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Convocation Caps for The Aga Khan University as Yvonne Okwara, Sam Gituku & Francis Gachuri Graduate

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Convocation Caps for The Aga Khan University as Yvonne Okwara, Sam Gituku & Francis Gachuri Graduate

More than 700 students graduated from Aga Khan Universities around the world on Saturday, marking the institution’s momentous 40th anniversary.  Ezekiel Machogu, the Education Cabinet Secretary, and Princess Zahra Aga Khan presided at the graduation of 159 students at Aga Khan University (AKU) in Nairobi. 

Key attendees at the occasion included Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, and Sulaiman Shahabuddin, President of the Aga Khan University.

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Princess Zahra reported that 2023 had been an excellent year, during which AKU’s progress was demonstrated through various activities. She mentioned the establishment of undergraduate medical education in Nairobi and undergraduate nursing education in both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, aiming to train healthcare leaders for East Africa.

She added that upon graduating, there would be a world filled with daunting challenges but also endless possibilities. She continued to encourage striving with courage and optimism to seize opportunities for serving communities and contributing to a more pluralistic and peaceful world. 

The graduates, more than 60% of whom are women, earned degrees in nursing, medicine, education, and media. 

Yvonne Okwara and Sam Gituku, Citizen TV anchors, received with master’s degrees from Agha Khan University on February 17. The Graduate School of Media and Communication honoured both Gituku and Okwara.

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Other media figures that graduated from the convocation were former Citizen TV anchor Francis Gachuri, investigative journalist and Africa Uncensored co-founder John Allan Namu, and Nation Media Group Editor Zeynab Wandati.

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The School of Media and Communication awarded Zeynab Wandati the Global Award for Sustainability, and Harry Misiko, Nation’s digital editor, graduated first in his class.

Macharia Wamugo, Cape Media Group’s Editorial Director, also holds a Master’s degree in Media Leadership and Innovation. Cape Media operates TV 47, Cape Media Africa, and Radio 47. Ken Macharia and Anthony Irari, former editors of Kenyans.co.ke, were also famous graduates.

Nancy Booker, Associate Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Media and Communications, honours graduates from the Master of Arts in Digital Journalism Programme and the Executive Masters in Media Leadership and Innovation Programme.

Convocation Caps for The Aga Khan University  as Yvonne Okwara, Sam Gituku & Francis Gachuri Graduate
Convocation Caps for The Aga Khan University as Yvonne Okwara, Sam Gituku & Francis Gachuri Graduate

Machogu expressed confidence based on his understanding of what Aga Khan University represents, citing high standards, merit-based access, and societal service during his remarks at the university’s Parklands campus.

Sulaiman Shahabuddin, President and Vice-Chancellor of AKU, described the day as a “crowning moment” for the graduates, noting that the university had granted approximately 20,000 diplomas, degrees, and postgraduate certificates since its founding.

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He described the university’s future intentions in its new five-year strategic plan, which includes the launch of nearly a dozen new degree programmes in subjects ranging from data science to teacher education.

AKU also intends to increase research capacity in mental health, climate change, and other disciplines; expand the AKU health system; strengthen partnerships with public and private institutions at home and abroad; and continue to receive new forms of academic and health care accreditation from leading international organisations. 

AKU marked its 40th anniversary on March 16, 2023. Princess Zahra discussed some of the many accomplishments that have made the institution’s anniversary year one of the most significant in its history. 

She stated that four new academic programmes welcomed their first students, bringing overall enrollment to more than 3,600 for the first time in the university’s history. 

These include the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in Nairobi, the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing programmes in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, and the arts and sciences faculties in Karachi, Pakistan. 

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The Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi has established East Africa’s first complete electronic health records system. Construction on the university’s new 60-acre campus in Uganda has begun, with plans for an academic centre, student accommodation, and a new Aga Khan University Hospital.

In Tanzania, the institution established the Arusha Climate and Environmental Research Centre. Nation Media Group employees were among the graduates honoured for their academic brilliance, environmental conservation, and student leadership, among other achievements.

They included Zeynab Wandati (Distinction in Master of Arts in Digital Journalism and AKU Global Award in Environmental Conservation), Harry Misiko (Distinction in Executive Masters in Media Leadership and Innovation, and Distinction in Student Leadership), and Brian Ocharo (Distinction in Research, Master of Arts in Digital Journalism). 

Emmanuel Waiswa, Caroline Wafula, Sheila Adam, and Sam Barata all excelled at the Executive Masters in Media Leadership and Innovation programme. The Valedictorian, Susan Cheruiyot, stated that AKU instilled in the graduates the value of service.

“Everyone who comes into our lives has a purpose and a season. Seasons will change, and rejection may simply be a redirection. “Be prepared and focused,” she said. 

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The convocation follows a night event on Friday, February 16, with dinner in the Graduate School of Media and Communications property to commemorate the incredible accomplishments.

Convocation Caps for The Aga Khan University as Yvonne Okwara, Sam Gituku & Francis Gachuri Graduate

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