A few months ago, the Islamic University In Uganda Kampala Campus (IUIU KC) appointed Dr. Ahmed Kasule Twaha as the new director after transferring the former director Dr. Matovu Musa to Mbale Campus for another post.
Dr. Kasule has been hailed by several students and staff as a result-oriented man and a person of his word. The Lens Media had a chat with him over his life, career, and parentage.
Childhood and Parentage
Born in 1975, Dr. Kasule grew up in Mende, Wakiso district with his father and mother, Ahmed Mukasa and Sarah Mukasa Kalema respectively. He came from a strong Muslim family where salah was a must.
When his tongue learned to tailor words, he used it to praise Allah and built himself up as a strong Muslim believer. Like any child, Kasule was very stubborn. He laughs at some of his childhood days. He says he was a pain for his mother who always chased him around with canes. He says, “I was a stubborn child. My mother used to fight a lot with me.”
Like anyone has got funny moments in his childhood, he recalls two funny childhood moments and bursts out in laughter.
“I remember when I was very young, my elder brother, Mustafa, used to call me and other children, to go and eat some of the food he had saved for us during Ramadan. Then we came out of the bush and pretended that we were still fasting. Out of 30 days, we used to fast only ten genuine days. The other moment was that day when I was supposed to wash my clothes but a kadodi dance group passed by our homestead. I left my clothes and followed the group to about 7 miles away from home. I had no shirt but just a short pair of trousers. When I came back home, my mother gave me a heavy beating,” he narrates and laughs.
Kasule attended Nakaswa Primary School, Mende Kalema Secondary School, and Kawempe Muslim Secondary School for his primary and secondary levels. He got his Bachelor of Science In Economics Degree from Makerere University(1999) on a government scholarship, a masters degree in Arts In Economic Policy and Management from Makerere(2005) on a World Bank sponsorship, and did his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Malaysia (2011-2015)
Kasule’s brain got the boiling it deserved as early as possible. He loved solving mathematical equations and calculating a lot. Perhaps this is why he has managed to equip himself with a lot of economic and statistical jargons. Five minutes will not go by before he drops in one.
Career and hustle
As soon as he had attained his first graduation crown from the hill of Makerere, he was called to fill up an administrative position at Kibuli Hospital. In 2003, he went for his master’s degree and left the position.
After the master’s degree, he was immediately appointed the Administrative Assistant in charge of Academics at IUIU KC. After one year, he became the Assistant Academic Registrar up to 2011.
He then went for his Ph.D. in Economics which he finished in 2015 and came back to IUIU KC as an Economics lecturer under Islamic Banking and Finance. In 2017, he was appointed the deputy director at IUIU KC. He resigned in December 2019 and took up a lecturing role at Kabale University. He was then appointed the director at IUIU KC in 2021.
He testifies that he has never applied for any job but has always been called to take up one because people trust him. The doctorate holder has been at IUIU for almost 17 years.
“For the greater part of my life in working, I have been here at IUIU. It’s been about 17 years now. The only breaks have been study leaves…,” he says.
Challenges and Achievements
Dr. Kasule is proud of being part of the Al-Hidaya Foundation, an Islamic-based organization that counsels and grooms the youth into morally and economically productive people. Through this, he has managed to do Dawa work and he is hopeful that his rewards are with Allah.
From the long journey in academics, he has managed to reach the top level in the education system and he is happy about it. He has built himself financially that his children go to the schools he pleases and can sleep in any house he desires.
Despite being an expert in economics, has had some setbacks in business. He recalls the bad days.
“Like any person, I have had a lot of challenges. I remember when I sold property to invest in a certain business. It worked out for the first year but failed after four years. The money was about Shs.60m and I lost all of it,” he laments.
The economist did not have any challenges in school fees, his brain won him sponsorships.
Expert Analysis On The Education System Today
The Economist feels that the education sector has been watered down following privatization and profit orientation. He argues that profit-oriented private institutions have forced the sector to break down the would-be course units into independent programs.
“In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the government allowed privately sponsored students and as well as private universities. This has changed education from being highly competitive to a monetized kind of system. Top programs were for those high performers and now everyone can do them. This is why we have many jobless graduates who do not have skills. Course units have been made programs and the value of specializing in something has been watered down…,” he says.
The economic expert warns that if profit orientation continues to bite up the education sector, the country will continue to have jobless graduates and programs that do not have any value.
Future Plans For IUIU KC
“Alhamdulillah, I have been part of this campus story. I have got a memory of where it came from. I know the whole history and that’s helpful to me…,” he talks about his bond with IUIU KC.
He plans to construct a large library for the campus, build more hostels for the medical students and increase the student population.
“We still have an infrastructure deficit. We need a fast class library. My students are sitting all over the place, under trees, and in their cars because there is no bigger library to accommodate all of them. We are working together with the Rector to achieve this. We also want to expand the hostel facilities for the resident students, priority of the medical students and to increase student population at the campus to about 6000 in five years…,” the doctorate holder says.
He also hints that he wants to put up a Center for Capacity Development, where a student is not only intellectually able but also morally and skillfully capable.
He advises his students to be focused, committed, and dedicated to their targets as well as being disciplined and hardworking.
“Always have a target, focus, and be committed to it. Be hardworking and result-oriented and have discipline. I am that kind of person. When I work, I produce results and I think that’s one of the reasons people like me…,” he says.