ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) held an Innovations Exhibition in the Makerere University Main Hall on Friday March 14th, 2014. This was an opportunity for the faculty, students, private sector, Government, NGOs and the community at large to showcase their prototypes or projects that would be considered for acceleration in the Eastern Africa’sResilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab).
This type of exhibition is one of the main ways that RAN is using to identify promising innovations from within partner universities and local innovation hubs. Such innovations will be entered into RAN’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program where teams will receive technical support by leveraging expertise within RAN and the HESN, mentorship, capacity building and financial support to help them, accelerate the development, piloting and scaling up of their innovations.
The Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe graced the occasion and officially launched the EA RILab’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program. “It is such programs like ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) that have enormously contributed to Makerere University’s great achievements including being the 4th best University in the whole of Africa. Faculty, students and the community benefit a lot from such initiatives.”He was flanked by Prof. Celetino Obua, the Deputy Principal at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences who noted in his remarks that “Mr. Deputy Vice Chancellor, RAN is yet another testimony that we, who you sent out to do the work, are actually doing it. We pledge to further take Makerere University greater heights”. He also noted and acknowledged the great work by the students, faculty and community innovators both present at the exhibition and elsewhere.
The event was a great success and it was exciting to see over thirty projects being exhibited by both students and faculty teams. In line with RAN’s strategy to foster multi-disciplinary collaboration, these teams were drawn from six out of eight colleges, representing atleast 15 different academic disciplines from Makerere University (Software Engineering, computer Science, Data Communications and Networking, Architecture, Survey, Electrical Engineering, Forestry, Environmental Geographical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Food Science, Nutrition and Bio-Engineering, School of Law, Animal Resources and Bio-Security, Humanities and Social Sciences, Peace and Conflict and School of Health Sciences).There was also a huge turnout from the university community and the general public who engaged the exhibitors on their innovations. In acknowledging the great turnout and vibrant atmosphere in the hall, Prof. William Bazeyo in his remarks noted,“ Look at the brains in this room, the potential this institution brings together and the ability of Africans to provide solutions to their own challenges-solutions through innovations. All is evidenced here”.
Selection of the promising innovations was done by a competent and experienced team of judges drawn from within and outside RAN. These included Prof. David Serwadda-RAN Technical Advisor, Dr. Wanjiku Nganga-RAN Director of Innovations, Dr. Roy William Mayega-RAN Deputy Chief of Party, Dr. Dorothy Okello-EA RILab Director, Dr. Julius Ssentongo-RAN EA RILab Program Coordinator and Mr. Michael Niyitegeka-Facilitator at Franklin Covey Uganda, and a well-respected innovation thought leader in the region. In making their selections, the judges were required to ascertain the potential for an innovation to strengthen resilience in line with the EA RILab thematic areas of climate change and chronic conflict, as well as establishing technical and financial feasibility and potential to scale in target communities. The judges took time to appreciate and understand all aspects of a given innovation, by interacting with the teams, asking questions, testing some of the innovations and awarding scores. It was also an opportunity to emphasize the linkage between the innovations and resilience arms of the RAN project.
Out of the thirty-two projects exhibited, six including;RootIO, KUDU, Unearthing the potential of Earth Worms as livestock feed, FINDIT, Improved Pull & Push Approach in Northern Uganda and Integrated Backyard Farming were selected after a very thoroughvetting by the judges. These six teams were further required to pitch their innovations to the judges and the public during an interactive question and answer session. Three projects,namely,RootIO, KUDU and Unearthing the potential of Earth Worms as livestock feedwere finally selected for consideration to join the EA RILab’s Resilience Innovation Acceleration Program. These innovations address key resilience aspects that were identified from the EA RILab’s community consultations including community mobilization and knowledge sharing, economic empowerment/poverty eradication, diversification of livelihoods and environmentally friendly production methods. The exhibition participants had been asked to vote for their preferred innovation with a view of enriching their experience and participation, and the team ‘Community-based legal mobile clinic’ led by female students from Makerere University’s School of Law, which provides legal assistance pro-bono to vulnerable communities received a unanimous vote for the “Peoples Choice” Award.
RAN is proudly led by Makerere University (School of Public Health) as one of the seven development labs within the USAID-funded Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN). It is a partnership of 20 African Universities in 16 countries focused on strengthening the capacities of vulnerable communities to withstand natural and man-made shocks and stresses. One of the core objectives of RAN, is to strengthen resilience at the individual, household, and community levels to natural, man-made stresses and shocks through innovative technologies and approaches to development, which will be identified, incubated, tested, scaled and evaluated through the RAN in collaboration with its partners http://www.ranlab.org.
RAN carries out its operations within four Resilience Innovation labs. These are: The Eastern Africa RILab, Horn of Africa RILab, Southern African RILab and West Africa RILab. The Eastern Africa RILab is located in Makerere University School of Public Health with a mandate to source innovative ideas in line with RAN’s thematic focus from within the academic community and support their incubation, areas of development and piloting. This was the first event organized by the Eastern Africa RILab to source for innovations that provide solutions to community challenges.
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.
But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.
He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.
He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.
So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.
Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.
About the JADS program
The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline. The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.
The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa
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