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Role of the River Nile – now more important than ever before!



The Nile has for a long time been a rallying cause for regional cooperation, as well as a potential cause of conflict due to its waters. There have been several myths about the Nile that have all raised their fair share of queries for example, where is the true source of the Nile?

The Nile has for a long time been a rallying cause for regional cooperation, as well as a potential cause of conflict due to its waters. There have been several myths about the Nile that have all raised their fair share of queries for example, where is the true source of the Nile?

Is it in Uganda or Rwanda? Other commentators have gone as far as suggesting it is in Burundi, and others Ethiopia, with some even suggesting Egypt! The Masai culture was built around legends on the River Nile, should we then say that the Nile has its source in Masailand?

Prof. Terje Tvedt-University of BergenAll these questions pose a challenge – there is need to do extensive research. These different Nile worlds should therefore each be appreciated and reevaluated for authenticity. The goal of research therefore is to reconstruct a nonpartisan evidence-based concept of the Nile.

“The role of researchers is to look at the Nile Region in a different way from politicians and community members. In order to reconstruct these diverse water worlds, you need some analytical concepts that are not reductionist but are as open as possible,” Prof. Terje Tvedt-University of Bergen noted, while giving the main Keynote address at the three day conference under the central theme “Collaboration in the Nile Basin: The Way Forward”

Makerere University hosted this conference, which ran from 25th – 27th October, 2010 at the Speke Resort Munyonyo, where alumni, policymakers, water managers and academic experts from the ten Nile Basin countries gathered for yet another landmark Annual Nile Basin Research Conference.

Discussions on the strengthening of research collaboration across the Nile Basin were undertaken, with several institutions presenting their experiences and models on the way forward. A series of panel debates were also held on topics ranging from climate and health to cultural heritage and the history of Nile Development.

Participatns attend a session during the conference

The Nile Basin Research Programme (NBRP) was launched in 2007 with funding from the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Up to 60 researchers from the ten Nile Basin countries Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC have so far participated in the guest researcher programme, clearly showing that the alumni stretches across borders and beyond politics.
Welcoming participants to the workshop, Prof. Edward Kirumira, Head, Nile Basin Research Programme (NBRP), Makerere University explained that the Makerere University-University of Bergen collaboration is a framework that highlights the importance of collaboration as playing a major role in the Nile Basin Region and within the African continent as a whole.

Prof. Edward Kirumira“We are looking at research as a commodity for public good and in collaboration, we have to think medium term and long term for meaningful partnerships that allow for growth of public good,” Prof. Kirumira remarked. He added that with guiding principles such as teacher exchange, Interdisciplinary collaboration, students’ exchange programmes and expansion of collaboration beyond academics, the Makerere-Bergen collaboration is surely on track with regard to achieving its objectives.

Addressing the conference on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. Ikoja Odong highlighted that as an institution that prides itself positively in responding to the national cries for information gathering and its accurate dissemination, Makerere University was proud to play host to the Nile Basin Research Programme (NBRP). The Programme, through regional collaboration is contributing to informing the process of reaching an agreement on how best the resources of the great River Nile can be shared by the ten Nile Basin countries.

L-R Tore Sætersdal-Director NBRP, Prof. Ikoja-Odongo, Eng. Kashillingi Mugisha & Dr. Canisius Kanangire during a session“By producing a knowledgebase bank through research, writing and publishing in various countries across the region, the programme will help mentor junior researchers.” Prof. Ikoja-Odongo remarked.

Professor Ikoja stressed that the Nile Basin Research Programme is pertinent and in line with the institution’s mandate to increase research output and adopt knowledge transfer partnerships

Representing the Minister of Water and Environment Uganda, Eng. Kashillingi Mugisha, the Director, Water Resources Management, assured the participants that the Government of Uganda will continue to support and encourage this research agenda, and the research results will be used by the government in making policy decisions regarding the management of the Nile Basin water resources.

Closing the conference on 27th October 2010, the Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Thorbjørn Gaustadsæther launched the series of books that the researchers have published, to mark the end of the first phase of the Nile Basin Region Research Programme.


The Vice Chancellor's Remarks MS Word version, PDF version  

Burundi's Water Resource Management in the Context of the Nile Basin Powerpoint  

Climate Change in Africa: the need to move from science to action Powerpoint

Nile Basin Map Powerpoint  

Unlocking Econ Growth & Devt potentials in the Nile Basin Powerpoint 


Article by Moreen Katushabe

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Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution



Left to Right: Prof. Gunnar Köhlin, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Amb. Maria Håkansson, Commissioner Julius Mafumbo and Prof. Edward Bbaale posing for a group photo before the opening ceremony on 22nd September 2022: Photo by EfD-Mak Centre.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe on Thursday 22nd September, 2022 participated in the opening of the EfD Annual meeting hosted by Makerere University at Speke Resort Munyonyo where he appealed to government to implement the ban on kaveera and address other environmental issues.

The opening ceremony moderated by the EfD Global Hub Manager Gunnar Köhlin and was graced by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment represented by the Commissioner for Water, Mr. Julius Mafumbo and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Maria Håkansson.

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Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative



By Bernard Buteera

Makerere University has launched a two million dollar E-learning Project, dubbed The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative.  

The launch was held on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at Makerere University, Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility Auditorium. It attracted over 200 participants, who included members of University Management, College Principals, School Deans, Academic and Administrative staff, students and the general university community.

While addressing the gathering, the Chief Guest, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), congratulated Makerere University for winning such a huge grant, which will go a long way in transforming the eLearning infrastructure at Makerere University.

“I am happy to be joining you in launching a project that is at the heart of National Council for Higher Education. Online learning is at the heart of the Council, not only because of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the world is now a digital world.” Prof. Okwakol remarked.

Prof. Okwakol thanked Mastercard Foundation and other development partners who have continued to support initiatives that help transform higher institutions of learning in Uganda.

“I sincerely thank the Mastercard Foundation and other partners who have continued to support higher education in Uganda, especially in the area of research and online learning. Globally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly disrupted education systems forcing learners and some schools to shift to virtual learning to curb the spread of the pandemic.” Prof. Okwakol pointed out.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged the university community, especially the academic staff to take advantage of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning initiative to develop e-content across all Colleges of the University, to enhance capacity for eLearning at Makerere University.

[L -R] Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Prof. Mary Okwakol, the Executive Director of National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative and Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program.

”I appeal to the Colleges to embrace this project and have as many courses adopt this pedagogy development system, even though students will continue with face-to face and phyisical learning, they should be allowed the option of online learning. The platforms that are going to be built, will give our students an opportunity to interact with international students, scholars, teachers and with each other.” Prof. Nawangwe applealed.

The Vice Chancellor, further called upon all other development partners to emulate Mastercard Foundation in supporting Makerere University and other universities on the entire African continent in strengthening digital literacy, so that Africa is not left behind.

”In 2018 I attended a conference on E-learning in Beijing China, where a critical question was asked; Will Africa be left behind again? This was in reference to many advancements that were taking place in the western world, in which Africa had been left behind.” The Vice Chancellor reminded the audience.

Prof. Nawangwe further emphaised the importance of e-learning as one of the critical modes of teaching and learning in the 21st first century.   

”Ladies and Gentlemen, I cannot over emphasise the importance we attach to e-learning the 21st Century, that is why we took a decision to elevate the Department of Open and Distance Learning into an Institute of Open and Distance E-learning with an intention of having e-learning extended to other Colleges of the university.” Prof. Nawangwe pointed out.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, and Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the E-learning Initiative, Prof. Umar Kakumba, rallied the University community to support the implementation of the project in the University.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program E-learning initiative could not have come in at a better time than post COVID19 era. A pandemic, which exposed our systems and methods of teaching and learning. You all recall, when were hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns and closures of institutions of learning, we all went into a panicky mode on how were going to cope with online learning. I therefore call upon every member of the university to give this project the support it deserves.

Prof. Kakumba reminded the audience the importance and relevancy of online learning at Makerere University and other universities in Uganda.

“The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Office goers and stay home mothers can take up online educational courses too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.” Prof. Kakumba remarked.

Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda, the Coordinator of the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative, informed the audience the importance of the project and the expected outcomes for the University.

One of the Champions of e-learning trained by Arizona State University, Prof. Paul Birevu Muyinda receiving a certificate from Chief Guest.

“The Mastercard Foundation e- Learning Initiative is a Project funded by Mastercard Foundation aimed at addressing the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that constrained access and continuity of teaching, learning, research and community engagement activities at Makerere University” Prof. Muyinda pointed out.

Prof. Muyinda further thanked the team that he worked with in putting up the proposal in a very short time that yielded such an important grant for the University.

“I thank the team that spent sleepless nights putting together the proposal that resulted into this project. I must report that Makerere University is privileged to be having the most highly qualified persons in online instruction design and online pedagogy at the IODeL and beyond. It is now up to Makerere University in particular and the Country in general to make use of these persons to transform the terrain of online, blended distance and e-learning education.” Prof. Muyinda remarked.

Prof. Justine Namaalwa, the Program Coordinator for Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, informed the audience, that the E-learning initiative was one of the many partnerships between Mastercard Foundation and Makerere University geared at supporting the young people to succeed on the African continent.

Members of University Management, staff and students present.

“The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program continues to recognize that in order to enable young people across Africa to succeed, there is need to; Address systemic barriers in Higher education, Strengthen the capacity of Institutions that serve the Young People, and Support innovative solutions across critical sectors.” Prof. Namaalwa remarked.

The colourful launch ended with a panel discussion in which panelists digested the importance and opportunities for open distance and eLearning in higher institutions of learning.

Bernard Buteera is the Communications Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.

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Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23




The Academic Registrar, Makerere University, informs applicants wishing to be admitted to Bachelor of Laws Private for 2022/2023 Academic year but failed to submit their application online to submit their applications from Friday 23rd to Friday 30th September, 2022 at a non-refundable fee of 50,000/= (Fifty thousand shillings only).

The applicants MUST have passed the Pre-entry Examinations for Bachelor of Laws.

Diploma/Degree holders should submit certified copies of their academic transcript to Room
315 Level 3, Senate Building.

Applicants who have already been admitted need not apply.

For any additional information, contact Undergraduate Admissions Offices 301/303 for A’Level Applicants and Office 315 for Diploma/Degree holders.

Date: 22nd September, 2022

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