Makerere University Agribusiness Students Association (MUABSA) holds its annual agribusiness symposium, mini expo and networking day.
Prof. Mondo Kagonyera gets the Award on behalf of Minister Amelia Kyambadde
On 7th April 2017, Makerere University Agribusiness Students Association (MUABSA) held its annual agribusiness symposium, mini expo and networking day at the School of Agricultural Sciences under the theme, “Filling Agribusiness GAPSA-A multi stakeholder’s responsibility”.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Hon. Amelia Kyambadde and former Chancellor Makerere University Prof. Mondo Kagonyera were the Chief guests of the event.
Other key speakers of the symposium included the Former Minister of Agriculture Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, CEO Africa Agribusiness Academy Mr. Farid Karama, KFM presenter Ms. Phyllis Namuwoya, Hon. Dr Betty Pacutho and Major Rubaare Ronald among others.
Hon. Kyambadde received the award from MUABSA. However she was unable to attend due to an urgent call to attend a meeting at state house. The award was handed over to Prof. Kagonyera on behalf of Hon. Kyambadde.
In his speech, Prof. Kagonyera said he was overwhelmed by the MUABSA’s purposeful organisation and that he was very happy for being invited to the symposium.
Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, Prof. Kagonyera and Dr. Betty Pacutho during the symposium
Prof. Kagonyera also encouraged students to be creative and to never give up however modest the beginning of the project is saying:
“You need knowledge before capital. Get knowledge of what you would like to do first and be sure you know everything about it before you attempt to start on it. The major thing to fight if you want to fight poverty is to fight ignorance.”
He also urged students to have soft skills and described soft skills as being able to tell the difference between right and wrong.
“It is important that you always do the right thing because nothing beats doing the right thing. Avoid ignorance, be disciplined and differentiate between right and wrong for example you should begin with stopping strikes because it’s disgusting for a University student to involve in hooliganism.” Prof. Kagonyera advised.
The Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental sciences (CAES), Prof. Bernard Bashaasha encouraged the youth to participate in Agri-business saying that Capacity building was the way to go.
“Capacity building is the way to go therefore if you have to move agribusiness, you have to move the youth because the future of agribusiness and all other businesses are now with the youth.” Prof Bashaasha said.
Prof. Bernard Bashaasha addressing the audience
Quoting a Runyankole proverb that says; “If you want to go fast you go alone but if you want to go far you go with people,” Prof. Bashaasha said that it is important to be good at multi-tasking and therefore encouraged students to be multi-tasking.
“To do everything you need to do, you need skills and to have the skills, you need to be disciplined.” Prof. Bashaasha added urging students to be disciplined.
The chairperson Uganda Agri-business Alliance Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko emphasised the golden rule saying that: “Don’t do to your juniors what you don’t want them to do to you.”
Hon Sekitoleko also encouraged people to make everybody important and make themselves less important.
“I always do my work to the best of my knowledge but I get other people to do it for me. However, I am grateful to every one of my juniors. I respect my driver, gardener and maid the same way because they are all important and they know they are because without them I wouldn’t manage.” She said.
Dr. Betty Pacutho told students that in order to develop a product, they should start with an idea then commercialise and advertise. Dr. Pacutho has developed many products including shear butter lotions, skin oils like Tiwe and juices among others.
Dr. Pacutho speaking about her products
On claiming that advertisement in Uganda is very expensive, Nakamanya Lynette a Bachelor of Tourism student at Makerere University advised Dr. Pacutho to try using social media platforms like Facebook, whatsapp, twitter, Instagram among others to advertise her products since such advertisement is free of charge. Dr. Pacutho was so amazed at the idea that she offered Nakamanya a job.
She also advised participants to give the best to their customers.
“Let us give to our customers the best that we can, if we don’t, we lose them.” Dr. Pacutho said.
Dr. Pacutho also urged participants to have the willingness if they need to get the best out of it adding that alot of things have come up in this generation but nothing beats agriculture.
“If there is that willingness, we can get there. We need the good will of people with capability and resources to invest in Agriculture. A lot of things have come up but nothing can over-power agriculture because it’s very crucial to this country that everybody depends on it.” Dr. Pacutho said.
Other people that were recognised during the symposium include Major Rubaare Ronald, Mr. Farid Karama, Ms Phyllis Namuwoya,, Mr. Francis Jumba, Mr. Tony Potyana, Mr. John Makosha among others.
Major Rubaare a long serving soldier since 1986 and board member of the Grain Council of Uganda also advised students never to give up saying that when you love something, you fight for it.
Major. Rubaare addressing the audience during the function
The CEO Africa Agribusiness Academy Mr. Farid Karama, Makerere University was among the five universities that has been picked up by the academy.
“I am happy that I am a mentor for many especially students and they have been consulting me about this event which makes me even happier to see that it’s a success.” Mr. Karama said.
Mr. Karama went ahead and inspired students with his first business story and urged them to start with the money they have however little it may seem.
“You must know the product you want to invest in because capital is nothing. Start with what you have and you will make it. I started my business in form 3 with only 20,000UGX (making business cards) and up to date my business is still running. I actually have a branch here in Kampala and in Rwanda.” Mr. Karama said adding that all that’s needed is patience and market.
L-R: Major Rubaare Ronald, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, Dr. Betty Pacutho, Mr. Farid Karama and Dr. Elepu Gabriel on high table during the function
Ms Phyllis Namuwoya a presenter at Kfm radio who also acted as the co- master of ceremony(mc) encouraged students to always keep themselves in check, go to different places and change people’s mindsets.
“Unless you know who you’re, you will never succeed in life so go answer those million dollar questions. Take time off and say who am I? What do I love? And trust me after answering those questions; life is going to be very easy for you.” Ms Namuwoya said.
Ms. Phyllis Namuwoya addressing the audience
Ms. Namuwoya also encouraged students to wake up every morning with a purpose to win and to motivate people that need the motivation.
“Wake up every morning and purpose to win. Match up to the speed of the world because times are changing. If you can’t be a farmer then motivate other farmers in the village. “Ms Namuwoya said.
Participants pose for a group photograph after the function
Interne, Communication Office, CAES.