At the ceremony in which they received the award and which coincided with the 36th anniversary of the UBI, Orlando António Quilambo, dean of Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique), and Orlando Manuel José Fernandes da Mata, dean of Mandume ya Ndemufayo University (Angola), left the common idea that, more than a recognition, this award will work as a motivation to continue to develop projects in favor of education.
During the speech, Orlando António Quilambo highlighted that the award of the title marks a "unique moment" in his academic life, and reaffirmed his commitment to continue to make his contribution to the development of higher education.
"I assume this title with the conviction that this recognition increases and expands my responsibility to continue to participate in the agenda of higher education development at regional, national and international levels", he said.
Stressing that many of the current challenges of higher education and society in general will not be solved in isolation, Orlando António Quilambo also highlighted the role that cooperation should play in the task of continuing to improve higher education in Portuguese-speaking institutions.
"Our commitment must be to build an agenda that allows for closer cooperation and the exchange of experience between universities," he said.
Quilambo reasoned that the language and the common historical heritage between Angola, Mozambique and Portugal "can constitute a safe bridge to reach the desired destination".
The idea of cooperation was also stressed in the speech by the rector of the Mandume ya Ndemufayo University, Orlando Manuel José Fernandes da Mata, who began by emphasizing the importance of granting the highest degree awarded by the UBI.
"This distinction will become a mark, an indelible reference in my career, as an academic and a citizen", he said.
The Angolan rector also highlighted that the distinction is presented as another motivation to continue defending higher education.
"I assume here that this prestigious distinction will not represent a crossing of arms, a cutting of the goal. On the contrary, it becomes a motivation for us to continue to dedicate attention, effort and dedication to the mission of continuing to raise higher education in Angola and in the Lusophone space", he said.
The cooperation between Portugal and Angola and the extension of these partnerships to the training of young people was another aspect he addressed, having cited some of the ideas transmitted by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on a visit to that country.
"The commitment to dialogue and cooperation is the way to achieve success in our academic mobility plans", he said.
In the same vein, the rector of UBI, Mário Raposo, underlined that the decision to award the Honoris Causa to these two "top figures in the Angolan and Mozambican university world" symbolizes "the cooperation and cooperation to be had between UBI and the universities Portuguese-speaking Africans".
The Portuguese rector stated that, in recent years, UBI has become one of the Portuguese universities with the highest percentage of African students and pointed out the importance of the strategic partnership established with the Government of Angola, as well as the fact that this cooperation has been extended to Cape Verde, Guinea, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe, which also made it possible to "reinforce academic cooperation ties" with Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP).