“Retirement goes beyond simply choosing a date to retire” were some of the words of wisdom that echoed across the Makerere University Main Hall during the second retirement planning sensitization seminar. As part of its Member Education series, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) held the seminar on Tuesday 18th March 2014, organized as a way of helping members devise the best plan for their retirement. The MURBS Board of Trustees (BoT) lined up a panel of speakers namely; Mr. Fulgence Mungereza, Mrs. Edna Rugumayo and Mr. Kaka Sudesh, with the promise to tickle, excite and educate.
Welcoming scheme and BoT Members present to the seminar, the Secretary BoT, MURBS, Dr. John Kitayimbwa emphasized the need to have a panel representative of at least three age groups so as to best cater for all Members, the target range being 20 to 70 years. In her opening remarks, the Chairperson, BoT, MURBS Hajjati Fatumah Nakatudde encouraged the audience to always reflect on retirement as a time enjoy the benefits of their hard work and hence prepare adequately for it.
“I encourage each and every one of us here to always seriously; assess your readiness to retire, identify actions to improve your readiness to retire, acquire adequate financial planning knowledge and most importantly develop a saving culture for your retirement,” counseled Hajjati Fatumah Nakatudde.
The first panelist at the seminar Mr. Fulgence Mungereza, a partner with Mungereza and Kariisa, a certified public accounts firm, thanked Members for taking time to attend the event, noting that eminent people especially those employed by Makerere ought to start preparing for retirement as early as the first day at work. “Planning and saving starts now,” emphasized Mr. Mungereza, further noting that “Few retirees live comfortably afterwards, with some being entirely devastated as retirement seems to catch them by surprise!”
He noted the dangers of overdependence on salaries and encouraged the audience to always devise means of securing a side income. Mr. Mungereza who delivered his presentation in a matter-of-factly way then challenged the members especially Men to always consider their partners when making investment decisions. “Working secretly is dangerous! The first partner is your wife,” he wisely counseled.
Mr. Mungereza encouraged the audience to adopt a saving culture, noting that it is not about the amount but the habit “wealth is a function of savings not earnings,” he elaborated. He cautioned members to always review the status of their assets so as to ascertain what to do with them. “Get out of bad debt. Do not borrow a “Cheap debt”; for the sake of servicing expenses.” He instead advised that members should adopt measures like mortgaging their property for the sake of garnering investment capital. Mr. Mungereza concluded by urging all members to write their wills so as to keep their hard-earned money within the family. He commended the audience for investing in quality education for their children but warned against depending on them for their retirement. “Children are a good investment but they may ignore you in your latter years,” he said.
Mrs. Edna Rugumayo, also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the ICPAU-nominated MURBS BoT Member then gave her contribution on preparing for retirement as the second panelist of the day. An alumna from the School of Statistics and Applied Economics, Makerere University, Mrs. Rugumayo advised the audience against regarding retirement from Makerere as the complete cessation of active employment. Using her own example as a recent retiree, she noted that we were enjoying a higher standard of living than our forefathers and hence living longer, a factor that necessitated us to carefully plan for retirement. “Planning for retirement is planning for life,” she aptly stated.
Regarding the need to ensure that members lived a well-balanced life, Mrs. Rugumayo offered a few words of wisdom to the younger crop of MURBS members, who unfortunately were sparsely represented in the audience. “Do not wait to marry late, for in so doing, all your problems will be delayed.” She encouraged all present to keep on improving their qualifications so as to avoid going into obsolescence. Recognizing the need to set goals in all aspects of life including one’s income and expenses, Mrs. Rugumayo advised that every goal should be accompanied by a plan or else it would simply remain a wish. “Set long-term goals for your life and then set short-term goals on how to get there [incrementally]. Do not be disappointed when you fall short of your goals but instead have a personal change management plan to help you adjust accordingly,” counseled Mrs. Edna Rugumayo.
She also observed that personal financial planning is an aspect that is closely linked with our lifestyles. In this regard, Mrs. Rugumayo recommended that saving ought to be thought of before spending, noting that saving can only work as a culture. “Draw up a personal saving plan and stick to it. Mandatory saving is good but insufficient because the benefits are received only at the end and will not save you in the event of an emergency,” she advised.
On the subject of where we ought to keep our savings, Mrs. Rugumayo summarily but with the wisdom of one very knowledgeable on the subject said, “At worst, save in the bank. Savings dwindle with time and in the long run, you are enriching the bank,” she pointedly noted. She instead advised members to consider tried and tested avenues like land banking which has been discovered to be lucrative saving vehicle in Uganda. She also advised members to consider investing in Government securities like bonds and treasury bills. And whereas the small business sector is regarded as the least capital intensive, the former Assistant Commissioner Finance at the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) advised that Members should first seek to acquire specialized knowledge on the intricacies of their operations prior to investing in them.
In concluding her presentation, Mrs. Rugumayo noted that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for investment. She also advised that annuity; a fixed sum of money paid out by the Government to retirees each year, is not very well developed in Uganda and advised against totally relying on it.
The third and final panelist of the day and arguably the most energetic then took to the stage and encouraged members to get up and stretch before he could start his presentation. The 31 year old Business Coach and Keynote speaker who retired at only 24 then dared anyone to doze off during his presentation, as he walked to and fro the aisle in the Main Hall. The CEO at Sudesh International Consult Ltd and Graduate of Makerere University then launched into his presentation by defining that a business should be commercial, profitable and above all able to work without your presence.
As one who started doing business at only 10 years of age thanks to a well-established culture of business-minded parents and grandparents, Mr. Sudesh shared that he had lost it all so many times before but most importantly, had learned valuable lessons that continue shaping his business engagements to date. “The most important thing is to get and keep customers,” he shared as one of the lessons learned. He further noted that the principles of good business ought to come first and once mastered, can be applied across varying scenarios for they are more or less the same.
Mr. Sudesh by virtue of his profession meets a lot of business owners and practitioners. He noted that during one such engagement, he more than ever before learnt to respect the distinction between the two-sided nature of business; technical and managerial. He advised business owners and those intending to start to always identify their strength as either technical or managerial and then proceed to employ someone else to handle the side that they were less skilled at. In so doing, they would then be able to avoid stifling the business’ growth, “You cannot do it all. You need partners to carry your business beyond your own dreams,” he advised.
The best timing of when to go into business is a decision that beleaguers one too many. To this end, Mr. Sudesh advised members to always take the initiative to start now, as the conditions will never be 100% perfect. He however advised that once up and running, one ought to treasure their employees, “People matter the most. How you treat your team is the key to your success or failure.” In concluding his presentation Mr. Sudesh asked the audience to always ponder on the three questions; Are you [as a business owner/manager] seeing what is or what you hope for? Are you [as a business/product] remarkable or invisible? Are you [as a business/product] growing or dying?
At the conclusion of the presentations, the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions, which ranged from why one who has worked very hard all their lives should not just simply enjoy their savings, to how to purchase Government securities. In their responses the panelists and BoT Members advised the audience to always look at work as pleasure and even after retirement, to go into those business ventures that are fulfilling. MURBS Members also received advice from Prof. James Ntozi, Chair, Makerere University Pensioners Association (MUPA) to always be united in their demand for good retirement packages from both Makerere University and the Government.
At the conclusion of the seminar the Chairperson, BoT, MURBS Hajjati Fatumah Nakatudde thanked the panelists for their respective great deliveries and members for turning up to receive sound investment advice. She further encouraged members to increase their monthly savings to MURBS. “Mandatory savings currently being deducted are very small. Let us each try to make additional voluntary savings,” she said. The Secretary BoT, MURBS, Dr. John Kitayimbwa reiterated Hajjati Nakatudde’s appeal by sharing that “Last year, MURBS paid out 12.6% interest to members, which was above inflation and 1% more than what NSSF paid to its members.”
The next seminar in the series will feature the MURBS fund managers, who have expressed willingness to come and educate members on how to invest in equities and Government securities. Members are advised to come and attend these trainings to improve their knowledge on sound Financial investment.
Article and Pictures by Public Relations Office
Rotary International President visits Mak
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.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal
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