Limkokwing University Lesotho’s first anniversary celebration

Speech by Tan Sri Lim
21 October 2009

Let me begin by thanking every one who is here to share in this special occasion as we celebrate our first anniversary.

I must thank the Government of Lesotho, especially the Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable Pakalitha Mosisili, and of course, who can overlook the energy and drive of the Honourable Minister of Education and Training Dr Mamphono Khaketla, that gave us the confidence to travel all the way from Malaysia to build this campus.

I thank them for believing in our vision and having confidence in our capability to deliver to Lesotho a new generation of knowledge and creative human capital.

It makes us very happy to know that this University is involved in what I believe to be a time of economic significance for Lesotho because of the transformation process that is taking place on this campus.

The Limkokwing University is here in Lesotho because we admire the determination of this country to lift itself into a new future.

In Lesotho we see the opportunity to bring change to Africa. We are not an ordinary learning centre and we never have been conventional.

Since inception we have been pushing education up the value chain and driving innovation as a force of change in education.

In Malaysia we changed people’s perceptions about creative education.

In the United Kingdom, we have been described as “a wake-up call” to conventional British education.

From Korea to Russia we have been described as “a bold new vision”.

Today the creative industry has expanded into new ventures where the country has grown to become the top three most popular destinations in the world for shared services and outsourcing.

Many of our graduates are providing the knowledge and skills in web publishing, animation, product innovation, design, multimedia services and other new forms of entrepreneurial pursuits that were unheard of 10 years ago.

I can see the same thing happening in Lesotho. There is so much creativity in this place. It is a matter of gathering the creative energy and channeling it in the right direction.

Believe me when I say that the results will be astonishing and the world will come to know Lesotho for the new ideas that will be generated out of this country through a new generation of creatively and technologically empowered Basotho.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It seems just like yesterday that we had many of you here to witness the opening of this campus in October 2008.

How the months have whizzed past us and here we are celebrating our first year in Maseru with Basotho who are already making great progress in being empowered.

I have been keeping track with the progress made by our Basotho students this past year and I know for certain that they will make a difference to Lesotho.

I know they will contribute to build a new future for Lesotho, and the African continent.

But like all good things one must be patient to let the seeds that are now sprouting new shoots in this campus, to grow into sturdy plants and then into tall trees before you can harvest the fruits that they will bear.

And when they do the whole of Lesotho will benefit.

As I have said before, this University is not just about getting the skills and the learning to graduate with Degrees and Diplomas.

It is much more than that. This campus is purposefully built, with motivating messages and stimulating information. The whole place is designed to excite a young person to thirst for knowledge and ignite a desire to achieve excellence in whatever he or she does.

This campus is designed to build confidence in individuals and empower them with the skills to use the tools of new media technology to visualize the ideas that they have in their mind.

Ideas that they wish to share with the rest of the nation in how issues can be addressed, vital sectors can be innovated, and new dimensions in wealth creation can be promoted.

This campus is digitally equipped in a way that makes it the most hi-tech university campus in the whole of Lesotho.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have always believed that education cannot be a rigid template of how young people should acquire their learning.

It cannot be seen as sacrosanct and preserved for its sacred traditions.

Education, to me, is a living thing, fluid and mobile. It must be constantly reviewed, updated and made relevant to the changes that the world is undergoing.

Failure to recognize this fact is to doom the country as others race to stay in the front.

And the gap that separates the leaders from the followers grows wider by the day with each new discovery and every innovation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The past one year has been devoted to changing the mindset of our Basotho students to think creatively, to become computer-savvy and to be web-savvy so that they become a part of the global community.

Through the Laptop Empowerment Programme we have engaged our students in the use of new media technology, fuelling their desire to explore and experiment and most of all to connect with the wider world.

This is a programme that is unique to this campus, to this country and to this continent.
We have done to for a number of compelling reasons.

Firstly, if Basotho youths are to contribute to build this nation they need to know how fast the world is changing.

They need to know how rapidly and accurately they need to respond to be able to take advantage of opportunities arising worldwide.

They need to understand the competition they are facing.

This makes a great difference to how they study and what they learn.

I believe we have started well. I must congratulate our Basotho students on their dedication and perseverance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I must point out the pertinent fact that this campus is being run by mostly Basotho faculty and staff and I am certain they have learnt a lot along the way. I must thank them for the sacrifices they have made and in looking after the students. They have done well.

With that let me conclude by once again thanking every one for being here today and I would like to wish everyone another successful year ahead.

Thank you