It was a moment of joy and pomp as the Royal Entourage of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom entered the Main Hall at Makerere University, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. The loyal subjects to Omukama (King) of Bunyoro-Kitara, His Majesty Rukirabasaija Agutamba Solomon Gafabusa Iguru 1, prostrated before him as he made his way in traditional wear, side by side with his Queen, and the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, who was also clad in traditional wear.
Amidst jubilation and dancing the royal graceful dance to the tunes of Amakondere played by the Department of Performing Arts and Film, the Omukama proceeded to sign the MoU on behalf of Bunyoro Transformation Initiative (BTI), where he is the Patron. This was at an event in the University Main hall on 15th May 2014. The King was continuously hailed by his loyal subjects in the befitting Runyoro phrase ‘Hangiriza Agutamba! Hangiriza Mwebingwa!’
BTI is an umbrella organization of religious and development oriented organizations in Bunyoro-Kitara whose aim is to spearhead socio-economic transformation in Bunyoro-Kitara. It comprises Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, Church of Uganda, the Roman Catholic Church and the National Fellowship of born-again Pentecostal Churches of Uganda.
The Memorandum of Understanding is geared towards social transformation of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. BTI will partner with Makerere University to enhance each others’ areas of interests and development in order to stimulate growth of each party and contribute to societal transformation and national development. Makerere University shall execute this partnership through the Africa Institute for Strategic Animal Resource Services and Development (AFRISA), – an Academic-Community-Private-Public Partnership (ACPPP) engagement platform at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB).
The event was graced by a number of dignitaries including the First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda Hon. Henry Kajura, Members of Parliament, the Clergy, Members of Staff and Students of Makerere University. A powerful prayer said by Rt. Rev. Nathan Kyamanywa of Bunyoro Diocese, called upon the Almighty God to see the successful implementation of the collaboration.
“Bunyoro is richly endowed with natural resources but people are very poor due to ignorance. People do not have skills to use the rich natural resources God gave us. I have spent many years searching for a remedy to address this gap. This Institute is now an answer. I am confident this institute will train my people in skills to use their hands in agriculture, animal husbandry, mining, commerce and other activities that will bring about development,” said His Majesty, the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu observed that, “We are optimistic that this partnership is going to be one of the most successful ventures Makerere University has entered with Communities in Uganda, more so because of the unique blessing of Your Majesty. We hope that this is just the beginning and that many more sub-regions in Uganda will come on board so that we can all work together to promote the socio-economic development of our country.”
In explaining the nature of the partnership, the University Legal Officer, Goddy Muhumuza said that both parties will be engaged in fundraising for the initiative and the intellectual rights will be equally shared. In addition, he explained that the laws of Uganda will be used in the implementation of the initiative.
The Principal of CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa, explained that the AFRISA model “works in an organised framework to transform the youth and other groups by giving them skills in production. We address the stigma that production is for people who are not intelligent.”
The Royal Entourage then proceeded to CoVAB where the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara planted a tree in memory of his visit to Makerere University. Flanked by the Vice Chancellor, the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara and the Omugo (Queen) then toured an exhibition of products from the innovative programs under the Skills for Production, Employment, Development and Academic Growth and Academic growth (SPEDA) project. These innovative programs started by CoVAB through AFRISA have taken the university to the communities through coordinated efforts of the public and private sectors, with Makerere taking lead as an institution of higher learning. It is through these programs that the transformation of Bunyoro-Kitara will be implemented.
“We gathered to pray, study the word of God, repent and seek the face of God as we committed Bunyoro-Kitara in the hands of God on the 23rd of May 2013 at St. Peter’s Cathedral. This is therefore a historic function because we have witnessed the signing of the MoU with Makerere, to transform our region economically,” the Bishop of Bunyoro Diocese Rt. Rev. Nathan Kyamanywa said.
The Omukama was grateful to CoVAB for spearheading the initiative that will take Makerere University to the communities in Bunyoro-Kitara. “It is good news for us that Bunyoro-Kitara has started working with Makerere University and there is therefore reason for us to believe that a University will be built in Bunyoro soon,” he emphasized.
Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu thanked all the stakeholders who have seen the successful initiation of the partnership, stressing that Makerere University is committed to supporting this partnership and similar ones in Uganda.
By Marion Alina and Jovia Musubika
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
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