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IPCC Lead Authors tip Mak KYU Young Scientists on Climate Change

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“Given the interdependence between countries in today’s world, the impacts of climate change on resources or commodities in one place will have far-reaching effects on prices, supply chains, trade, investments and political relations in other places. Thus, climate change will progressively threaten economic growth and human security,” highlighted Dr. Youba Sokona while sharing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) with over 50 young scientists at Makerere University.

On Friday 22nd August 2014, Makerere University hosted the Young Scientists Seminar where students from Makerere and Kyambogo University held an interactive discussion with Lead Authors of the IPCC AR5, the academia and officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment.

In his remarks, the Country Engagement Leader, Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi said that the IPCC AR5 Event in Uganda comprised a series of dissemination activities- the media training held on 20th August 2014 as a pre-cursor to the event, the IPCC Outreach event/workshop held on 21st and 22nd August 2014 at Hotel Africana, Kampala; and the Young Scientists Seminar held on 22nd August 2014, from 2:30pm to 5:30pm at Makerere University, Kampala.

On behalf of Makerere University, Dr. Twinomuhangi, who is also a Lecturer in the Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climate Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) highlighted the importance of sharing with Young Scientists the key findings and recommendations contained in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What does it mean for Uganda’s development?

“The Young Scientists will face the consequences of climate change. We are aware that some of them are involved in research on climate change, and most of them are conducting research whose dissemination or impact will be affected by climate change.  As part of the IPCC Outreach event, we felt it important to interact with the young scientists so that together we can take on the climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda,” he said.

Opening the Young Scientists Seminar, the Ag. Vice Chancellor of  Kyambogo University, Professor  Eli Katunguka-Rwakishaya, who joined Makerere University in 1976 and served until 2013, thanked the organizers-the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), and CAES for prioritizing engagement of the youth in the climate change agenda on mitigation, adaptation and building resilience.

Professor Katunguka-Rwakishaya, a former Director of Research and Graduate Training at Makerere University, and Professor of Veterinary Medicine said:

“Climate Change is a reality. I have seen and experienced the effects of climate change.  I am able to observe the change in weather patterns. Rains are unpredictable, and this means that our agricultural productivity is now unpredictable yet Uganda is an agricultural country whose economy Is dependent on weather.”

Continuing with the key note address, Professor Katunguka-Rwakishaya pointed out that increased interaction of human beings and animals as a result of the impacts of climate change, such as drought and floods has led to emerging diseases which have affected economic activities. He warned that the situation would get worse if Ugandans did not actively participate in the mitigation process.

The IPCC authors then shared with the young scientists the mandate and role of IPCC and the key findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment report. Some of the key messages included:

  • Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.
  • The Fifth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds, beyond reasonable doubt that the Earth’s climate is warming.
  • Climate Change will have widespread impacts on African Society and Africans interaction with the natural environment.
  • The IPCC finds that there is 95% scientific certainty that human activity, by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
  • Current science provides the clearest evidence yet that human activity is changing our environment.
  • The impacts of climate change will affect food security, water availability and human health in Africa significantly.
  • Further climate change is inevitable in the coming decades unless something is done now
  • Climate change poses challenges to economic growth and development.
  • Adaptation is fundamentally about risk management, and Adaptation experience in Africa is growing and will have an effect of reducing the effects of climate change as it expands.
  • Some low-carbon development options may be less costly in the long run and could offer new economic opportunities for Africa.
  • Africa stands to benefit from integrated climate adaptation, mitigation and development approaches.
  • International cooperation is vital to avert dangerous climate change and African governments can promote ambitious global action.

The Session Chair, Dr. Fred Tanga Odoi, a renowned historian at Makerere University captivated the audience when reminisced his study of Geography, and aligned it to the findings of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report as well as the current changes in weather and climate in Uganda.

Dr. Tanga Odoi informed the participants that since the adverse effects of climate change were affecting all Ugandans, the key stakeholders including the academia and students both in the Sciences and Humanities disciplines should be involved.

“We all have a role to play. This is not an area for only scientists. Climate Change is not an area for those studying sciences. It is important that even those studying humanities and social sciences are actively involved,” he advised.

Dr. Tanga Odoi also emphasized the need for the Government and all Ugandans involved in implementation of urbanization and industrialization processes, to always ensure that the effects on the environment and climate are fully analyzed and appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures considered and included in the contract and implementation.

How can young scientists contribute to the climate science agenda?

During her presentation, Dr. Lynne Carter from Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations (MUCCRI) advised the young scientists/students to contribute to the climate change agenda:

  • Be willing to work beyond your specific discipline
  • Be willing to work with people in other disciplines such as the journalists to ensure that your research results are better understood and thus more readily to be implemented.
  • Be willing to look for interesting research questions beyond your field answered by science
  • Bring your skills, youthful enthusiasm, curiosity and willingness to work. It energizes many research efforts

On behalf of MUCCRI, Dr. Carter expressed their readiness to nurture and mentor upcoming students/youths with a passion for undertaking research in climate change.

Representing the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Adaptation Officer in the Climate Change Department, Mr. Muhammad Semambo reiterated the Government of Uganda’s commitment to keeping climate change issues on the priority list of the development agenda.

He appealed to the young scientists and youth to join climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts at all levels with special focus on agricultural research as well as research on the emerging field of oil and gas.

Mr. Semambo also commended Makerere University for training and providing knowledge on climate science and climate change and also informed the audience that the Ministry of Water and Environment was coming up with a Climate Change Research Centre that would further inform the research and policies in the field of Climate Science and Climate Change.

This was followed by 20 minutes interactive question and answer session, which climaxed with the young scientists and youth appealing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  and the Ministry of Water and Environment to come up with more dialogues with the youths, and nurturing and mentorship programmes.

The Young Scientists Seminar was held in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, Conference Hall, CAES, Makerere University.

Article by  Ritah Namisango, Public Relations Office

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Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates

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The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (4th L), DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (5th L) and Principal CoVAB-Prof. J.D. Kabasa (3rd L) with L-R: Mr. Byakatonda Patrick, Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah, Mr. Felix Okello, the Mace bearer and Dr. Samuel Majalija at the CoVAB@50 Celebrations Commissioning, 17th June 2021, Nakyesasa-Namulonge.

The College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB) on Thursday 17th June, 2021 commenced celebrations to mark 50 Years of Veterinary Higher Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Services (HESTIS) in Uganda. The blended event held at the Industrial Livestock Research, Incubation and Skilling (ILRIS) Center at Nakyesasa, Namulonge as well as online was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma and First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports (MoES), Hon. Janet Museveni both represented by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

The event, held as part of Makerere University Centenary Celebrations (1922-2022) was a moment of celebration for 1,930 skilled livestock agribusiness entrepreneurs who were awarded certificates in recognition of completion of their respective courses. Owing to the strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the students from Incubation Hubs in Atiak, Butaleja, Mubende, Nakyesasa, Sheema and Wakiso were awarded their certificates virtually.

In her remarks read by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Hon. Janet Museveni thanked Makerere University for supporting grassroots level development through groundbreaking innovations under the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development-Skills for Production Enterprise Development and Accreditation (AFRISA-SPEDA) model.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (L), Academic Registrar-Mr. Alfred Masikye Namoah (C) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa stand for the anthems.

“I am extremely pleased that Makerere University, through those innovative approaches, has developed and launched the alternative approach to building human capital and transferring knowledge to enterprises in communities.

“I would like to encourage all those involved in skills development to adopt methodologies that transform those trainees that go through these programs in ways that enable them also transform the societies they live in” read the Minister’s remarks.

She further noted that commissioning of the CoVAB@50 celebrations was both timely and rewarding. “The commissioning of the college innovations indeed has made meaning. This is a true path to growth of an Academic and Development College of the University, and we congratulate you again.”

Addressing the congregation as Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated CoVAB alumna and incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) under the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero upon her recent appointment. “We thank His Excellency the President for identifying you. Science is in good hands.”

Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK
Awardees from the Mubende Incubation Hub raise their caps after virtually receiving their certificates in the blended ceremony on 17th June 2021. Photo credit: Kabaruli Twekambe/Team BOBOMAK

Prof. Nawangwe urged Dr. Musenero to address the structures of managing research and innovation in Uganda, “including the role of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the apparent need to establish a Research Council for Uganda.”

In the same breath he thanked the outgoing and pioneer Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumuwesigye, for his role in ensuring that the ministry is empowered to carry out its mandate.

The Chancellor congratulated CoVAB upon training the bulk of Veterinary Doctors in Uganda over the last 50 years and more recently, Laboratory Technologists at the highest level. He recognised Makerere University‘s obligation to contribute to the economic self-determination of Uganda and thanked CoVAB for conducting research that addresses hindrances to national development, especially in the livestock industry.

“The anti-tick vaccine is one of such innovations which will solve the huge problem of tick-borne diseases that have caused enormous losses to our farmers. There are many other problems on which the college is researching and we thank you for the enthusiasm” he added.

Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.
Incoming Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President, Dr. Monica Musenero addresses the congregation.

The Chancellor commended CoVAB for being the vanguard of transformation of the grassroots communities through the SPEDA model. “I urge Government to fund this important initiative so that it can more meaningfully contribute to solving the big problem of youth unemployment.”

In her remarks, Dr. Monica Musenero commended the Principal, CoVAB, Prof. John David Kabasa for fulfilling the College’s dream of enabling the masses who drop out of the education value chain as well as those who complete education but have no skills for livelihood, to attain certification in agribusiness entrepreneurship.

“Many people attain academic success and write papers, publish and they become professors but without demonstrable impact on their nation. You have shown by the thousands that you have touched nationwide that indeed you are a professor of national transformation. Congratulations,” remarked Dr. Musenero.

She therefore congratulated the teams at CoVAB and AFRISA upon successfully conceiving and executing a model that is non-traditional, informal, not easily understood and not documented in any textbooks.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (R) receives graduation books of the cohorts from Director DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick (C) and Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES-Madam Elizabeth Bateme (L).

As Minister, Dr. Musenero noted that witnessing thousands of individuals from across the country whose skills had been honed through a university programme receiving certificates gave her a lot of hope and material to embark on her tenure with. “I will be looking forward to harnessing these resources as we initiate work on the next leg of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country under the President’s Office.”

The invitation to the Principal, CoVAB to present students for the award of the ordinary diplomas, ordinary certificates and artisan certificates was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba. He congratulated the awardees upon successfully completing their respective courses and graduating with evidence on an enterprise.

Prof. Kabasa clarified that the approach used to train the day’s awardees was not simply a vocational skilling. “The combination of action research with knowledge transfer, skilling, plus assessment and accreditation processes done by organs like the DIT (Directorate of Industrial Training, MoES) has given us this result, for the University to provide true leadership and transformation of the community.”

Present at the celebrations were the Director, DIT, MoES-Mr. Byakatonda Patrick and the Deputy Commissioner Social Services Development, MoES Madam Elizabeth Bateme who have worked through the Academic-Community-Public-Private-Partnership model to ensure that students graduate as entrepreneurs with micro enterprises.

The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.
The Vice Chancellor-Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (C), flanked by DVCAA-Dr. Umar Kakumba (R) and the Principal CoVAB-Prof. John David Kabasa (L) commissions the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre-Nakyesasa on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports-Hon. Janet Museveni on 17th June 2021.

Prior to presiding over the ceremony, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports officially commissioned the SPEDA Training, Incubation and Research Centre – Nakyesasa.

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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