The Islamic University in Uganda has a two-day cultural event of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Africa.
The event themed ‘Culture, Education & Development: Experiences from the Muslim World’ was held at the University’s female Campus Kabojja on Saturday with the finale at Hotel Africana on Sunday.
Speaking at the opening session of the event, Prof. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda, the University Rector said that the exhibition will avail platforms for the students to showcase different cultures.
“The activity program consists of numerous cultural and social activities such as lectures, exhibitions, local folklore, cultural dressing, poetry, local and international cuisines, Qur’an recitation, sport and games, scientific research, as well as workshops on practical issues,” Gyagenda said.
He reminded the students that education and culture move concurrently.
“As far as I am concerned, both of them are keen and for us Muslims, Islamic culture is non-negotiable but that doesn’t mean that you also don’t respect the others like in Uganda we have Christians, so we are here to say that we are Muslims and have different cultures,” he added.
H.E Ali Bakheet Tariq, the Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian and Social Affairs at OIC who represented H.E Ibrahim Taha Hissein, the OIC Secretary General, hailed the government and IUIU for allowing to host the event.
“Culture is very important among Muslims because it propels development,” he said.
He commended IUIU for its continued efforts towards transforming the local community through provision of basic education and knowledge to the young population.
In his keynote speech, Boehn, the Ghanaian History Professor asked the private sector to establish more Islamic owned Universities to be Centers of disseminating Islamic knowledge to young future global Muslim leaders.
“We need more IUIU because we are all witnesses to its success, in Islam, knowledge is key. IUIU have made tremendous success,” he said.
He noted that lack of privately owned Islamic Universities in Uganda are constraining knowledge transfer giving examples like Nigeria which has over 70 new private Universities with less than 10 owned by Muslims, Ghana with 37 with only two owned by Muslims.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Muzamiru Mukwatampola, the Commissioner for Higher Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports who represented Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo, the State Minister of Higher Education, said that that it’s important for the entire humanity to appreciate cultural diversity.
“As the Ministry of Education and Sports, we are very proud of IUIU not only because it’s the first non-public University in Uganda but also because of its continued contribution in the human resource in this country. Graduates of IUIU whenever we go have had excellent performance,” he said.
Muzamiru also lauded OIC for its continued support towards the University, which has led to the enabling of education accessibility among vulnerable communities.
Prior to the cultural exhibition, IUIU on Friday graduated a total of 2278 candidates in different disciplines.
Of these, 1169 were female and 1109 male. 127 received certificates, 279 graduated with diploma, 1592 graduated with undergraduate degrees, 89 received post graduate diploma and master graduates are 191.