In a heartfelt gesture of appreciation, African Rural University Vice Chancellor – Dr. Mwalimu Musheshe Ashoka Fellow, has expressed gratitude to the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for honoring   Uganda Rural Development Training Programme’s (URDT) transformative work in the region.

This follows the latest award given to him by Kabalega Foundation at the Hoima Resort Hotel on March 30th, 2024 to mark the 100th anniversary of Omukama Cwa II Kabalega. Mr. Lwanga Athony Claret, ARU’s Academic Registrar, presented the award to Dr. Mwalimu this morning during the foundation course at ARU Campus.

Upon receiving the Award, Dr Mwalimu Musheshe, noted that this is a great gesture of appreciation for the work URDT has been doing in Bunyoro Kingdom for over 30 Years

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“When we came to Kagadi, then under Hoima District, in 1987, we envisioned a new development approach that would transform Bunyoro for years to come. Therefore, we employed the visionary approach centered on ‘Epicentre strategy’ working from the grassroots, village by village. This strategy ignited sustainable. Unlike other programmes that centered on awareness, we focused on capacity building.

We have a system of pathways for transformation including African Rural University, the first all-women university in the region, and other URDT schools that employ the unique two-generation approach.

We launched Kagadi. Kibaale Community Radio (KKCR) and formed the KKK company to improve infrastructure, particularly roads, facilitating movement and trade. We also championed decentralization, bringing services directly to the people.

Recognizing the past conflicts like people eating fellow humans, we actively participated in peacebuilding programs.

As a testament to our work, we were awarded a medal in 2013 during the golden jubilee celebration and Rotary Club also recognized our work.

We’re already in 20 districts and continue   expanding. Our pan African view is that we should support each other to be self-reliant’’ added Dr. Mwalimu

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“We observed that many programs are for awareness and don’t build capacity. We have a lot of wealth but people are sleeping on it that’s why we say let’s wake them up. Because they’re are the biggest resources, they can tap on other resources. We have a system of pathways for teaching and educating people like schools, university, radio. All are means to enable us to effect education. That’s why when we educate people, we send them to villages to create conditions. Africa is still dependent on China instead of building our own capacity that’s why we are targeting young people. It’s young people with energy and hope that’s why we’re in 20 districts. Our pan African view is that we should support each other to be self-reliant.”

URDT’s Holistic Approach to Development

Since its inception, URDT has made significant strides. As of 2023 alone, the URDT through Young Africa Works program in Partnership with Master Card Foundation has successfully equipped a staggering 40,000 young people with the skills they need to secure dignified work. This aligns perfectly with the Young Africa Works initiative, a pan-African movement aiming to create 25 million jobs for youth across the continent by 2025.

URDT also continues to promote Ecosystem restoration in all its programmes through consciousness raising and emphasizing co-existence with nature for the better of the globe 

This work is done by ARU Graduates known as Rural Transformation Specialists / Epicentre Managers

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