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FDRE Parliament Delegation Visits Mak, Advocates for Public Diplomacy Group

  • In General
  • 27 Nov 2019 - 8:21pm
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 930
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (Right) shakes hands with Hon. Tesfaye Daba (Left) after pinning the Mak Badge on the Head of Delegation's lapel on 27th November 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

A delegation from the Parliament accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) on Wednesday 27th November 2019 visited Makerere University and held talks on the need to establish a Uganda Public Diplomacy Group among a wide range of other issues. The delegation led by Hon. Tesfaye Daba – Chairman, Peace and Foreign Relations Standing Committee of the House of Representatives of the FDRE was received by a special session of Management held in the Council Room. They were accompanied by the Ambassador of the FDRE to Uganda Her Excellency Alemtsehay Meseret Gelaw.

Welcoming the delegation, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe thanked Hon. Daba for including Makerere University their Ugandan itinerary. He shared that Makerere was the alma mater of several distinguished African leaders and others such as Rt. Hon. Ralph Everard Gonsalves, 4th Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.

The DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (Left) receives H.E. Amb. Alemtsehay Meseret Gelaw (Right) and Hon. Tesfaye Daba (Centre) upon arrival for the courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, 27th November 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Prof. Nawangwe added that Makerere remains a flagship university in health sciences research and is keen to become a research intensive University in the next ten years. “Makerere University and Addis Ababa University are both members of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) and through this umbrella we are going to conduct more research and innovations so as to accelerate economic growth of not only our respective countries but Africa as a whole.”

The Vice Chancellor also spoke of the longstanding relationship between Makerere and Addis Ababa University as well as other Ethiopian Universities such as Mekelle University and the University of Gondar. “I hope that this visit will facilitate even greater collaborations especially in the area of staff and student exchanges.”

The Special Session of Management was attended by L-R: Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi, Dr. Josephine Ahikire, Dr. Helen Byamugisha, Eng. Christina Kakeeto, Dr. Patrick Mangeni, Ms. Christine Amito, Dr. Mark Okot Benge, Dr. Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza, among other officials

In his remarks, Hon. Tesfaye Daba thanked the Vice Chancellor and University Management for the warm reception and expressed his delegation’s happiness at visiting one of Africa’s oldest and most historic universities. He added that Uganda and Ethiopia have similar cultural values and historic ties and that the delegation’s visit would help to further cement diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The Ethiopian Ambassador H.E. Alemtsehay Meseret Gelaw thanked both the Makerere University Management and visiting delegation for identifying culture as an important factor in collaboration. She noted that whereas various African leaders often promote the integration of various regional economic communities, this amalgamation would be difficult without the prior knowledge and appreciation of the various cultures involved.

Some of the officials that made up the Parliament of the FDRE delegation listen to proceedings on 27th November 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. The included Musician Mulatu Astatke (Front 2nd Right) who is also considered as the father of Ethio-Jazz.

“Ethiopia and Uganda have similar values and cultures which need to be explored and built up so that they can be shared with future generations. We need to come up with a way to network our various associations of theatre, music, poetry and film” recommended the Ambassador.

H.E. Gelaw therefore proposed that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uganda and Ethiopia need to come up with a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) incorporating the ideas discussed in the meeting which can then be shared with various stakeholders on both sides. This draft MoU, she added, can then be used by the Vice Chancellor to pursue similar associations with his Ethiopian counterparts.

Front Row L-R: Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, The FDRE Ambassador to Uganda-H.E. Alemtsehay Meseret Gelaw and Hon. Tesfaye Daba – Chairman, Peace and Foreign Relations Standing Committee of the House of Representatives of the FDRE pose for a photo with Mak officials and members of the delegation after the visit on 27th November 2019, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

H.E. Daba then challenged Makerere University to start the Uganda Public Diplomacy Group, made up of stakeholders from various Ugandan bodies and associations, as a vehicle for inter-state collaborations. “From past experience the Ethiopian Public Diplomacy Group visited Sudan before any other groups could and the relationship established led to the formation of various diplomatic ties as well as return visits. We therefore look forward to receiving the newly established Uganda Public Diplomacy Group in Addis Ababa.”

Prof. Nawangwe in his concluding remarks agreed that all indicators show that Africa is the next growth frontier and this would be accelerated if African states collaborated with each other. “I pledge that we are going to start the Uganda Public Diplomacy Group and we look forward to engaging the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports in this endeavour.”

Article by Public Relations Office


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