Limkokwing Botswana Graduation October 2012

Address by Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Limkokwing, President of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology Worldwide at the Class of 2012 Convocation, Gaborone – 10 October 2012
10 October 2012

Distinguished guests, Your Excellencies, Members of the council, parents of all graduands, Class of 2012, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by welcoming and thanking each and every one for being here to share in this occasion. We feel deeply privileged that you have set aside time to be with us.

Today, we are joined by several very distinguished guests. Words will not adequately express my gratitude for their show of support and encouragement for this University and our graduating students.

On behalf of every parent, every graduand may I extend a warm welcome to The Honourable Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, who is here as our Occasional Speaker.

May I also acknowledge the presence of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Social Security of the Kingdom of Swaziland and the Honourable Minister of Communications, Science and Technology of the Kingdom of Lesotho, who are here to witness the graduation of their children.

By your presence, you have made this convocation a very special occasion. Memories of this day will stay with us for years to come.

Allow me now to thank our industry partners for the encouragement you have extended to the University and our students. They are better equipped for the future because of you.

Class of 2012,

We are gathered here to celebrate your success. You now join the many Limkokwing alumni who are making a difference in a hundred and sixty countries across the world. May I extend to each and everyone of you my warmest congratulations.

It has been a privilege having you with us. The booming energy and unique sense of creativity that you have brought to the campus will be missed with your departure. This campus will not be the same again.

Class of 2012,

In your time here, you have won awards and broken records. You have become known to industry as practical innovators and for your sense of creativity. You have endeared yourselves to many through your work for charity. In many ways, you have become role models to many in this country. We are proud of you.

Ladies and gentlemen,

But there can be no doubt the proudest people here must be the parents. I congratulate and thank you for being who you are. If not for you, we will not be celebrating here today.

I know you will recall the day when your children left home on their own to begin school, how you had to help them pack their bags and put on their shoes.

That may seem like just yesterday, but it would have been some fifteen years or more. Your children have come a long way to graduate today.

I want to thank you for allowing us to share in that journey. I also want you to know that your children have worked hard to be here today. Because we have not made it easy for them, you should be so proud of them.

Class of 2012,

“The future is now in your hands” is the theme for this year’s convocation.

As we know it, the future is simply the empty space of time that lies ahead of us. That space of time is now in your hands. What you do with it today will determine where you will be tomorrow.

Every step you take will either move you closer to your dreams or take you further away from them. It stands to reason that the earlier you decide where you want to be, the sooner you will get there.

Class of 2012,

The future will always be defined by people who have the tenacity to succeed no matter what the odds may be.

In reaching beyond the ordinary, they achieve extraordinary success. And in so doing, they transform countries and societies, and change the way of life of people across the continents and around the world.

These are people who will move mountains if mountains are getting in the way. These are people we should want to emulate.

Class of 2012,

You are coming of age at a time when the world is going through its most dramatic transformation.

To say the future is about change is under-stating the obvious. The reality is that change is happening at a pace faster than we can imagine.

In medicine, bioengineered tissue will one day soon be used to regenerate damaged body parts. This will allow people to stay healthy way beyond a hundred and fifty years.

In transportation, cars are being designed that one day soon will allow the blind to drive.

In technology, one day soon you can turbo-charge your brains to think faster and further than you can imagine.

In communication, smart phones are being designed that one day soon will be all you need to run a business anywhere on planet earth.

In education, one day soon, smart tablets and smart phones will replace the classrooms.

One day soon, those who don’t like crowded places may go to the moon for a really quiet out-of-this-world honeymoon.

Class of 2012,

Young people just like you have been at the forefront of all recent ground-breaking innovations.

The people who created Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter were no older than you when they set out to create their footprints. In creating those giant footprints, they reduced the world to the size of a smart phone.

In creating those incredible stations in Cyberspace, they changed the world in ways that were beyond imagination.

From you I expect nothing less in the way that you will make your mark in this country. The footprints you will create may not be as large as the ones I have mentioned, but making ground-breaking footprints is what I expect that you will do. You are well equipped to succeed.

Africans are already outpacing the entire world in embracing the power of the Internet and social media.

Africans are the most dynamic on Facebook and among the most active on Twitter.

By 2040, Africa is expected to overtake China and India with the largest and youngest workforce in the world.

Botswana is one of Africa’s most glittering success stories. It holds the record as the world’s most sustained and strongest economic growth over the last four decades. It is the world’s largest diamond-producing country.

Botswana is consistently ranked among the most peaceful and business-friendly countries in Africa.

Botswana has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa.

But Botswana must now embark on rapid transformation to keep pace with other countries that are rapidly transforming through creativity and innovation.

Right here in Botswana, we have the opportunity to build a regional technology and innovation hub.

Right now in Botswana, you are the best equipped to drive the transformation that must take place; that is clearly identified in Botswana’s Vision 2016.

Class of 2012,

This is your time, and here is your space.

The future will always be shaped and designed by how we think and what we do. The ability to design the future is now in your hands. Use it well and you will make possible what simply seems impossible today.

Botswana may be small country, but that is no reason why you should not be making the biggest footprints in the African continent. You have the skills to make that happen.

Class of 2012,

As you move on, you will look back to remember the people who have lifted you up whenever you were feeling down, those who have walked alongside you whenever you needed someone by your side.

These are your brothers and sisters, your classmates and close friends, lecturers and instructors. To them you will always show kindness and gratitude.

Most of all, you will forever remember the unwavering love and never ending patience of your parents. You know how much they will do just to see you happy. You know how far they will go just to keep you close. You know how much sacrifice they will make just so you may succeed.

Upon your irreplaceable parents, you will forever shower love and affection.

Class of 2012,

May this journey that you have started with us take you to the tops of your worlds, and the most exciting places of the world. May your futures be filled with the most inspiring success stories.

Just you remember this, no matter how far away from us you may be, we will be here watching and applauding your every achievement.

You will always be a part of us. We will always be with you. This will always be your home.

On that note, and on behalf of all of us, I bid you farewell, and extend to you our very best wishes. May God bless you and keep you safe.