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Nairobi, 12 Feb 10

The Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) on Thursday awarded UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka an honorary doctorate degree.

At a ceremony marking the institution’s 25th anniversary, Mrs. Tibaijuka was awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Social Sciences with Specialization in Social Justice and Human Development.

The citation for the award lauded Mrs. Tibaijuka for her academic achievements as well as commitment to the cause of women and girls. The Executive Director was praised for being an active member of Catholic professionals in her home country, Tanzania, as well as being instrumental in the integration of social teaching of the church.

“She has actively participated in designing and implementing policies that have contributed to the enhancement of justice, human rights, justice and peace drawn from her commitment to the gospel values and Catholic faith and morals,” the citation read.

It said that Mrs. Tibaijuka had been actively involved in the establishment of educational institutions in East Africa, both solely and collectively:

“It is this great Christian educator, mother, defender of human rights, promoter of work ethics, advocate of democratic governance, champion of integral development and model of humility and obedience, that the Catholic University of Eastern Africa wishes to honour at this auspicious occasion of the 25th anniversary of the existence of our esteemed university…in recognition of her enormous contribution and service to the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa, the university and society in general.”

Five other people were awarded honorary degrees during the colourful ceremony held at the Nairobi campus. They were the Archbishop Emeritus of Lusaka Joseph Mazombwe (Sacred Theology with Specialization in Church and Development in the Modern World), Chair of the Electoral Commission of Malawi Lady Justice Anastasia Msosa (Social Sciences with Specialization in Social Justice and Christian Ethics) and Rt. Reverend Paul Kalanda, Bishop Emeritus of Fort Portal in Uganda (Culture, Mission and Evangelization).

The others were the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski (Christian Education) and a posthumous one to Father Cecil McGarry (Christian Education).

In his keynote address, Kenya’s Assistant Minister for Education Mr. Asman Kamama challenged the awardees, especially those from Africa, to use their talent to develop their countries. They should be in the forefront to fight poverty, diseases including HIV/Aids and tribalism, he said.

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