“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
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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