“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
Uganda’s policymakers implored to address forest loss, plastic & water pollution
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.
Prof. Nawangwe urges Makerere University community to support the Mastercard Foundation E-learning Initiative
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.
”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.
“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.
“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.
Supplementary Admissions to Bachelor of Laws Under Private Sponsorship 2022/23
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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