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First ever Campus France Antenna opens in Uganda

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  • 1 Feb 2018 - 3:20pm
  • By Proscovia Nabatte
  • 4,983
L-R; the Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal, the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut andthe Director Campus France Ms. Beatrice Khaiat.

The French Government through its Embassy in Uganda has opened up a Campus France Antenna at Makerere University to help Ugandan students to have access to information and guidance on education and business projects in France. 

Officially launched on 30th January 2018 by the Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal and the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut who represented the Minister of Education and Sports and First Lady Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni, the Campus France offices will be a one stop center for students to access information and resources on scholarships and other study opportunities in France.

The Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal handing over a sign post to the Makerere University Chairperson of Council Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem as a sign of an official opening of Campus France at Makerere University.
  
Campus France is the French National Agency that promotes international mobility and French Higher Education. Created by the Act on external State Action of 27 July, Campus France focuses on simplifying the French procedures for the reception of foreign students and researchers in an increasingly competitive environment. According to the Director Campus France Ms. Beatrice Khaiat, the initiative supports the development of international academic and scientific mobility by promoting training programmes and ensuring guidance to students as well as inviting  teachers and researchers to French institutions.

“This programmes helps to improve the conditions for the reception and stay in France for foreign students, manage French government scholarships and foreign government scholarships granted to foreign students staying in France on an individual or group basis for the purpose of training, gathering information, research among others,” she said.

On 29th September 2017, Makerere University and the Embassy of France in Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cultural, linguistic, higher education and research cooperation in Uganda. The MoU also stated the interest of setting up a Campus France Antenna in Makerere University International Relations Office. Since its establishment in Uganda in 2017, Campus France has already guided and sponsored several Ugandan student in their education and business projects.

the Ambassador of France to Uganda, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal addressing students and invited guests in the Makerere University Freedom Square

Addressing students and invited guests in the Makerere University Freedom Square on 30th January 2018, Her Excellency Stéphanie Rivoal encouraged students to learn French and acquaint themselves with the French culture in order to increase their chances of getting jobs both nationally and internationally.  The Ambassador mentioned that French as a language is one of the easiest and most spoken language in the world.

“I am quite sure that you are thinking of the very complicated French language. Today 250 million people speak French and they are here on the African continent, they are your brothers and sisters from Congo, Burundi, Djibouti, Ivory Coast, Senegal and many more. Learn French and increase your chances of getting a job in many of the African countries,” she remarked. 

She encouraged students to utilize the opportunity and apply for the available study courses to improve and upgrade their academic qualifications. “This is your right and freedom, kindly utilize it. Freedom of access to education, mobility and most of all the freedom of being a citizen  of the world  is what the Government of Uganda and the Government of France want to humbly contribute  to by opening the first ever  Campus France Office in Uganda, at Makerere University  International relations Office,”  she said. 

She thanked the Minister of Education and Sports, First Lady Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni and Makerere University for embracing and supporting the idea of hosting Campus France at the noble institution. In a special way she thanked the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for maintaining the long term relationship between France and Uganda that has led to the introduction of Campus France in Uganda.

L-R; the Director Campus France Ms. Beatrice Khaiat, The University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha, the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut, the Ambassador of France in Uganda, Her Excellency Madam Stéphanie Rivoal, The Acting Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. Eria Hisali and the Chairperson of the Makerere University Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem.

In a speech read by the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut, the Minister of Education and Sports  Hon.  Janet Kataha Museveni appreciated the drive by the French Embassy to make France visible in Uganda. According to her, such a move like opening up Campus France at Makerere University will enable students from the region that is predominantly Anglophone to access information about educational opportunities that do exist in France.

“It came to our notice that few students seek access to higher education in your great country, even though is a well-known fact that France has some of the most deeply cultured and most excellent institutions of higher learning in the world. I am sure that the advent of Campus France in Uganda and in the Great Lake Regions, opens a door for our scholars and researchers to more readily access those opportunities,” she said.

The Minister was glad to learn that the Antenna will assist students to apply and access various scholarships open to international students, and also assist them to process their applications, assess their documents and send them to colleges of their choice. The Minister appreciated the move in which students will be assisted to apply for visas to France and the guidance on how to  obtain suitable accommodation once  they are in college.

“Such a degree of detailed care assures us that Campus France will indeed be ‘a home away from home’ for our students who will be fortunate enough to access higher education programmes in France. I have no doubt that the presence of Campus France in this region, and at Makerere University specifically, will take cooperation between Uganda and France to a new level, because the more students we send to France, and the more French students we receive at Makerere University and other institutions in the region, the richer that cooperation will be across the borders” she explained.

the Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Karoro Okurut  representing the Minister of Education and Sports and First Lady Hon. Janet Kataha Museveni

“Such a program will also go a long way in bridging the cultural chasms that were created among the various African regions by colonial divisions, complicated as they were by the fact that the different colonizers spoke different languages which has continued to make it difficult to Africans to communicate with one another,” the First Lady added.

At the same function, the Ambassador officially unveiled the French Corner at Makerere University Main Library. Located in the IDA Section of the Library, the French Corner will host French books and learning materials purposeful to students and other learners.  The University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha thanked the Embassy of France in Uganda for the up to date learning package, saying that it will simplify the lives of students learning French and those pursing their courses in French. 

On behalf of Makerere  University, the Acting Vice Chancellor Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang appreciated the support  rendered to the University by the Embassy of France in Uganda through provision of scholarships for PhD students, the student exchange programmes with French Universities particularly Sciences. In the same spirit, the Makerere University Chairperson of Council Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem thanked the Embassy of France in Uganda through their hardworking Ambassador for opening yet a fresh chapter of Internationalization in Makerere University.

The Ambassador officially unveiled the French Corner at Makerere University Main Library.

“I am aware that the Embassy has held a number of activities in partnership with Makerere University such as the public debate and dialogue on ‘the use of the French language’ and a debate on the theme “Let’s Save the World Together” as well as the debate to discuss “the Role of the Youth in Media on one hand and Politics on the other Hand. Through these various interactions, the Embassy has been able to expose the young minds to international approaches and solutions aimed at addressing challenges that affect global village, through constructive dialogue. I am therefore confident that the exposure the students are receiving is the spark that will ignite the fire in tomorrow’s leaders that go through the gates of Makerere to think beyond the scope of solutions that solely fit in the Ugandan setting,” he said.

The Chairperson of Council assured the Ambassador of the University’s commitment to creating the policy and governance atmosphere that provides an environment conducive to the promotion of networking, exchange of ideas and the creation of truly global citizens.

The launch of Campus France Antenna was accompanied by a “French Expo” in which different French companies, restaurants, and other enterprises as well as Makerere University exhibited their research, services, culture and innovations. Impressed with the way Juliet Anena is developing Tissue Culture Technology to generate new planting materials especially sweet potatoes, cassava and banana plantains, the Ambassador awarded Juliet Anena; a Makerere University student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture a scholarship to go to France and share knowledge and experience  with the French agricultural experts.

The Ambassador awarded Juliet Anena; a Makerere University student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture a scholarship to go to France and share knowledge and experience  with the French agricultural experts.

Through a lottery, the Ambassador also awarded three Makerere University students with grand prizes. The students included Mr. Tenywa Hamid who received Campus France Promotional goodies, Ms. Amina Nannozi who was awarded with a French training session at Alliance Française and Ms. Mollen Nyiraneza; awarded with a Cultural & linguistic scholarship in France. 

The Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Dr. Eria Hisali congratulated the winners and urged them to support the initiative and  work as Ambassadors of Campus France. He thanked the organizing team comprising Embassy of France, Mak Public Relations Office, International Office, Estates and Works Department, and Security Departments for putting up a successful function and encouraged students to utilize the Campus France offices for more opportunities. 

Article by Mak Public Relations Office 
 

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