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Medicinal plants’ existence and preservation threatened by modern lifestyle

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Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR) presented its report and catalogue to UNATCOM on the findings of the project on preservation of medicinal plants for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR) presented its report and catalogue to UNATCOM on the findings of the project on preservation of medicinal plants for poverty reduction and sustainable development.

UNATCOM is the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which will be responsible for distributing the report to the public.

This initiative which is in line with one of the culture program goals of UNATCOM “ to strengthen the contribution of culture to sustainable development” was designed with the following intended major outputs: to inventory medicinal plants, prepare a catalogue of these plants, establish demonstration gardens and undertake awareness campaigns on the importance of traditional medicine in different parts of Uganda.

According to Professor John R.S Tabuti an Ethnobotanist, traditional medicine is very important to Ugandans, but the medicinal plant species are threatened in Uganda by habitat conversion to other land uses, while the knowledge of these plant species is eroding very fast today.

“It is estimated that between 60-80% of Ugandans use traditional medicine for their primary health care problems.” He said, adding that “the indigenous knowledge that is relied on in the utilization of traditional medicine is eroding very fast because of a variety of factors that include rapidly changing lifestyles.”

The project was conducted in the rural and remote districts of Nakapiripirit (North-Eastern Uganda), Kanungu (Western Uganda), Pallisa (Eastern Uganda) and Mukono (Central Uganda) and was aimed at sensitizing the communities to participate in the conservation and protection of these important species.

He said that 400 copies of catalogue and 200 copies of the report would be availed, after acquisition of funds from their sponsor UNATCOM.

The project was conducted through informant and household interviews, and thereafter a day’s workshop for all the participants, District leaders and other officials was held. During the workshop the feedback and results of the project were presented to raise awareness and promote traditional medicine among the Districts’ leadership.

The establishment of botanical gardens was also discussed in the workshop, and land for the gardens was provided by Nabalanga Primary School (Mukono), Kaucho Primary School (Pallisa), San Geovani High School Makiro (Kanungu) and St.Theresa, Nabilatuk Parish Church (Nakapiripirit) thereby making them partners in the project. Establishment of the demonstration sites was started in the rainy season of March 2010 and 40 species were planted in the gardens.

Professor Tabuti highlighted that the partners are responsible for the management of the gardens and the motivation of pupils and their wild life clubs to provide labor. The local partners were given support to clear the plots of land, acquire planting material, and sow seedlings. The partners were also allocated maintenance costs for the gardens for the first four months. District Forestry Officers promised to provide technical advice regarding tree planting and management.

He also hinted that the project had identified important medicinal plant species in four Ugandan communities that may be evaluated further and hopefully formulated into allopathic drugs.

He urged the community members to visit these botanical gardens as this would increase their knowledge on conservation of medicinal plants.

Article by Kogai Donald

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Advert: Mature Age Entry Scheme – Private Sponsorship 2024/2025

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Students sit for an exam in the pre-COVID era, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for the Undergraduate
Programmes under the Mature Age Entry Scheme only for Private Sponsorship for
2024/2025 Academic Year.
Non-Refundable Application fee of Shs. 50,000/= for Ugandans OR $75 Equivalent for
Internationals, plus bank charge should be paid in any of the banks used by Uganda
Revenye Authority after generating a Payment Reference Number (PRN).

  • Apply using the Institution’s Applications Portal URL:https: //apply.mak.ac.ug
  • Application is for candidates who passed the Mature Age Entry Examinations of December 17, 2022 and February 24, 2024 only.
  • Any candidate who passed the examinations in mentioned above and was not admitted on Government/ Private sponsorship for December 17, 2022 sitting, and for Government sponsorship for February 24, 2024 sitting, is eligible to apply for admission on Private Sponsorship for 2024 /2025 Academic Year.

The closing date for applying will be Friday 26th July, 2024.

Further details can be accessed by following this link.

Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza
ACADEMIC REGISTRAR

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Diploma/Degree Holders Admission Lists 2024/25

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Main Library, Makerere University. Photo taken on 29th February 2016.

The Office of Academic Registrar, Makerere University has released lists of Diploma/Degree Holder applicants admitted under Private/Self Sponsorship for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that admission is subject to verification of academic documents by the awarding institutions.

The admission list is displayed here below:

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African Futures Research Leadership Program: Cohort 5 – Call for Scholars

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Participants at the initial AAP convening participate in design-thinking exercises to help imagine the future of partnerships between MSU and Africa. Photo: AAP

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) is seeking applicants for the fifth cohort of the AAP African Futures Research Leadership Program. This competitive visiting scholar program supports early career researchers from the AAP consortium to work for one year under the mentorship of faculty members from MSU and their home institution, focusing on building skills in research for impact, writing scholarly and/or policy publications, disseminating of research results, and developing grant proposals for external support. Scholars will also participate in a structured professional development program while building bridges and lasting connections with MSU contacts and across their cohort. 

The main objective of the African Futures program is to strengthen the capacity of a cadre of African researchers to return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their community, establish long-term partnerships with MSU faculty, co-create innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of researchers. This program aims to address the gender gap in Africa, where only 30% of researchers are women, so scholars selected for the program will be women, or men who can demonstrate they are committed to support efforts towards gender equity in higher education institutions in Africa. The research areas that the scholars will engage in during the program should be aligned to AAP’s research priority areas

The AAP Management Team requests applications from early career researchers to participate in the next cohort, with work to begin virtually in February 2025. Scholars will spend September – December 2025 at MSU for the in-person portion of the program, followed by another period of virtual collaboration, ending in early 2026. The scholar and mentor team will receive a small grant for research and professional development activities including conference attendance and publication. Scholars will also receive a stipend during their time at MSU, visa application support, and round-trip travel from their home institution.

Eligibility

  • Citizen of an African country 
  • Completion of a PhD degree within the last 10 years 
  • Employed as an Academic Staff member at one of the AAP African consortium universities including Egerton University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Arts and Humanities, Bamako, United States International University-Africa, and University of Pretoria 
  • Have documented approval of leave or sabbatical to participate in the program for the in-person period 
  • Have a mentor at their home institution that will serve as a collaborator and mentor
  • Research must be in one of the AAP priority areas
  • Applicants may only submit one proposal to AAP in this round of funding. Prior scholars are not eligible to apply. 

To learn more about the program, including how to apply, click below

Learn more

Applications to be an African Futures scholar are due August 18, 2024

Additional program dates:

  • Program start date (virtual): February 2025
  • In-person program: Sept – Dec 2025
  • Program end date: February 2026

Please contact Jose Jackson-Malete at jacks184@msu.edu or +1 517-353-6989 with any questions.

Source: AAP

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