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HE Mahama Urges African Govts to Invest in Agric Research

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The President of Ghana H.E John Dramani Mahama has challenged African governments to give more money to their universities to be able to carry out more applicable research.

President Dramani Mahama made the call in a speech read for him by the Vice President H.E Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur (pictured) at the official opening of the 6th Africa Agricultural Science Week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) General Assembly running from 15th – 20th July at Accra International Centre, Ghana.

President Dramani Mahama said that if African governments funded research and innovations in African universities, this would increase agricultural production thus ensuring food security and poverty reduction on the continent.

The conference is being held under the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural Science and Innovations.”

President Dramani Mahama said that his government’s spending on agricultural research and development has deliberately more than doubled in the last ten years adding that this has increased food production, made food more affordable for Ghana’s citizens, reduced inflation and spurred economic development.

Delivering the keynote address, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze noted that small farms accounted for eighty per cent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa and contributed about ninety per cent of agricultural produce.

He said successful small farms could create vibrant rural economies with a range of non-farm enterprises, providing a variety of jobs, decent income and food security on the continent.
With over 35 years in focusing on poverty reduction through agriculture, rural development and research, Dr. Nwanze challenged African leaders to take the many opportunities that modern day agriculture presented to the continent.

He noted that Africa has the largest share of the world's uncultivated land with rain-fed crop potential, adding that the interest of foreign investors to capitalize on the untapped potential of the continent's fertile lands needed to be a source of worry to nations.

The Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission (AUC) Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime called upon African countries to strengthen partnerships that would provide the needed resources and technologies to support farmers on the continent to boost food production.

Mrs. Tumusiime said such partnerships are critical to ensure that farmers are well equipped with the right farming practices, through technological innovation, storage and market accessibility.

She said because the need and demand for food is critical in the world, food production must be given a boost by all member countries.

Mrs. Tumusiime pledged that the African Union with its commitment to transform the income of all Africans, would continue to support, particularly, small scale farmers and women farmers with the technologies in improving food production. She challenged African universities to come up with innovations and technologies that can empower farmers.

The week-long event, being attended by about 1,200 delegates, including ministers of agriculture, science and technology, researchers, farmers, extensionists, civil society, development partners and Universities. Uganda’s State Minister for Agriculture Prof. Zerubabel Nyiira, Makerere University’s Prof. Samuel Kyamanya, Prof. David Kabasa, Prof. Elly Sabiiti, Prof. Moses Tenywa Makoma and Dr. Donald Koganza among others are attending the conference. Others include Executive Director RUFORUM Prof. Adipala Ekwamu and his staff.

The 6th Annual Science Week, and the range of events taking place alongside it, play a critical role in responding to burning issues in African agricultural Research and development. The recommendations emanating from the conference will take center stage in shaping Africa’s agenda for food security, poverty reduction and economic development over the next three years and will also contribute to global initiatives for African development for the post MDG era.

FARA is an apex organization bringing together and forming coalitions of major stakeholders in agricultural research and development in Africa. It is a strategic platform that fosters continental and global networking to reinforce the capacities of Africa’s agricultural science and innovation community from research, education and training, extension and civil society engaged in agriculture.

At the same event, FARA honoured President John Dramani Mahama with the Africa Award for Excellence in Food Security and Poverty Reduction at the same programme on Thursday.

 

Story by Jovia Musubika Kavulu, Jane Anyango and Agaba Issa Mugabo

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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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RUFORUM: Transforming Higher Education Videos and Links

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Delegates brainstorm during the 15th RUFORUM AGM held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana from 2-6 December, 2019. Photo credit: RUFORUM

Video Series developed by Julieta Mazzola, EARTH University.

English

  1. What is Community Engagement?  Video 1 of 3.  https://youtu.be/etv2-W1U3O0
  2. Different Forms of University Engagement with the Community. Video 2 of 3. https://youtu.be/73h2p8P0BLw
  3. Student learning through Community Engagement. Video 3 of 3. https://youtu.be/Ule3P1-tjC4

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