On Friday 5th September 2014, the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT), Makerere University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) held a dinner and award ceremony for the second cohort of The Innovative Doctoral Education for Global Food Security course participants. The Innovative Doctoral Education for Global Food Security is a joint project, between Makerere University and SLU focused on development and performance of courses for doctoral students and workshops for senior staff.
The second cohort which ran from 18th August to 5th September 2014, drew participants from the host institution Makerere University as well as from three African satellite universities. The training was facilitated by teachers from SLU and Makerere University who jointly developed and performed courses and workshops for up to 40 participants.
In his opening remarks, Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training (DRGT) noted that the training was based on a premise that Doctoral students in Africa are facing similar problems in their respective institutions. The training was therefore an opportunity for Makerere University to come together with partners from the North and nurture the next generation of academics through tackling pressing societal problems.
“Makerere University is excited about the prospect offered by this training because the issue of food security is at the centre of societal development. Your topic may not be on food security but at the end of the day, we are all facing the same multifaceted challenge which will call for a multi-disciplinary approach,” encouraged Prof. Buyinza.
He expressed his gratitude to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) for choosing Makerere as the host institution, “We are happy that we have managed to deliver on all aspects of the course within the three weeks’ duration and as researchers who are going to engage in scholarly writing or academics, we commend you all for persevering till the very end,” lauded the Director.
He further urged all participants not to miss out on the most important aspect of such trainings, which is to form new networks. He noted that we all have one planet and should therefore always contribute to its sustainable upkeep. “The most gratifying thing when visiting another institution is to meet a familiar face. I therefore encourage you to always write multi-national multi-institutional projects that fully utilize the networks you have formed,” he advised. He commended his team at DRGT for ensuring that all administrative matters related to the training were well taken care of.
Cross-cutting courses at Doctoral level are very vital in nurturing Students’ research and publication skills. Speaking at the dinner Prof. George Nasinyama, Deputy Director-Research, DRGT appreciated the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) for working with Makerere University to shape the PhD landscape on the African continent.
“Skills enhancement courses as initiated on the African continent have been found to be quite useful, and cross-cutting courses for Doctoral students have formed a very good basis. DRGT has developed and coordinated a number of cross-cutting courses with support from development partners and these have adequately dealt with the technical aspects in the various disciplines,” remarked Prof. Nasinyama.
He reemphasized the need for participants in the Mak-SLU joint project to come together and coin another network in the same league as the Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) and Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) networks, “We believe that you will greatly benefit from these,” he advised.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow course teachers, Associate Professor Lotta Hansson, Project Manager-SLU Global commended both facilitators and participants for making it possible for her to be so happy, “I am happy to dress up in this wonderful Ugandan attire and celebrate the successful completion of the three week Doctoral course,” enthused the beaming Associate Professor. “I celebrate the facilitators from both Makerere and SLU for planning and successfully implementing this course,” she briefly but joyfully added.
The role of mentorship in the quest to nurture the next generation of academics or researchers cannot be overemphasized. Professor Elly Sabiiti, a distinguished Senior Academic and Researcher in the field of food security as well as mentor to countless academics including Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza attended the dinner and shared a few words of wisdom. He expressed his contentment at witnessing the initiative that was embarked on during one cold winter afternoon in Sweden with Assoc. Prof Lotta bringing forth such immense results.
“Today I am seeing value for all the efforts put in and you are the testimony. If you did not see the value in this training, you would not have left the comfort of your respective institutions to come to Makerere. The knowledge that you have attained during thid training may not be help you tomorrow or during the course of your PhD but it will be very valuable at a later date. Nevertheless, stay hungry for knowledge,” advised Prof. Sabiiti.
He further advised participants to remain at the frontline of new knowledge if they were to advance their careers, noting that the Innovative Doctoral training had only served to whet their appetites. He noted that Enquiry-Based Learning was becoming more of the norm in modern training and commended the participants upon having added more value to themselves and their respective institutions.
“My passion has always been to find something that is good for mankind and that can benefit many people. Through mentorship, I have benefited others like Professor Mukadasi Buyinza and I am glad that they heeded my advice to always share. I am confident that there is continuity in the system I have left behind,” said Professor Sabiiti. Taking inspiration from a wise saying handed down to him by his own father, he concluded his remarks by urging all participants to always share the knowledge they acquire saying, “If you want to receive more, keep your hands open by giving”.
In moving a vote of thanks on behalf of all participants, Mr. Martin K. from the Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya took his audience on an eloquent journey on the concept of time. Exploring two derivatives of time; Chronos and Kairos in Greek and Hebrew respectively, Martin noted that although they had participated in a fulfilling three weeks of Chronos; denoting actual time, it was now the moment of Kairos; denoting the time of fulfillment, for the participants to harness all that they had learnt through the course.
“It is now the time of fulfillment to achieve all that we had set out to do, thanks to riding on the shoulders of giants; Makerere University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Putting things together is logistically challenging and we therefore heartily thank the team from DRGT for ensuring that all our needs were well taken care of,” he enthused.
He urged fellow participants to go on and finish their degrees or else perish in the All But Dissertation (ABD) class. He also shared that the feedback he received from a questionnaire circulated earlier in the day showed that 93% of participants were happy with the training. He however requested the programme designers to include Data Analysis as a course in the next cohort.
The highlight of the day was a musical performance of two Swedish folk songs by the SLU-Global team; Assoc. Prof. Lotta Hansson, Ms. Nicolette Karst, Ms. Camilla Söderquist and Ms. Moa Hedbrant. All participants were awarded Academic Certificates at the conclusion of their Doctoral Training Course.
Article by Public Relations Office
Mak Commissions CoVAB@50 Celebrations, Awards Certificates
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021
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.
4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors
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.
- Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
- 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.
- 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.
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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