SPEECH BY THE COUNCIL CHAIRPERSON, DR. IBRAHIM M. ALI, DURING THE 3RD GRADUATION CEREMONY OF THE CO-OPERATIVE UNIVERSITY OF KENYA ON FRIDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2018
Chief Guest, Cabinet Secretary Ministry Of Education, Amb. Dr. Amina Mohamed
The cabinet secretary ministry of trade, industry and co-operatives, Hon. Peter Munya
The PS State Department of University Education, Prof. Colleta Suda
The Co-operative University of Kenya Council Members,
The Vice Chancellor of the Co-operative University of Kenya, Prof. Kamau Ngamau
Vice Chancellors of other Universities present
Deputy Vice Chancellors of CUK
Deputy Vice Chancellors of other Universities present
Distinguished guests and leaders of the co-operative movement,
Our 2018 Graduands
Ladies and Gentlemen
First, let me welcome you all to our Main Campus as we celebrate our 3rd Graduation Ceremony since award of Charter and as we celebrate the Class of 2018. I am humbled to convey to you all my warm greetings and those of the entire University Council as well as those of the University Community. We feel highly honored by your presence here today and feel quite appreciated.
Allow me to sincerely congratulate the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kamau Ngamau, on your inauguration today as the 1st Vice Chancellor of the University. The University Council and the entire university is looking at you for extraordinary leadership and your ability to move this institution forward.
In the same vein, I aptly congratulate the CUK Class of 2018 on your graduation today. Your effort has led you to where you are seated today. We are all happy for you and congratulations once again.
Our chief guest, Ladies and gentlemen, it is worth noting that Co-operatives in our own country are a pillar in the Vision 2030. The play a fundamental role in promoting equity and socio-economic development. According to the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), the Co-operative movement brings together over one billion people around the world, and that the livelihood of nearly half of the world’s population is made secure by co-operative enterprises. They provide income, job opportunities and avenues for social and economic development. In Kenya alone, 63% of the population derives their livelihoods from Co-operatives. Furthermore, the co-operative movement generates about 45% of the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP).
As well noted in this year’s Graduation, ‘CUK the Center for the Big 4 Agenda’, we are indeed proud that this university is playing a big role in realization of the Big 4 Agenda plan for the government.
In this regard Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since independence over half a century ago, the quest for University Education has been increasing at an as astounding rate and especially in the last ten (10) years. It is in this realization that The Co-operative University of Kenya is fast positioning itself to increase access to education through expansion of Academic programmes.
My Council is leaving no stone unturned in supporting the University Management board and the senate to ensure that the quality of teaching and research at CUK is top notch. We have completed construction of a state-of-art lecture theatre with a sitting capacity of 2,500 students. We have further increased our degree programmes from 5 programmes, 3 years ago to 17 programmes. We have rolled out 3 Master’s Degree Programmes and I am informed that in May 2019, we are rolling out the 1st PhD program in Co-operative Management.
Allow me to give the assurance of the University Council that this expansion, however, shall not compromise the quality of the education being offered in this university. Our reputation in Cooperative training, research and extension, and the products that we release in the job market compares to none and this we shall save guard and protect at all times.
Our Chief Guest,
We have also expanded our student accommodation facilities within the campus. Nonetheless, let me hasten to note that in this area we are still constrained.
Ladies and gentlemen,
CUK recognizes the fact that higher ethical and professional management standards are demanded for the Co-operative sector to perform better and increase its share of socio-economic contribution. In this regard, the University has called for promotion of an academic center of excellence for the professional development of Human resources for the Co-operative movement both locally and internationally. The then Co-operative College of Kenya was established with that vision in mind. Consequently, my Council shall spare no effort to ensure that this University realizes its mandate.
To achieve its mandate, the University has reviewed and further revised our 2017-2022 strategic plan to fit in the current development trends and government policies and, in particular, the BIG FOUR agenda. We aim to provide practical solutions to endemic problems of Co-operative enterprises in the region and the world over.
I wish to assure the graduands that they have a great opportunity to advance their studies all the way to PhD. However, it is important to remind ourselves that mere pursuit of knowledge without its relevant and productive application to the respective world of work would be a futile effort. Therefore, I further urge you to utilize the knowledge and skills you have acquired in respective work areas, with a view to improving your wellbeing and the economy of this great Nation.
Our graduands, allow me to take this opportunity once again to congratulate you and wish you success in all your future endeavors.
Thank you and God bless you all, God bless The Co-operative University and God Bless Kenya.