The Vice-Chancellor, Muteesa I Royal University (MRU) was part of a delegation of the Greater Masaka Consortium, led by the Chairman, Masaka District and Greater Masaka Consortium, Mr Jude Mbabali, which visited Sichuan Province of China and specifically Deyang and Chengdu cities, and Sichuan College of Architectural Technology (SCAT). SCAT is one of the leading Universities in China in the field of Engineering solutions, particularly in major water supply and drainage engineering technology, as well as advanced Engineering advancements, for instance, cable stayed bridges. It is noteworthy that MRU, Masaka Campus (formerly Masaka Technical College) has also been the bastion of Engineering solutions in Greater Masaka over many decades. We seek to restore this glory.

A high level meeting, chaired by his Excellency, the President of SCAT cordially received our delegation on the evening of 22nd October 2019. Our cooperation with Sichuan College sought to develop partnerships in revision of some of our Engineering course structures, remodel and incorporate modern approaches from Sichuan College, so as to improve the quality of Engineering graduates our University produces. Support particularly in Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, by way of lecturer and student exchange, and training of technicians in latest technology, which would in turn be transferred to our students was the focus of our discussions. Environmental Science is another area in which   SCAT College of Architecture and Environment specialises in. Consequently, collaboration in Environmental studies also featured strongly in the areas where exchange programmes could be developed between MRU and SCAT. We had the opportunity to interact with students from South Africa based at SCAT, who are part of the China-Africa exchange programme.

Sichuan Province is one of the leading agricultural areas in China. We had the opportunity to meet the Director of Deyang Municipal Bureau of Agriculture, Mr Guoji Zhang and Deputy Director, Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr Zhang Xiaoqiang. On the strength of the Diploma and Degree programmes in Agriculture developed at MRU, collaboration arrangements with Sichuan College of Agriculture were discussed. Both Directors arranged a tour, where an integration between Information Technology (IT) and Agriculture was showcased to the delegation. Smartphone apps which entail just a push of a phone button to activate automatic irrigation of a selected agricultural demarcation was demonstrated. This is one of the areas where our IT students can develop apps to automate specific operations in either manufacturing industry or agricultural land.  Value addition agroprocessing factories, using raw materials like ground nuts and soya beans were also showcased on this trip.

We are very grateful for the utmost courtesy extended by the Chinese people and welcome the appreciation by his Excellency, the President of SCAT for the proposed cooperation to pave the way for concretising arrangements of how to quickly actualize the fruits of the cooperation between MRU and SCAT and pledge the highest consideration by the management of Muteesa I Royal University.

I thank you.

Ssaabasajja Kabaka Awangaale.

Prof Vincent Kakembo