The Chancellor Makerere University Dr Ezra Suruma has blamed the rampart poverty in Uganda on government for not giving enough training to the people before giving out money for fighting poverty.
He said that a number of interventions have been done where trillions of money have been injected in the community but no impact has been seen in eradication of poverty. He mentioned Entandikwa, Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP) NAADS and now Wealth Creation where money has been put but no impact because the beneficiaries are not sensitized on what to do.
He however, appreciated the intervention by Makerere University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) through its institute, Africa Institute for Strategic Resource Service and development (AFRISA) for its initiative of training farmers in different categories in the improvement of their work and value addition.
Unlike the usual known graduations which Dr Suruma presides over at the Freedom Square, this time round the graduation ceremony was at Rushere Cathedral ground in Kiruhura where over 80 students were conferred with artisan certificates of Makerere University in the field of Diary production and business, Piggery, Apiary and poultry.
Dr. Suruma is optimistic that with this AFRISA model of training where farmers are first taken through their area of interest before being given money; poverty will be history in Uganda.
The First Lady who doubles the Minister for Education and Sports who was the Guest of Hounor appreciated the efforts by AFRISA in eradicating poverty saying that this model of education is the only sure way of uplifting the communities from the rampant poverty they are living in today.
She blamed the poverty in Africa to the Ivory tower model of education which only promotes white collar jobs instead of job creation through skilling.
The Principal College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecrity who is also the Principal Investigator AFRISA, Prof John David Kabasa, said that with this AFRISA innovation, peasants can start with an artisan certificate and end up getting a degree which is not catered for in the Ivory tower kind of education.
He said that it’s a sign of relief to see students graduating when they are earning money from their area of training.
The Head of Secretariat AFRISA DR. Michael Kansiime said that with AFRISA model of training students are enrolled and trained from their area of localities. He said that apart from the artisan training, students with ordinary certificates can enroll for an ordinary diploma and degree programs in Diary, Poultry, Piggery, apiary, wildlife and feeds at Makerere University.
He said that in all these programs students are taken through practicals which is about 85% and theory is only 15% and the goal is to impact practical skills for self sustenance.
The outgoing MUK Vice Chancellor, Prof Ddumba Ssentamu said that it would be the aim of all universities to champion poverty alleviation in the community and the AFRISA model of training is the only way of putting out poverty from the community.
He however said that all colleges at Makerere now have started these community based programes and in five years from now the Makerere impact will have been felt in fight poverty in Uganda.
Since AFRISA program started in 2007, so far 700 people have been awarded with artisan certificates in the country.