Hans Hofstraat, the chief guest of honor at KIU’s 22nd graduation ceremony, applauded KIU for its role in training students and for its success in forging strategic partnerships with various institutions and organizations.
Mr. Hofstraat, the Innovation Program Manager at Philips Technology Office in the Netherlands, made these remarks during the ceremony held on Saturday 22nd August.
“Let me also applaud the role KIU is playing not only in training and educating people from different parts of the world, but also for its great success in forging strategic partnerships like the one with Leiden university as well as with Royal Philips,” he said.
Mr. Hofstraat reiterated the commitment of Royal Philips in collaborating with KIU, noting that the mutual relationship was beneficial to different global communities. He also congratulated KIU for improving in it’s webometrics ranking- moving to the top of the rankings as best private university in Uganda and 3rd best overall in Uganda.
He noted that Africa has been at the forefront in implementing digital solutions to address various challenges, for instance, digital payment services like MPESA.
“Now is the time to effectively leverage digital health solutions to meet the challenges in access to effective care and to create new and innovative solutions. The COVID 19 crisis is accelerating the need for, and the acceptance of digital health solutions,” he added.
Mr. Hofstraat explained that Philips is working with local partners to spur innovations in the local context that address local challenges by working with local partners, noting that the strategic partnership with KIU underpins and supports this approach.
Already, Philips Foundation has supported the creating of VODAN (Virus Outbreak Data Network). The foundation, whose aim is to verify data and make it more accessible to stakeholders in various sectors, is headed by Dr. Mpezamihigo, the Vice Chancellor at KIU. He doubles as the president and chair of the foundation
KIU’s graduation was held virtually, the first of its kind in the institution’s history. Most of the addresses were relayed remotely via teleconferencing from different parts of the world and streamed live on the institution’s facebook page. A total of 2,253 students graduated in various disciplines, with 27 first class honors awarded.
This was also the maiden graduation for KIU’s chancellor who was installed recently. Prof. Mahmood Mamdani who was installed last month.