By Tom Ongeso is UMI alumnus, the executive director, Willpower Alliance.
President Museveni will today be chief guest during celebrations to mark Uganda Management Institute (UMI) Golden Jubilee as well as the Institute’s 17th graduation ceremony.
The President’s first act will be to commission a state-of-the-art building that stands near the expansive compound, where the ceremony will take place. The President is certainly interested in physical form to accommodate the learning processes, but he is more concerned about the substance of the disciplines. He, for instance, wants UMI to stick to its mandate of shaping the country’s public servants and not to create multiple courses.
Only last year, the President made a strong policy pronouncement that he did not see the logic in training of the country’s manpower overseas, whereas UMI can produce the same.
Indeed, UMI is equal to this task as it has the right mandate, vision, mission, objectives and programmes. The Institution has many departments, including that of finance and accounting, information technology, management, and human resource.
UMI also has the School of Management Science and, vitally, the School of Civil Service, Public Administration and Governance. In a dynamic and exciting manner, these departments conceive, review and refine the professional material to highly competitive levels.
In the pipeline are courses in oil, gas and consultancy skills.
The work method at UMI is not merely theoretical, but also practical, with students undertaking group-discussions and presentations, all meant to sharpen the learner’s brilliance skills and knowledge, with complicated modules such as Quantitative Methods have been domesticated and made relevant to the decision-making process.
All course units, carefully evaluated, have huge benefits in terms of substance, application and results, ranging from business to medical logistics. The Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration and Management (DPAM) is, in this respect, the institute’s centre-piece for public servants. It is the replica of government in practice, conceiving the management challenges and the required solutions. It envisions the commanding global, regional, and national strategies suach as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Vision 2040, Vision 2063, the National Development Plan (NDP)programmes, decentralisation, good governance, output-orientation, leadership qualities, and how these cascade to the socio-economic improvement of the people.
At this moment of glory, it is only gracious to congratulate all the graduands who emanate from the public and private sectors, all coming from different parts of the country.
UMI’s own staff is excellent with Oxford University trained strategic planner. The facilitating consultants are also men and women of distinction, including graduates from Harvad, London, the Netherlands, South Africa, China and Korea.
The President, in this special golden jubilee, should grant UMI the award of “centre of professional excellence” and revamp its role as a national think-tank. This will enhance its bid to obtain the ISO certification. For their sacrifice and the institute’s quality investment, UMI’s unsung heroes should be offered much higher pay and a retirement age of 70 years.
For general safety, the President may direct a flyover between the new main gate and the crazily busy Jinja Road highway. At 50 years, UMI, the country’s professional fort, needs every possible protection.