Makerere University is set to host the coveted Higher Education Resource Services, East Africa (HERS-EA); which brings together women in institutions of higher learning in the region to sharpen their leadership skills. HERS-EA was launched on 5th August 2014 during a two day conference at Imperial Royale Hotel, which drew over 150 participants from universities in the East African Countries of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Ethiopia (Central Africa). The Guest of honour, Dr. Raymonda Burgman, Director HERS Institutes USA, challenged HERS-EA to go beyond the equilibrium. “Well behaved women rarely change anything. Go out and change the world,” she emphasized. Mrs. Elizabeth Gabona, Commissioner for Higher Education in Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports welcomed the HERS-EA initiative and urged the brains behind it to make sure they have sustainable impact.
HERS is a non-profit educational organization based in the USA. It provides leadership and management training for women in Higher Education Institutions. HERS has instituted a programme of developing partner organisations in order to share and expand the HERS curriculum and associated programs in leadership and management development of women; thus the need for HERS-EA as a sister organization of HERS-USA and HERS-South Africa. HERS-EA’s volunteer Secretariat is currently hosted at the Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development (AFRISA) in Makerere University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB). On 3rd Oct. 2013, Makerere University signed a memorandum of understanding to host HERS-EA until it is ready to operate on its own.
According to the Chair HERS-EA Dr. Margaret L. Khaitsa, the HERS-EA model will empower women to scale the height. “Many women are qualified but lack confidence and a support system to take them forward. HERS-EA will provide the network and also create an enabling and safe environment for women to share similar challenges and encourage one another,” she explained.
The Chair of the HERS-EA Conference Organizing Committee, Prof. Florence Wakoko-Studstill, explained that HERS was born out of the realization that women were occupying important positions but there was a substantial lack of women serving as decision makers. HERS-EA targets women in Higher Education Institutions at different career development levels who are thinking of leadership or who are already in leadership to be more efficient and reach the desired levels.
“Our objective is to provide an enabling environment for women in higher education to reach out to the ordinary women in rural communities through mentoring, training, research and transformative activities like best practices in food production and community health. The skills acquired will help them aspire for positions of leadership wherever they will be,” said Prof. Wakoko-Studstill.
A Board of Directors comprised of representatives from the East African countries, with relevant skills to ensure that they efficiently run the organization and meet the standards for good governance will be formed with its Secretariat in Uganda. The interactive conference agreed that this Board will develop a governance structure for the organization, handle policy issues and will work closely with sub-committees that will specialize in resource mobilization and strategic development.
“We want to train women at least once annually. We will keep a network of all alumni and provide electronic information and also invite them to participate as experts and trainers,” explained Dr. Khaitsa. She hopes that if the Ministries of Education in the member countries and the IUCEA own HERS-EA, which will help address the sustainability question.
A curriculum will be developed, tailor made for the unique needs of women in Higher Education Institutions in East Africa, and a call consequently put out for applications. Dr. Mutasimbwa from IUCEA shared key insights on how gender was mainstreamed in IUCEA, and stressed the need for gender content in academic programmes across the board, and addressing gender imbalance within the academic hierarchy as key points for HERS-EA to consider in structuring a curriculum. IUCEA has already developed broad guidelines for a gender curriculum in East Africa.
Partnering and Funding HERS-EA
To achieve her objective, HERS-EA is looking at partnering with Government, the donor community, and the public and private sectors.
The Principal Education Officer in the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Amutenda Salvatore Tumwine, pledged the Ministry’s support towards HERS-EA. “We will give you all the necessary support. But as you make your structures, make sure they are big, visible and convincing enough to be categorized under the Education sector as opposed to being under a civil society organization. By doing this, you will be better heard,” he advised. “Please utilize the Ministry of East African Community Affairs and the Inter University Council of East Africa, IUCEA, in propelling HERS- EA,” he added.
Catherine Kanabahita, Director of the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate Makerere University stressed that the Directorate will offer support to HERS-EA. “We want to give technical expertise in writing award winning proposals to raise resources. We also believe in publicity and networks, so we look forward to helping out in this area too,” she said. She presented the participants with a copy of a famous book by the late former President of Tanzania H.E Julius Nyerere titled, ‘Women’s Freedom: Women are Eagles, Not Chickens,’ for personal motivation.
The Principal of CoVAB, Prof. David Kabasa challenged HERS-EA to use the AFRISA model in empowering women. “The discussion on gender should incorporate a discussion on value addition to local products. Inclusiveness in the economic development of Africa must be cognizant of the value chain. The ideological disorientation of getting employed must be addressed. Production should not be looked at as inferior,” he argued.
The President of Africa America Higher Education Partnerships, AAHEP, Dr. Pius Kamau encouraged HERS-EA to be open to diverse partnerships. “We need to create huge partnerships to support one another. Africa has big programmes and different groups think they have the solution but this is not true. All of us should contribute towards making Africa better. I believe women have a much bigger role to play, especially women of science. It is my hope that if we continue doing this, we will create women who are Presidents or key leaders to advance Africa,” he asserted.
Over 5,000 women have been trained by HERS-USA and another 1,000 trained by HERS-SA including the former Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs of Makerere University Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza, and Dr. Consolata Kabonesa – Dean School of Women and Gender Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS). Funds will dictate how many will be trained by HERS-EA. The bigger vision is to form HERS-Africa.
By Marion Alina, Public Relations Office
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.
Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University
7th June 2021
All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.
During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.
Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.
Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council
RUFORUM: Transforming Higher Education Videos and Links
Video Series developed by Julieta Mazzola, EARTH University.
- What is Community Engagement? Video 1 of 3. https://youtu.be/etv2-W1U3O0
- Different Forms of University Engagement with the Community. Video 2 of 3. https://youtu.be/73h2p8P0BLw
- Student learning through Community Engagement. Video 3 of 3. https://youtu.be/Ule3P1-tjC4
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