conferment, the Chairperson university council, ambassador Moses Kiwe Sebunya, in his speech, said, “Try to learn from past experiences because there is no time on Earth that is not a teacher of something. Anything that you become, good or bad you have allowed it. Therefore the best way to begin is to begin again.”

Compared to the total of 452 that graduated last year, this year 529 students were presented by their respective faculty deans for graduation. 11 students were presented by Mr. Semanda Emmanuel, Dean faculty of Law, 112 students by Mr.Richard Bagaiga on behalf of professor Dawood Shenouda, dean faculty of Engineering, 117 students by Dr. Lakshmi Bhabu, dean faculty of science and technology and 289 students by Madam Silvia Rita Atoko, dean faculty of business and management.

It was social distance graduation as the students only stood for recognition and declaration from their respective seats upon hearing their names.
The best students from each Faculty were given IUEA awards for their outstanding performances throughout their university level. Some of the students that grabbed these awards included; Atwine Charlotte who was the overall best student with 4.94 CGPA in bachelor of business administration, Wathowan Emmanuel, Hussain Akil Bharmal, among others and Shafik Kiwanuka for his continuous great boxing performances. He recieved IUEA sportsmanship award.
One of the entertainment celebraties that graduated from the Class of 2021 was Kirabo Tracy a.k.a Pia Pounds, who is well known for her hit song “Twende Tupaate” which was later featured by BET award winner Eddy Kenzo and Mc Africa. She was awarded a Diploma in business administration.
Last year it was Bebe Cool's son Allan Hendrick Ssali a.k.a Paper Daddy. We can't wait to see who the upcoming class of 2022 will reveal to us.
We also witnessed the launch of IUEA Emerging Technology Park(ETP) by the Chairperson of the university council alongside board members, and staff including the resident director of the institution Mr.Hassan Alwi. The park will be a vibrant community dedicated to the development of innovation and invention on a national and continental level.
They say a party without a cake is just a meeting, and we concluded the event with a large cake that was designed in the image of the IUEA budge and a heavy lunch before departure. The students preferred a take away, which was gently prepared for them by the Ushers as they were flying for "after party" and photoshoots.

In case you missed any moments from the IUEA 8th graduation ceremony, you can still catch it, play it, pause and rewind on their official youtube channel (international university of East Africa), things end but memories last forever. Congratulations, IUEA class of 2021.

campassTv reporter-Evaline Alum (international Universty of EastAfrica)

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