“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
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
General1 week ago
Application Forms for Admission to Public Universities 2024/2025
General1 week ago
African Universities urged on developing comprehensive safeguarding policies with critical elements of safety & protection
Agriculture & Environment1 week ago
Soybean Breeders Deliberate Strategies for Improving Productivity
General4 days ago
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
Engineering, Art & Tech1 week ago
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled