‘Apart From Weapons, We Also Need Administration &Planning Skills’! Museveni Launches Uganda’s Multibillion National Defence College
By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned the Uganda National Defense College, located at Naminya, Njeru Town Council in Buikwe district.
Museveni also commissioned the college governing council and opened the inaugural course 1/2022 with an enrollment of 18 UPDF officers.
Speaking at the launch, Museveni described the National Defense College as one of its kind and an apex of military learning if well utilized.
“You army leaders, if you understand the significance of training, you will have a very good force which has no fear, which is friendly to the people and can achieve any mission given to them because training brings knowledge and dispels ignorance. There’s no reason why you should fear even on the battlefield,” Museveni said.
“This new institution is the apex of military learning as its training brings knowledge and dispels ignorance. It will focus on training leaders to also lead people with a demeanor of no fear, yet with friendliness to the people, and effectively achieving any given mission,” he added
Museveni further noted that whereas they might be good at fighting with weapons, the army also needs to be backed up with administration and planning skills which the staff college has come to solve.
“You must now have the capacity to deal with strategic defense issues affecting the whole country and the whole war situation in case there’s a war. To have the capacity to see the starting point of a conflict and the possible end of that conflict from A to Z,” he said.
He urged officers to understand that the capacity depends on other strategic factors; the size of the economy, the morale of the people, the infrastructure, the diplomacy, the geostrategic situation in a given area.
“You can now command the battle by combining all the defense systems in the country, you have that capacity to lead an integrated operation – infantry, artillery, airforce, navy and so on in a coordinated way,” he added.
The Chief of Defense Forces Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi said the college will help the country save a lot of money, the force has been injecting in to facilitate its officers abroad for training in countries like South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, the US and the UK among others.
“This course in Kenya costs $69,000 per person per year, in Tanzania we have been paying $55,000 per person per year. Here we have made an estimate, we think we will spend $15,000 on each of these students with the advantage of training many at the same time. This means on training in Kenya, we will be saving $54,000 and $40,000 on training Tanzania,” Mbadi said.
According to the College Commandant Maj General Francis Okello, the college’s two-year academic program has been condensed into 48 weeks (11 months), at the end of which participants will be awarded post-graduate diplomas.
Participants who meet the criteria for joining the master’s program at the university will undertake an academic program leading to the award of the degree of master of the security strategy of Makerere University.
“Your Excellency, I wish to report that the NDC has successfully completed the affiliation process to Makerere University. The National Council of Higher Education too is in the final stages of accrediting the program of the college. These two processes grant us international recognition,” Maj Gen Okello said.
He said two programs are currently running including Post Graduate Diploma in National Security Studies and a Masters in Security Strategy taught by Makerere University.
The course covers areas of policy formulation and analysis, strategic leadership, strategic planning and management, political economy, national and regional security studies, international relations, peace and security studies, and defense resource management among others.
The ceremony was attended by among others Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, Minister of State for Higher Education John Muyingo, Defense attaches from Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Sudan, senior army officers, and the district leaders of Buikwe.