Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu, the Ambassador of Uganda to Sudan, who is also designate to the Kingdom of Morocco, the State of Eritrea, and Chad, had an exclusive meeting with Uganda Foreign Students at the International University of Africa, Sudan, on November 24, 2022.
The students were handed over to the ambassador by the university’s head of external relations, Professor Taj Adin Bashir Niyam.
While welcoming the Ambassador, the Chairman of the Uganda Student’s Union, Mr. Ssenyonga Abdul Aziz, thanked the Uganda Embassy in Khartoum for always being there for the Ugandan students in Sudan by being available to listen to their concerns and relaying them to relevant authorities.
He noted that the perineal problems students face at the moment include an unpredictable increase in the cost of the resident permit fee (stay visas) for students as well as exit visas after finishing school, a lack of medical insurance, delays and costs associated with the certification of academic credentials after graduation, and delays in printing students’ academic transcripts after graduation.
Other problems that the students presented to the Ambassador to help them seek creative solutions included the need for post-graduation practical skills training, mentorship and grooming placement, and passport renewal without the need to travel back to Uganda.
In his address to the students, Ambassador Ssemuddu encouraged them to stick together, be united in their solidarities, and above all, remain patriotic to their home country, irrespective of their tribal or political background or affiliation at home.
He told them to be good ambassadors for Uganda by maintaining high moral standards and good ethical conduct both on campus and whenever they reach out to Sudanese communities.
Dr. Ssemuddu encouraged the students to focus on furthering their careers by emulating him, who went up to the PhD level because of focus, determination, dedication, and resilience.
He discouraged them from undermining or allowing anyone to despise their education in an Afro-Arab setting with an emphasis on Islamic doctrine, as this foundation will work to their advantage.
“I have been found most suited, qualified, and trusted by the leadership at home to the extent of being appointed Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) as well as Uganda’s Ambassador to a number of countries. “No one should therefore despise or undermine them for studying in the Islamic Arab Republic of Sudan but should take pride in their religion and use the good principles adapted in Islam to prove to Uganda the positive values of Islamic tenets and education,” Ambassador Ssemuddu said.
He implored the students to offer sacrifice and voluntary services in their area of profession after graduation in order to gain experience, create networks, and be initiated into the world of employment.
According to him, it is not healthy to focus only on rewarding employment without experience immediately after graduation, but it’s important that you sacrifice by offering your services freely as a means of selling or advertising your skills strategically in preparation for gainful employment opportunities.
The Uganda Student Union female chair, Namubiri Jalilah, requested the ambassador to help them convey a message to their parents back home regarding the comprehension and understanding of their situation, the limited package of their scholarship, which unlike in the past, the situation in Sudan at the moment is not up-to-date, and besides, the scholarship offer does not cover some of the hidden costs such as processing residence status, a mandatory medical checkup that is a pre-requisite for student visas and maintenance of residency in Sudan, the degree certification fee, etc.
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Rashid Yahya Ssemuddu was accompanied to the meeting by the officer responsible for consular, diaspora, and education affairs, MDickson Ogwang, who is the Head of Chancery at the Uganda Embassy in Khartoum.
Dr. Ssemuddu promised to return to the students in a reasonable time to give them feedback on a number of issues raised during the meeting after contacting relevant authorities both at the government and university levels.