Makerere University has awarded the President of the Republic of Uganda and Visitor, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni with her Outstanding Scholarly Authorship Award. Handed over to him by the Makerere University Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma during the first session of the 69th Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, 15th January 2019, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was recognized for his authorship of Katondoozi, the first ever Thesaurus in the sub-Saharan region.
Katondoozi is a Thesaurus of Runyankore-Rukiga written in an indigenous African language. It is a complete granary for the Runyankore-Rukiga, that shows the richness of a language, by displaying a rich and unique vocabulary. This great and original publication was product of a team of scholarly co-authors, namely, Dr. Gilbert Gumoshabe, Prof. Manuel J.K.Muranga and Ms. Alice N. Muhoozi.
President Museveni is one of the few Africans that have championed the documentation of indigenous languages to ensure their survival, as cultures that face global pressure. His authorship of the book of a magnitude 20,000 words is an eye opener to the entire African community that African languages, cultures and values can be preserved and promoted.
“We have to note that there is no way you can preserve a language if it is not written. This publication can stimulate other writers to publish books in the indigenous languages and these books would be used as references in the education system in order to benefit the future generations,” said Prof Elly N Sabiiti when reading the President’s Citation.
In his acceptance speech, the President thanked Makerere University for recognizing his work. He appreciated his co-authors for doing a great job to ensure that the book is up to standard.
This year 2019, a total of 13,350 students will be awarded degrees and diplomas of Makerere University in various disciplines. Of these, 56 will receive PhDs, 1,254 Masters Degrees and 101 Postgraduate Diplomas, while 11,939 will receive undergraduate diplomas and Bachelors Degrees. 49.7% of the graduands are men and 50.3% are female; and 364 students will be graduating with First Class Honours.