Connect with us

General

Makerere receives first ASA presidential scholar recognition

Published

on

Dr. Sister Dominic Dipio is renowned for her feature films on Ugandan folklore and her passion for cultural film production and research. This however does not mean that she is used to recognition.

Dr. Sister Dominic Dipio is renowned for her feature films on Ugandan folklore and her passion for cultural film production and research. This however does not mean that she is used to recognition.Dr. Dipio received the nomination to become the first African Studies Association’s (ASA) Presidential Scholar, which also accorded her a trip to New Jersey and San Francisco States of the US, from 5th to 27th November 2010.

Dr. Dipio talks to students of the Media Studies ClassBefore attending the Associations meeting in San Francisco from 18th to 21 November, Dr. Dipio was hosted at Rutgers University by the Center for African Studies, where she gave a lecture in an African Studies Writer’s class titled, Rendition of History in Goretti Kyomuhendo’s Novel, Waiting (2007). She also screened her film, Crafting the Bamasaba, which completely captivated her audience.

She also went to two Media Studies classes, one being peculiarly all female, in keeping with a tradition of a one-time Women’s Studies Department, that has now been reduced to one course. In these classes, she talked broadly about her research area in film and gender: the changing and unchanging gender images represented in African films that she analyzes.

However, her sessions were not without amusement. In the all female class, Dr. Dipio was amazed by a question by one of the students who asked, “How are you perceived in your country/community?” The idea behind the question highlighted how little known, the advancements made by African Women in all spheres of influence were. Startled but not speechless, Dr. Dipio explained to the student that she was right and wrong at the same time because, “There are many women in my country with even greater achievements,” she quickly informed.

In the other media class, Dr. Dipio mainly talked about the politics of making, marketing and distributing African cinema. So as to illustrate her point, she cited Ousmane Sembene, a former mechanic and bricklayer, who rose to international fame for his award-winning films, like Moolaade (2004) among the many. However, as most of the students had no knowledge of who Sembene was, her illustration was incomplete until she easily found a few clips of the director and his film off Youtube, thanks to the fully equipped lecture theatre which hosted the day’s class. This feat was truly enviable for Dr. Dipio who quickly recalled how she struggles with her heroic students of the film class, to screen their weekly films for the class. Nevertheless she expressed her hope, “We hope and look forward to a time when we shall at least have a lecture theatre in the Faculty of Arts, fully equipped with screening facilities.”

About the African Studies Association’s (ASA)
The ASAmembership consists of a diverse group of individuals, who are interested in Africa and its people, and as such carry out research and scholarly activities in and on Africa. It has a long history of doing this, and this year’s conference was the 53rd, with the theme, AFRICAN DIASPORA AND DIASPORAS IN AFRICA.

The overall objectives of ASA are:

  • Fostering the study of Africa
  • Supporting research by Africans and
  • Promoting collaborations among Africanists
L-R Andrzej W. Tymowski-Dir Int Pgms ACLS, Sister Dr. Dominic Dipio, ASA Executive DIrector-Karen Jenkins, Steven C. Wheatley Vice President, ACLS

 

The Conference
The 53rd ASA conference was opened by Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in President Barack Obama’s administration, and former American Ambassador to Uganda. In his address, he underlined the importance of academic scholarships in US policy. The policy makers need the feedback from academics to inform decision. He outlined four areas of priority that the US Government has in Africa and these are:

Food security: To enhance Africa’s capacity to feed itself and the world because of its enormous capacity for food security.

Climate change: This will greatly affect food security, especially in Africa, which has the greatest risks and vulnerabilities.

Global Health: Related to the large number of skilled work force that Africa loses to the Diaspora. The brain-drain phenomenon has lead to health related deaths in Africa.

Youth and Change in Africa: This is the government’s commitment to leadership training. Training the next generation of African leaders is what will positively influence the three areas mentioned above.

 

L-R Johnnie Carson-Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Dr. Dipio, Karen Jenkins-ASA Exec Dir & Prof Aili Tripp-Incoming ASA President 2011

During the conference, Dr. Dipio managed to attend some of the parallel sessions and was particularly impressed by the academic rigor of the various senior scholars and graduate students’ researches, undertaken in different parts of the continent. Some of the sessions she attended were: a Roundtable: Whither African Studies in the Academy and in Praxis, Visuality and Social Reform in Colonial Africa; New Critical Approaches to African Literature and Cinema in an Age of Global Production; New discourses on African Personhood in a Time of Votality; and South Asians in Africa, Asian Communities in Africa.

On the last day of the conference, Dr. Dipio was introduced to a group of scholars, doing research on Uganda. Most of the researches that are currently on-going are either historical or political. She however foresaw opportunities, where researchers in Makerere could collaborate with team leaders and join these research groups.

At the close of the conference, The Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola Lecture was delivered by Professor Bekeret Selassie. The issue he highlighted was the need for renewed commitment of the Africans in Diaspora to their Mother continent, where at one point he challenged the Africans living in Diaspora to go back and get involved more directly in the continent’s development.

The African continent’s participation in the ASA annual conference is important. As observed by Dr. Dipio, “Almost all the participants at the conference were people living in or studying in the US or European universities.”

L-R Karen Jenkins-ASA Exec Dir, Prof. Ali Mazrui & Dr. DipioThe Association’s initiative to open up the Presidential scholar offer is an attempt to bridge the gap between scholars in the Diaspora and those in the continent. “Whereas this move from the ASA is highly appreciated, it is the challenge of African universities that value research to support the membership and participation of their scholars at this annual conference and other ASA activities,” added Dr. Dipio.

As Makerere continues to re-affirm its commitment to be a research driven University, this is a great opportunity for her to network with various universities especially in the US that welcome such collaborations. Additionally, investment for institutional participation at this conference that is attended by top researchers in the academia will be an added advantage. “I was delighted to particularly meet and interact with Prof. Ali Mazrui our revered and beloved scholar from East Africa,” remarked Dr. Dipio. “I was also delighted to meet my mentor in African cinema and comparative Literature, Prof. Manthia Diawara, who in recent years twice visited Makerere; first to deliver a lecture on Sembene Ousmane in 2005, and in the following year as a filmmaker who accompanied Ngugi wa Thiongo in is ‘homecoming’ to Makerere and East Africa,” she concluded.

Some quick facts about the Nomination

 

  • Dr. Dipio’s nomination came through the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) that that is directly responsible for promoting the African Humanities Program (AHP) to which she has previously been a fellow 2009/2010.
  • This nomination came in response to African Studies Association’s (ASA) search for a credible African scholar to be invited as the first Presidential Scholar at the Association annual conference.
  • After this inaugural process, the association will annually invite an African scholar living in the continent to participate in the annual ASA conference
  • The purpose for this is to grow a more meaningful connection/relationship African scholars in the continent and those in Diaspora

 

 

Related Stories

 

Crafting the Bamasaba: a Mak-NUFU film premiere

 

 

 

mwamai@admin.mak.ac.ug, Public Relations Office

Continue Reading

General

Rotary International President visits Mak

Published

on

The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted.   President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims. 

Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.

By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.

Read more

Continue Reading

General

Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders

Published

on

The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

Continue Reading

General

Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal

Published

on

The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25.  For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.

Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.

Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY

Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG

Continue Reading

Trending