Uganda's oldest university on Tuesday awarded Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki an honorary doctorate degree for his pan-African service and steady leadership in the region.
At a colorful ceremony held here, Kibaki was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa degree of Makerere University for his promotion of regional social welfare and freedom.
"I sincerely thank Makerere University for the honor bestowed upon me today. I wish to accept with great humility the Doctor of Laws Degree (Honoris Causa) of Makerere University," said Kibaki, who graduated with a first-class degree at the 82-year-old institution in 1955.
"This event is truly memorable to me. It triggers a deep sense of nostalgia of the many wonderful days I studied and lectured at this institution. Makerere is where my academic and intellectual foundations were laid," he added.
The Kenyan leader said many of his leadership skills were natured at Makerere University.
"Fifty two years after my departure from Makerere, I reflect with gratitude on my long career, starting here as an academic, continued into politics and public service in Kenya, and culminated in my election by the people of Kenya as their President," he said.
The University Council, the highest decision making body of the university, on December 8, 2011 adopted a proposal to honor Kibaki in recognition of his contribution to public service at national, regional and international levels in areas of academic excellence, political, social and economic reforms.
According to the Council, Kibaki has distinguished himself as a visionary statesman who has tirelessly promoted social welfare and freedom in Kenya and the region.
Kibaki graduated from Makerere in 1955 with a first class Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, history and political science.
He taught at the university as an assistant lecturer in the department of economics in 1958 for two years before returning to Kenya to become an executive officer of the Kenya African National Union party.
The awards ceremony was attended by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, government officials, dignitaries from Kenya and university officials .
Other personalities who have been awarded the prestigious honorary degree at the institution before include Museveni, Benjamin Mkapa, former Tanzanian president, and former Tanzanian vice president Rashid Mfaume Kawawa.