The Director General Addresses the Newly Elected Alumni Executives
Director General Dr. James Nkata used the swearing in ceremony for the new UMI Alumni Association President Dr. Adrian Bainebyabo to explain the ways in which the alumni can contribute towards making the Institute great and more famous than it currently is. During the ceremony, at which Margaret Zziwa represented Governing Council Chairman FX Lubanga, Bainebyabo received instruments of power from the outgoing association President Ronald Mivule who ran through what his regime had been able to accomplish including putting in place a strong foundation on which future UMI alumni Presidents must build to strengthen the world class and ISO-certified Institute.
Dr. Nkata further explained why he thinks Mivule had been a pro-active and an effective President of the alumni association. He then proceeded to outline things Dr. Bainebyabo must prioritize if he is to succeed in rallying the more than 100,000 OBs and OGs UMI has produced, since its inception in 1969, to make the Institute great within Uganda and globally. He also revealed that about a third of President Museveni‘s Cabinet comprises of UMI alumni and the same goes for Parliament if not more. Nkata made reference to the Vice President Jessica Alupo and Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja as some of the big-name government officials proudly carrying UMI qualifications.
Reflecting on the fact that a larger number of former students or alumni association members participated in the general assembly, during which Dr. Bainebyabo was elected a few months ago, than the previous one, Nkata said he looks forward to having over 10,000 participating in the next assembly.
Dr. Nkata proceeded to explain what must happen for more and more alumni to become interested in the association including Dr. Bainebyabo leading in way that deepens integrity while making the alumni association more relevant to such potential members. He suggested emphasis should go on high quality individual members as opposed to merely numbers. He said he had read the alumni association Constitution and advised on the need to put in place some quality standards one must satisfy before being enrolled into alumni association membership.
“I would for instance not be comfortable with a convict walking out of Luzira and goes about saying I’m an alumnus of UMI. We must have some standards so that such people, who use public office to engage in conduct that puts the UMI name in bad reputation, are barred from membership so that it’s not for everybody,” Nkata said adding none of the big people out there holding high level positions in both public and private sector will be proud associating with an alumni association which has members with such bad reputation.
On the relevance issue, the DG said that the alumni association must engage in activities that will make it financially strong and thereby strengthen its independence. Dr. Nkata, who has traveled to many parts of the world whose institutions of higher learning he has visited and studied, made reference to California University in the US whose alumni have been very successful at raising funds to the extent that even if the US were to become crippled by some emergency, the alumni association on its own has muscled resources that can run the University for at least 10 years without getting any funding from anywhere.
“The alumni association members annually bring in $60bn and that’s besides their Endowment Fund of $100bn. All this is mobilized by the alumni association and I look forward to seeing Dr. Bainebyabo leading an alumni association that can be an effective mobilizer of resources to strengthen this great Institute of ours whose greatness we must all always work towards,” said Dr. Nkata before inviting Dr. Margaret Zziwa to make her remarks.
He said the relevance of the alumni association can also result from operating a scholarship scheme which can sponsor students (future alumnus) to enroll for some of the competitive and most selling training programs UMI offers. He said this is one of the many things the California University alumni association does to deepen its relevance while encouraging membership loyalty which the outgoing President Ronald Mivule had talked about as one of the major challenges he faced during his tenure.
Dr. Nkata also reminded the new executive committee members to realize that the new roles assigned to them are not synonymous with falling into things. “This means work and the members who elected you to office have high hopes in you just like we in management and Council do. So, go out there and do a good job so that we make UMI great as we seek to always lead from in front from wherever we have been privileged to serve humanity.”
Dr. Nkata concluded by expressing optimism that Dr. Bainebyabo will equally have a successful tenure because he has always been pro-alumni association issues while demanding for stronger linkages and cooperation between the alumni association on one hand and management/Council on the other.