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UCC Kigumba Deserves A University Status

UCC Kigumba Deserves a University Status

By Monday Akol Amazima

Gone are the days when Makerere University Kampala (MUK) was the only university in the country that even the word Makerere was assumed to be synonymous with university. Most of the students then dreamed of joining the ivory tower as it was the only place they expected to get a degree in whatever field of their choice. The late eighties saw the growth of universities that today we have over forty universities both private and public in the country. However even when we have a growing number of universities, we are yet to have a cooperative university and this is why Uganda Cooperative College – Kigumba should be upgraded to a university.

Uganda needs a cooperative university

The three traditional East African countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania started cooperative colleges at the same time in the 60s. In Uganda Tororo and Kigumba Cooperative Colleges were established to train personnel that would manage and develop the cooperative societies in the country. At independence and shortly after, communities were encouraged to form cooperative societies so as to access goods, services and have their children be able to go to school. However the cooperative colleges in Kenya and Tanzania have since been elevated to universities where by Moshi Cooperative College where President Museveni previously taught is now a cooperative university. Equally Kenya has the Cooperative University of Kenya. This is largely why the cooperative societies and SACCOs in Tanzania and Kenya are successful as compared to

Uganda. Kenya and Tanzania have scholars up to the level of PhDs in cooperatives and these have become a key human resource in developing the cooperative movement in the country. Infrastructure in place Uganda Cooperative College Kigumba already has the starting infrastructure on which a university can be developed. They have enough land and the structures at the college can be used for the start as the university rolls out says James Omudu the College Principal. Most universities in Uganda have been developed out of former diploma awarding institutions and have since been given a facelift. Examples are Kyambogo University that was created out of merging UPK, ITEK and UNISE. NTC –Kakoba that is now Bishop Stuart University and many others

Revamping the cooperative movement

According to Asimwe Ivan the CEO Uganda Cooperative Alliance, it is time Uganda thought of revamping the cooperative movement in the country. And this can best be done by strengthening cooperative education. He further argues that one of the cooperative colleges preferably Kigumba should be elevated to a university so that the country can have technocrats to manage and run the cooperative movement. But some Scholars are of the view that we can have the cooperative university of Uganda with two campuses of Kigumba and Tororo. Upgrading the two cooperative intuitions will be a remarkable milestone in resurrecting the cooperative movement in Uganda that has had challenges so much that even the only cooperative bank is no longer functional.

Collaborations and man power

As the country thinks about when to start a cooperative university, the management of Uganda Cooperative College Kigumba is already in talks with the Cooperative University of Kenya so that they can begin degree programs with the Cooperative University of Kenya as the awarding institution. This arrangement has worked for many starting universities before they have a charter of their own. For example Uganda Christian University was the awarding institution for Bishop Baraam University and Bishop Stuart University before the universities could have their charters. This means that equally some of the lecturers from Kenya will always come to render their services in Uganda till such a time when Uganda can develop her own human resource to tech at the university.


The Parish Development Model is a vehicle that has been designed to boast household incomes and empower people right from parish level. This wonderful program will require experts and technical people that can handle the program effectively. Such experts can best be produced by a university specialized in training cooperators. Such a university can always carry out studies and scholarly research on why previous initiatives did not succeed. It can also from time to time advise government when it comes to programs that require empowering people

The author is journalist, teacher and a Pan African

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