, 29 October, 2019 / 1:34 AM
The need to utilize skills acquired in higher institutions of learning to have a positive impact on contemporary society was one of the key highlights of the address of a Kenyan Bishop to the over two thousand students from a variety of African countries who graduated at the main campus of the Nairobi-based Catholic University of Eastern Africa on Friday, October 25, with the Bishop calling for ethical leadership.
“We need a cultural reawakening inspired by a moral and upright leadership,” the chairman of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Council, Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba said in his address during the 38th graduation ceremony of the 35-year-old Catholic institution.
Cultural reawakening, the Kenyan Bishop clarified, “is the environment that awaits you (graduating students) to utilize the skills you have acquired … during the years of study.”
The Bishop of Kenya’s Nakuru diocese encouraged innovation and use of acquired skills for the development of the African continent, echoing leaders during the recent World Economic Forum who noted that Africa’s future is more on innovation for a stronger economy.
“Today Africa is full of promise and it is yearning for innovation and renaissance, renaissance in technology, business, science, and health,” Bishop Muhatia said at the graduation ceremony whose theme was, “Research and innovation for quality higher education: building the Africa that we want.”
“This theme inspires our graduands to be innovative in their professions so that they could improve the social and economic needs of our continent,” the vice Chancellor of CUEA Rev. Prof. Stephen Mbugua Ngari said and added, “because of innovation, Kenya has affirmed itself as one of the economic and political pillars of Africa.”
The Kenyan Prof. reminded Africans of challenges that come as part of development and growth saying, “With development and economic growth comes social and cultural challenges.”
He explained, “Today we have our young adults committing suicide because of the fear of rejection and shame, we have those partaking in crime growing younger and younger with time, and we have vulgar songs being considered social anthems.”
Speaking at the same event, CUEA Chancellor, Bishop Charles Kasonde of Solwezi in Zambia appreciated technological developments, research and innovations on the continent saying, “In Africa, we have taken a lead in communication and electronic banking.”
Bishop Kasonde used Uganda and Kenya as examples saying, “Uganda is one of the leading African countries with a large percentage of its population having access to credit, an engine of investment.”
“In Kenya, M-Pesa has revolutionized banking services in the country, and when national examination results are released, one can know the results of their loved ones by a click of a button on the phone,” the Zambian Bishop said and added referencing innovative developments he had cited and pointing to students who were graduating, “All these are emanating from extensive research and innovation that have been championed by people just like you.”
“We implore you to adopt the core values of CUEA that constitute witness of life, prayer, truthfulness, honesty, excellence, commitment and competence,” the Zambian Prelate told the graduating students and added, “think outside the box, think like a researcher, think with a purpose of innovation.”
“You can use all these attributes to be great innovators in Africa and become leaders in your profession,” CUEA Chancellor concluded.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa