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
Rotary International President visits Mak
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.
At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted. President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.
President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims.
Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.
By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.
The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.
Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.
Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.
Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.
Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.
“Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.
The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.
The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.
At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.
“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.
On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.
Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.
“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.
Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.
Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.
She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.
Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.
She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.
On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”
At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.
She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.
“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.
Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.
“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.
Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.
He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”
Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.
Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.
Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”
Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.
“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.
The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”
She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.
The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.
Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal
The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25. For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.
Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.
Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY
Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG