She visited Makerere to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the university and the Africa Strategic Leadership Center
Samia Cristiana Yaba Nkrumah, the daughter of legendary Pan Africanist and the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, today visited Makerere University for the first time.
She was taken to the sculpture of her father that stands out prominently in the compound of Nkrumah Hall, a male students’ hall of residence at the main campus.
An excited Samia asked to pose for pictures with the sculpture and was later introduced to the warden John Kamya, who was equally excited to see her. Nkrumah’s sculpture was put up in recognition of his legendary pan Africanist works and ideas.
Samia, 58, leader of the Convention People’s Party in Ghana and founding president of Kwame Nkrumah Pan African Center, is Nkrumah’s only daughter from his Egyptian wife, Fathia Halima Rizk.
She visited Makerere to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the university and the Africa Strategic Leadership Center (ASLC) in a collaborative initiative of leaders from the public and private sectors.
The ASLC center, located at Kololo, is committed to the “growing Africa’s economic opportunities and empowering African leadership through research and policy”, according to Kampala businessman, Dr. Robert Mwesigwa who is the ASLC board of directors’ chairman.
Vice chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, signed on behalf of the university while Mwesigwa signed on behalf of the center.
It was witnessed by university senior staff including Prof. Edward Kirumira the principal of the college of humanities and social sciences, members of the board of directors of ASLC including former speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Dan Kidega and Betty Bigombe among others.
The ASLC was officially launched by the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at Sheraton Hotel on Tuesday under the theme; Positioning Africa for the 21st Century.
It intends to partner with the university since it boasts of the highest number of human resource, including 60 professors who would collaborate in conducting research in agriculture, food security and climate change, economy, industry and business, leadership and governance as well as peace and security.
Mwesigwa said they setup the center as an independent, not for profit organisation, which they would use as a market place for ideas to engage leaders from government, academia, private sector and civil society to agree on a common agenda.
Nawangwe said the university has a lot of potential and has the highest number of human resource personnel in the region, although government had not made use of them.
“We are now engaging the government on how Makerere can be of benefit to the country and the region, we must therefore work with everybody to give back to our communities because a lot has been invested here,” he explained.
The university, according to Nawangwe, was committed to becoming a research-based and partner with ASLC to contribute to the transformation of the country.
Samia also attended the launch of ASLC on Tuesday where she emphasised building consensus for African development and unity.
She appealed to the ASLC board to keep the momentum they have put in at the launch and engage more students, adding that the initiative had created a lot of expectations.
The launch of the center is in preparation of the annual Africa Now Congress in March next year, which is expected to host no less than 15 heads of state to deliberate on a number of issues.
“Surprisingly, the African Forum is hosted in Europe, but we must change this and host in Africa and find solutions to our problems by ourselves,” Mwesigwa stated.