Connect with us

General

Kabanyolo hosts first collaborative GMO Biosafety Risk Assessment Training Workshop

Published

on

It was a sunny Friday afternoon at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Makerere University Kampala , Kabanyolo campus where applause accompanied the jovial award ceremony as participants from eleven countries in Africa (including Uganda) received their certificates of participation.

It was a sunny Friday afternoon at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Makerere University Kampala , Kabanyolo campus where applause accompanied the jovial award ceremony as participants from eleven countries in Africa (including Uganda) received their certificates of participation.

The five day workshop running from 19th to 23rd October 2009 under the theme “Introduction to GMO Biosafety Risk Assessment” saw participants cover topics on biosafety in a legal and regulatory context, with emphasis on Africa; the authorization process; risk analysis and problem formulation; assessment and management of identified risks to humans and the environment; agricultural biotechnological techniques; experimental design; and management of quarantine facilities.

 Participants and trainers of the 1st collaborative ICGEB+BiosafeTrain workshop

 The workshop was the result of a collaboration between BiosafeTrain and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB www.icgeb.org). Speaking on behalf of BiosafeTrain,  Dr. Gabor L. Lovei, the Project Leader based at Aarhus University, Denmark emphasized that Africa can only be independent of external influence if it has the capacity to develop its own biotechnological capability through equipping scientists working in national research institutions and biosafety regulatory officials with practical skills.

ICGEB+Biosafe Train workshop session in Kabanyolo BiosafeTrain (www.biosafetrain.dk) is a DANIDA-funded Enhancement of Research Capacity (ENRECA) project that assists East African countries to make informed, responsible decisions about the adoption of transgenic plants by enhancing their capacity in the area of biosafety and ecological impact assessment. BiosafeTrain collaborates with scientists from the University of Nairobi and Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in Kenya, Makerere University in Uganda, University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and Aarhus and Copenhagen Universities in Denmark.

 Dr. Lovei further expounded on the three pillars through which Biosafe Train aims at improving biotechnical capacity

 a)      To develop and improve infrastructural capacity and upgrade existing biosafety or biotechnology facilities. These facilities will i.e. Green houses and laboratories will have multiple uses and better guarantee from training sustainability even after the project concludes. So far these include

i)                    Renovation and reequipping of an Insect Proof Laboratory at Kabanyolo

ii)                   Laboratory and glasshouse construction in Kenya and Tanzania

b)      Offer MSc and PhD fellowships in Biosafety with joint African- Danish supervision at local universities and perform relevant research projects locally. The project started in December 2004 and is currently in its second phase. The expected duration is 9-12 years by which time the collaborating countries will have trained personnel, protocols and facilities that enable them to fulfill their obligations under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. So far 19 scholarships have been awarded (13 MSc, 6 PhD) to students from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

c)      Offer either general or specialized short-term training courses according to needs identified. So far, the project held 6 such courses in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Niger, for students, scientists, and regulatory organizations.

Dr. Dennis Ndolo Obonyo, a Biosafety Specialist representing ICGEB, and based in its Cape Town component, spelled out the Centre’s philosophy regarding the products of modern biotechnology – which is to provide scientifically- and technically-sound unbiased information to nationals and governments of its Member States.

Last year, the ICGEB was awarded a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help support the development of effective safety and regulatory systems for biotechnology in sub-Saharan Africa. Working primarily out of its new Cape Town facility, the ICGEB-Gates biosafety capacity building project is enhancing national GMO regulatory capacity by using a four-pronged approach:

  1. Organising practical training workshops, with the recently concluded Kampala chapter being the inaugural one. There are four more such training workshops planned for 2010 and two in 2011.
  2. Offering 1-year MSc “Risk Assessment of GM Crops” fellowships. So far, six fellowships have been awarded at the University of Aberystwyth (UK) and another five are available for next year. The fellowships target mainly individuals whose roles impact directly on biosafety regulatory systems and scientific advisory committees.
  3. Offering short-term (1-2 years) research fellowships, which address issues pertinent to the regulation of genetically modified crops on the continent by generating scientific information relevant to regulatory advisory bodies in sub-Saharan Africa.
  4. Funding the participation of scientists and regulators in regional and international biosafety conferences.

 In his concluding remarks, Dr. Obonyo emphasised that the project is driven by a bottom-up approach where project activities are responsive to locally-identified needs of scientists and representatives of National Competent Authorities (NCAs) in the region. Therefore, the project is keen to work with key biosafety initiatives in the region and aims at ultimately having a pool of stakeholders well-trained in biosafety aspects of key relevance to the region.

 Insect proof laboratory in Kabanyolo

 Noting some experiences from the recently concluded training, Dr. Lovei was glad that participants had realized the importance of experimental design and how to handle research data. He also reckoned that it was a good discussion group as it consisted of half students and half trainers with senior experience in the biotechnology field. He also identified the need to modify the training content with each proceeding training course seeing as the biotechnology field is evolving very fast.

Finally, as an ecologist for the last 30 years, Gabor couldn’t help but observe that ecology has an important role to play in the spread of GMOs and biotechnology noting that GMOs will unavoidably have to share an environment with indigenous species.

 Images courtesy of BiosafeTrain

 

Continue Reading

General

Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

Published

on

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

Continue Reading

General

Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

Published

on

Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

Continue Reading

General

Notice: Makerere Disability Scheme 2022/23 Medical Review Exercise

Published

on

One of the PWD graduands at the 69th Graduation during the Session held on 17th January 2019.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites persons with disability who applied for admission to public universities under the disability entry scheme for 2022/2023 Academic Year to appear for medical/review exercise at Makerere Unive, Senate Building, Level Two (2) in the Telepresence Centre.

NOTE: Only those who have the minimum entry requirements of at least two principal passes at A’ Level or its equivalent and at least five (5) passes at O’ Level or its equivalent will be interviewed.

 Only candidates who sat ‘a’ level in 2020, 2019 and 2018 are eligible for admission.

THE EXERCISE WILL BE CONDUCTED ON 3rd, 4th and 5th October, 2022 respectively from 9.00 A.M – 1.00 P.M each day.

IMPORTANT:

(i) If you fail to appear on any of the given days above, there will be no other chance for you.

(ii) Applicants with Government Scholarship for the previous years are not eligible for admission

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH

Acting. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

Continue Reading

Trending