Speech by Dr. Evans Kidero

chiefguestAddress by Chief Guest: H. E. Dr. Evans Kidero, Governor Nairobi City County, on 4th October 2013, at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa’s 28th Graduation Ceremony

Salutation

The Chancellor,

The Vice Chancellor,

The University Council,

Vice Chancellors from other Universities,

Deputy Vice Chancellors & Principal of Constituent Colleges ,

Deans,

The Academic Staff ,

Students,

Grandaunts,

Parents,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of fulfillment that I join you on this momentous occasion of the Twenty Eighth Graduation Ceremony of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. I am here to celebrate with you the release of well-trained graduates to the service of our nation, the EAC region and international community.

During this graduation ceremony of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, I am informed that graduands in various fields will receive degrees and diplomas to mark the end of a rigorous and exciting academic experience at CUEA. You have worked hard and made us proud. I congratulate you all. I also congratulate faculty and other members of staff who have guided you in your academic journey to this day. Your families have been there for you, and they too deserve our recognition, appreciation, and of course, congratulations.

On behalf of the County Government of Nairobi City, I would like to extend our deep appreciation to the Catholic Church for immense contribution to the development of education in Kenya, the East African Region and the world at large. Indeed, the commitment of the Catholic Church to the region through Development Network goes back over 100 years from when the missionaries came to Kenya. The earliest presence of the church is with Portuguese explorers with Vascodagama in Malindi in 1498 and later the Holy Ghost Father in 1890 in Bangamoyo, Tanzania.

The Concern of the Catholic Church has always been facilitating fullness of life as stated in John 10:10 where Jesus talks about giving life in abundance. This enables holistic development of persons.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we as a country are proud of the tremendous contribution the church with a youth population of 24 million in Kenya today, partners who support the development of education become even more important in helping us address this growing demand. It is only when we can meet the demand for education and achieve economic development shall we retain the young bright minds such as those graduating today to stem brain drain from this nation.

To the graduands: this day marks the culmination of a lifelong process of personal and intellectual development. During your time at Catholic University, I am sure that you have learnt technical skills not only to become competent leaders in your areas of study.

Education informs people of what happened, what is happening and what will happen; again, education is a magnificent tool for forming people characters and attitudes. Surely change takes place in all this action; but transformed; this is the highest goal of education. Someone will be educated when he or she becomes a transformed person.

A leader should be seen as a visionary; that is someone, elected or selected or nominated or appointed, who has a vision for people; motivates them the embrace the same vision, carries them along as a team and works with them to achieve it. Transformative leadership in Africa needs people whom education has genuinely transformed in order to transform others. With this Africa could reach where it should be after independence; and the benefits such as Stability, Health Economic Growth. Transformative leadership is service, it is feeding the sheep and not feeding the sheep and not feeding on the sheep.

The ability to be a strong leader is driven by intrinsic qualities, attitude and behavior. It comes from the ability to think critically; to inspire those around you with knowledge, not just charisma; to be willing to be held accountable; and to make no compromise on ethics. Today as you graduate ask yourself - are you that leader? Now that you will be moving into the next phase of your life, equipped with new knowledge and skills, you will be expected to take on new challenges.

I wish to urge you not to shy away from these responsibilities. As you go forward, seek out new opportunities for intellectual growth and leadership. Seize them and use them to benefit yourself, your families and your country.

Ladies and gentlemen, you will attest to the fact that on its part, the government has substantially increased investment in enabling infrastructure, such as energy, telecommunications, and information technology to open up all sectors of the economy. I therefore urge all investors in the education sector to explore and exploit the potential that this infrastructure presents for emerging alternative approaches to classroom based teaching. Models such as virtual and open distance learning, sandwich programmes, staggered learning and regional research initiatives, to enable us expand access to education to reach the hard to reach and to meet demand for continuous learning should be embraced.

Distinguished graduates, allow me to take this moment to extend a personal congratulatory message to each one of you. As you have realised, it is a well-deserved accomplishment to which a lot of effort and hard work has been invested. You are graduating at an exciting time when opportunities for employment are expanding as a result of the East African integration. As graduates of East Africa, you will be able to access employment opportunities across the region. Already there are friendly provisions in terms of work permits and rights of establishment and residence. I urge you to seize the opportunities that this presents. It is also expected that you will be ambassadors of Kenya, who will be opening the way for generations to come. You therefore have a duty and responsibility to exercise impeccable degree of professionalism and observe work and social ethics befitting the nation.

In concluding my remarks I want to wish the grandaunts success not only in their careers ahead but also in the words of Thomas Waldo Emmerson in his great poem entitled “success”

“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate the beauty; To find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; This is to have succeeded."

I Thank You All and God bless each and every one of you.

 

 

 

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