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King Oyo of Tooro visits Makerere University, explores partnership with the Food Technology Business Incubation Centre

His Majesty King Oyo of Tooro (3rd L) poses in a group photo with L-R: Mr. Goddy Muhumuza-Mak Senior Legal Officer, Omuhikirwa of Tooro-Rt. Hon. Bernard Tungwako, Vice Chancellor-Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, CAES Principal-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and Tooro Cabinet Minister-Owek. James Kaija during the Omukama's Inaugural Visit, 20th November 2015, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda


Royalty and Loyalty combined in big volumes on Friday 20th November 2015 as the King of Tooro Kingdom, Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV made his maiden entry into the gates of Makerere University. The King’s subjects who had patiently waited for his procession at the Main gate, prostrated before him, as a sign of their loyalty. They followed his procession, welcoming him with the tunes of Amakondere and other traditional songs from Tooro Kingdom, in praise of his leadership.

The King, who was in the company of other Royals including his paternal aunt, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya, proceeded to first pay a courtesy call on the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu who received him outside the Main building. As this delegation made its way to VC’s Office, the King’s subjects who were patiently waiting in the Main Hall rose to their feet to celebrate the fact that King Oyo was now in the Main building. He later descended to the Main hall and was received with ululations and uncontrollable praises of ‘Hangiriza agutamba. Hangiriza Rukirabashaija. Hangiriza omwebingwa. Hangiriza Entare ya Tooro’ as the audience in the Main hall exploded in euphoria.

In his remarks, Omukama Oyo expressed gratitude at the warm reception and thanked Makerere University for opening up to Tooro Kingdom. He was particularly grateful for the Fort Portal campus. “It gives me great pleasure to visit Makerere University, an institution which has existed since 1922. Makerere has remained one of the most prestigious Universities not only in Uganda but the whole of Africa. On behalf of Tooro Kingdom and myself, I wish to appreciate the wonderful reception you have accorded me and my entourage since I set foot at this mighty institution,” he said to a thunderous applause.

“I hope this visitation will go a long way to benefit our respective institutions. I thank the Makerere University Administration for creating a western campus in Tooro Kingdom, opened five years ago. This campus has helped our people in Tooro region to access quality education,” he added. “Through my time in school and the various walks in life, I have learnt a few lessons I wish to share some with you especially the young people in this room with the hope it will be helpful. The first one, believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend you do and at some point you will,” he advised as students applauded in agreement.

King Oyo (Left) receives a plaque commemorating his maiden visit to Makerere from Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu

The King further advised the congregation especially the young people to hold onto their dreams, be disciplined, focus on their destiny, and respect cultural values. He cautioned the youth against engaging in inappropriate activities like drug abuse. King Oyo reached out to the Central Government, calling for support to the University capital fund tailored to support student innovations and business start-ups for fresh graduates.

Tooro Kingdom and Makerere University signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to cement the relationship. The Vice Chancellor welcomed Tooro Kingdom’s initiative to work with Makerere University in skilling Ugandans, adding that the MoU will first be implemented in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

“The main objective of the MoU is to partner with your Kingdom to enhance each other’s areas of interest and development in order to stimulate growth of each party and contribute to societal transformation and national development. Makerere University shall execute this partnership through the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering to start with. Your Majesty, I have been informed that you would like to come back at a later date and visit more Colleges within Makerere University in order to establish further areas of collaboration. Your Majesty, you are most welcome,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor also presented a plaque to Omukama Oyo in recognition of his inspirational and noble leadership of Tooro Kingdom and socio-cultural transformation of society through inculcation of cultural ideals and principles.? ?The Guild President, H.E. David Bala who spoke on behalf of the Student body sincerely appreciated Omukama Oyo for prioritizing the visit to Makerere University. His visit was partly coordinated by the Makerere University Tooro Students Association (MUTOSA).

After signing the MoU, Omukama Oyo then proceeded to the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering where he toured both the new and old wings of the Food Technology and Business Incubation Centres. He then held a meeting the College Management to chart the way forward in implementation of the MoU.

King Oyo (Left) touring the Food Technology Business Incubation Centre (FTBIC), guided by Prof. Bernard Bashaasha -The Principal CAES and Prof. William Kyamuhangire, the Manager FTBIC

He also planted a tree at the school to to commemorate his visit to Makerere University.

King Oyo planting the tree (left) and watering it (right), as Prof. John Muyonga - the Dean of the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-systems Engineering looks on

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