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LIS Academic Debate underlines importance of information

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“The problem is not Museveni. People have misconstrued the problems of Uganda to a mere individual. This is due to lack of information.” Kahinda Otafiire expressed.

“The problem is not Museveni. People have misconstrued the problems of Uganda to a mere individual. This is due to lack of information.” Kahinda Otafiire expressed.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry together with Prof. J.R. Ikoja Odongo the Director Institute of Psychology and Mr. Aaron Mukwaya a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education were the panelists at the Academic Debate on 7th April 2010. The session was chaired by Prof. Kigongo-Bukenya.

The East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), organized the Library and Information Science Education Week, with one of the activities being an Academic Debate with a topic on “Information as a resource for Democracy and good Governance”.

The gathering of students, staff and well wishers in the EASLIS hall could not have had a better way of spending their Wednesday afternoon than listening to the three panelists, who voiced their concerns and ideas on Information – a topic that many easily sweep under the carpet.

Information is of key importance. It is what the businessman in Kikuubo will rely on to make profits. In governance it is what leaders rely on as a strategic resource in making informed decisions. Information cannot be ignored because it is the focal point on which humanity exists and is able to realize development.

Prof. Ikoja Odongo at the LIS Debate Starting off the debate was Prof. Ikoja who passionately highlighted that without information we are bound to backwardness and are prone to make fundamental mistakes. Information is a resource not just for the educated, but also for the uneducated and illiterate.

He applauded the government that has put up various entities to give people information such as public universities, public libraries and also through statutes like the National Records Act, the Information Act and the Electronic Media Act. These have allowed for the public to acquire and disseminate information freely. Government also transfers information through local council representatives and parliamentarians and also available in various ministries.

Prof. Ikoja however expressed concern on government’s inadequacy to provide information countrywide. He highlighted that there were only twenty public libraries countrywide, leaving over seventy districts without public libraries. “The scope of librarianship also needs to change by introducing indigenous knowledge and the internet. Government should avail sub county chiefs ICT services” he added

Dr. Aaron Mukwaya stresses the essence of informationHowever, Dr. Aaron Mukwaya had a different take on the issue. “Information is not a resource, it is the core! It is the theme! Information does not thrive only in the human world, but in the entire world and its existence” emphasized Dr. Mukwaya. He further said that information collected over a period of time turns into knowledge, values, and cultures among other things.

Dr. Mukwaya aired that many a time, westernized information is vigorously fighting the values of our continent Africa. Case in point; issues debated in the Ugandan parliament such as polygamy and homosexuality are destroying African cultures.

As democracy is a process that is continuously giving people the power, there is need for constant supply of information. Government is the custodian of the people so the onus is upon them to provide the public with information.

Hon. Kahinda Otafiire opened his segment by appreciating that there can be information without democracy but there cannot be democracy without information. “Information is a recollection of incidents that determine interpretation of phenomenon.” Otafiire defined. Information therefore is important for organization and interpreting phenomenon.

Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, Minister of Trade and MP Ruhinda CountyHon. Otafiire expressed that democracy in many African countries is a parasitical relationship that people do not challenge because they are uninformed. “We are enslaved in a culture of politicians telling lies. This has led to the people making wrong decisions endangering democracy.” Otafiire explained. Therefore, there cannot be democracy without information because it is from informed decisions that democracy is achieved.

As a representative of the government at the gathering, Hon. Otafiire was glad to say that the government has played a significant role in availing information to the public for it has seconded electronic media hence the many radio stations in the country, it has given freedom of expression to the citizenry and promoted press. However, he pointed out that as a government, it has the right to regulate how information is processed and in cases where mismanagement of information has been cited, the government has taken it upon itself to put in place measures to keep peace in the country, for example the closing of CBS FM.

To manage and lead people, one must be informed. It is through information that political prejudices are broken hence improving the quality of politics in a country that is thirsty for democracy to prevail. Citing examples from his Ruhinda County constituency, the charismatic Member of Parliament enthused that it was through telling his electorates the truth that he empowered them “So good leaders tell their people the truth!”

 

Panelists pause for a group photo after the debate

The Library and Information Science (LIS) Education Career Week continues with the LIS Symposium on 9th April 2010 from 9:00 to 5:00pm. The theme for the symposium is R-alignment of LIS Education to meet the emerging information management challenges in the Knowledge Society.

Powerpoint presentation of the day. 

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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