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Makerere honours late Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi

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It was befitting to dedicate the fourth lecture in the Makerere Africa Lecture Series to celebrating the life of Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi, a brilliant student, distinguished alumnus, member of faculty and who while still a student at Makerere in 1970, was a part of the group that conceived the idea of having the Africa Lecture Series at the campus.

The fourth lecture in the Makerere Africa Lecture Series, was held on 15th March 2012 marking exactly ten years since Joshua passed on. The lecture focused on paying tribute to the strong values that the late Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi stood for. This witnessed the launch of the Dr. Joshua B. Mugyenyi Social Transformation Foundation and the promotion of the Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation.

Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, the Minister of Medical Services in the Republic of Kenya and also former Guild President of the Makerere University, gave the key note address.

“Let the spear of intellectual clarity burn wherever he is resting; let this foundation established in his memory spearhead excellence among students who will benefit from it; let the African people be liberated from political oppression and economic exploitation through the energies of the people as Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi would have wanted it,” he said in his speech.

Born on 27th May 1947 in Kajara County in Ankole Kingdom, Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi died on 15th March 2002, but his legacy is still lives on in the lives of individuals he worked with, associated with as well as those he mentored.

The Acting Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor Venansius Baryamureeba welcomed the Guest of Honour, Rt. Hon. Professor Apolo R. Nsibambi, a distinguished alumnus, and Former Chancellor of Makerere University to the public lecture and thanked him for graciously accepting to launch the Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi Social Transformation Foundation.

Professor Baryamureeba informed the congregation that Makerere University together with the family and friends, do remember Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi as a selfless individual, who gave his best at all times. “We chose this day, 15th March 2012 to remember a brilliant student, distinguished alumnus, former member of faculty and to commemorate a lifetime of achievements of a man who was brutally frank, stood for only the truth, and who fought for the rights of others even at the expense of risking his own life,” remarked Professor Venansius Baryamureeba.

“On this 15th day of March 2012, we join the nation in celebrating the life of an ever optimistic and passionate leader-transformer and eloquent discussant of the socio-economic transformation of Uganda and Africa,” he added.

Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi joined Makerere University in June 1968 and graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration. While at Makerere, Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi excelled in academics, he served as Vice President of the Students’ Guild who actively participated in fighting against all forms of injustices and threats to students’ welfare.

Through his teaching career, Josh, as he was fondly known, passionately shared his knowledge at the national and international levels. He was a Senior Lecturer at his alma mater, Makerere, in addition to teaching in other universities in Swaziland and Canada. Mugyenyi co-authored a number of books and published several peer reviewed papers in prominent journals. At the time of his death on 15th March 2002, he was a proactive member of the Makerere University Council-the top policy making organ and Chairperson of the Convocation. He mentored many and significantly contributed to the university motto: We Build for the Future.

In honour of the late Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi, the Ag. Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor Venansius Baryamureeba welcomed an exceptionally accomplished alumnus and former Guild President, and now Minister of Medical services in the Republic of Kenya, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o to deliver a public lecture on “Social Transformation in Contemporary Africa: Reminiscences of Dr. Joshua B. Mugyenyi.”

As a token of appreciation and friendship, both families exchanged gifts. On unwrapping the gifts, they were pleasantly surprised to find that it was the same photo taken when they were members of the Guild in 1970. Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o described it as a “divine intervention” amidst laughter.

Professor Baryamureeba informed the congregation that while students at Makerere, the trio-Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and Daudi Taliwaku conceived the idea of the Africa Lecture series.

“As the only surviving member of the Students’ Guild Executive 1969/70 trio that conceived the Africa Lecture Series, there is no greater way to celebrate the memory of our dearly departed Alumni, the late Dr. Joshua B. Mugyenyi and the late Ambassador Daudi Taliwaku than to have one of the original three present at this lecture. We are extremely grateful to you Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o for taking time off your demanding constituency and ministerial work to be with us today for yet another Public Lecture,” remarked the overjoyed Vice Chancellor.

Hon. Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o moved to the podium, but there was a sudden moment of silence, a reflection of a person re-calling a past history, and an audience ready to listen to an oratory of a man who had touched people from all walks of life.

With nostalgia, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o delivered a moving public lecture on Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi whom he met in 1968 at Makerere University, but remained very close until when death robbed him 10 years ago.

“Joshua was a brave and courageous individual who used the mighty power of the pen and the written word to fights all forms of social injustices at Makerere, in Uganda and beyond. The fearless Joshua also risked his life to engage President Apolo Milton Obote on policies that he felt were undermining democracy,” stressed Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o during the public lecture.

One Sunday in January 1971, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and Joshua woke up at Makerere only to observe that Radio Uganda was playing martial music all day, Uganda Television was showing cartoons all day and by the end of the day a rough voice came on both radio and television to say that the government of Apolo Milton Obote was no more: “It is now a military government,” announced Smart Gwedeko, a mere warrant officer.

Mrs. Mary Mugyenyi (R) shows off a picture of the 1970 Guild Cabinet that she received as a gift during the lecture.

Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o said Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi never gave up his disgust with the military regime. Although Joshua stayed at Makerere for some time as a tutorial fellow in the Department of Political science, continued as a Lecturer at the Institute of Public Administration, did his post graduate work in Manchester, came back as Senior Lecturer; his spirit was always urging him to do something about this military menace in Uganda. At the beginning of the eighties, after the debacle of the general elections of 1980, Joshua became a founder member of the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) which eventually metamorphosed into the National Resistance Movement.

Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o informed the friends of Joshua gathered in the  Main Hall that he had told the stories to describe the world Joshua lived in and the world he sought to change. “I have told these stories not to re-count the personal relations and experiences, but to shade light on the African world Joshua lived in and tried to change for the better; to get some insight into issues related to social transformation in contemporary Africa,” he stressed.

Joshua took theory to point of practice, and was always ready to engage in auto-criticism. “I remember in 1996, Joshua was very determined that the NRM should have a political transition in which the leaders of the NRM revolution would democratically pass the torch to a new generation so as to avoid tendencies towards authoritarianism,” Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o added.

Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o also observed that the challenges to democratic governance and social transformation in Africa remain pertinent today as they were then. But they cannot be known or practised without such piercing analyses and scholarship as was the case with Joshua. And scholarship, within and outside academic institutions, is always a social engagement. It is not confined to those of us who have degrees, it is the enterprise of those ready to think, write and speak on social issues without the cloud of dogma, bias and various forms of chauvisim.

Paying tribute to Joshua, Dr. Ezra Suruma, Senior Presidential Advisor on Finance and Economic Planning, said Joshua’s number one quality was courage. Dr Suruma was optimistic that if in every generation, we have one man or woman of Joshua’s intellect and courage, Uganda’s freedom would be fundamentally advanced. “As we remember Joshua, let us pray that God will raise men and women of his quantum of intellect and courage,” remarked Dr. Suruma who met Joshua in September 1979 at Makerere University and who together with Joshua agreed to form the Uganda National Movement (UNM). According to Dr. Suruma, Joshua’s life, his works and his example can be summarised as: “I will declare the truth. And I will fight for what is right, even though it is dangerous. And if die, I die.”

Mr. Fred Guweddeko, a researcher, at Makerere Institute of Social Research, informed the audience that Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi had a dream to become the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. Mr. Fred Guweddeko together with Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi embarked on gathering data aimed at instituting reforms at Makerere when latter become the Vice Chancellor after Professor P.M.J. Ssebuwufu’s reign. Mr. Guweddeko said this is a dream he never lived to see.

Professor Mahmood Mamdani, a renowned scholar and Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), said the best of all independence is the independence of thought. He advocated for the need to turn Makerere into a research led university, and a purely public university not to benefit only the state, but society at large.

Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi worked at the Bank of Uganda for 14 years. The Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda, Dr. Louis Kasekende said many members of staff at the Bank of Uganda remember him for his open management style.

He initiated reforms aimed at improving the welfare of workers and respected all people regardless of their rank. “It was during his tenure that the Bank of Uganda launched the pension scheme. He revamped the training scheme, improved the appraisal system and initiated the House Advance and Building Loan scheme,” he said. “We in the Bank of Uganda feel proud to be associated with this noble cause of spearheading social transformation.”

Mrs. Mary Mugyenyi, the widow, thanked all the people who had filled the Main Hall to capacity for honouring their invitation. In a special way, she thanked the Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, the Bank of Uganda and their consultant, Mr. George Piwang-Jalobo for the tremendous support towards the success of the public lecture and launch.On behalf of her siblings, one of the daughters of the late Joshua said that their father loved nature, loved children and he always brought joy, values that they will seek to emulate. “We shall be exemplary. We shall love each other. We shall always remember what our father stood for,” she said.

She said her husband was a family man, dedicated father and a person who encouraged free thinking in the family. She said that her husband encouraged and supported her to pursue her career and political aspirations.

“Today, 15th March 2012, marks the celebration of the past and also the launch of the future of Joshua immortalised through the- Dr. Joshua B. Mugyenyi Social Transformation Foundation. The best way to celebrate his life was to focus on his passion for education and knowledge. This Foundation will focus on the bright, but disadvantaged youth to access education,” she said.”The Makerere University Female Scholarship Foundation, which supports girls from disadvantaged socio-economic background, will be the first beneficiary of the Grant from the Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi Foundation.”

Mrs. Mugyenyi added that the foundation will also support research and increase funding for the treatment of cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

Launching the Foundation, the Guest of Honour, Professor Apolo R. Nsibambi, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda said: “I am honoured to launch the Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyeni Social Transformation Foundation to keep the memory of my student, colleague and friend alive. I pray that the Foundation will be blessed and prosper to advance the ideals, values and convictions for which Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi lived and worked.”

Professor Apolo Nsibambi contributed Shs1 million towards the Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi Social Transformation Foundation. 

The Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor George Mondo Kagonyera, and also a very close friend of the Mugyenyi family thanked Mrs. Mary Mugyenyi for looking after the children and continuing to advance the principles that her husband, the late Dr. Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi held dearly.

Written by: Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office

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

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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

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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

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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.

ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH
AG. ACADEMIC REGISTRAR
Date: 22nd September, 2022

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