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H.E Ssekandi launches Prof. Suruma Book on Advancing Ugandan Economy

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At the climax of the historic book launch held on Tuesday 23rd September 2014, the audience comprising people with different political ideologies, public, business and private sectors, development partners, the academia, students and the media applauded the author-Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma for presenting to Ugandans and the world at large, a well written and researched political history and economic evolution of Uganda.

This audience that filled the renowned Makerere University Main Hall and Gallery to capacity was nothing short of spectacular. They upheld the author’s point of view that there was a strong correlation between political stability and the rate of economic growth. They agreed with the author that foreign aid would never lead to the development of Uganda; appreciated the author for reiterating the need to involve the communities in the implementation of the rural development strategy; thanked the author for giving direction on a reformed pension and social security sector; and together with the author wished for a well managed oil sector that would lead to job creation and prosperity for all.

In his book, Advancing the Ugandan Economy: A Personal Account published by Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C,2014, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, an accomplished academician who served government diligently, highlights that it is because of the transformed political environment that Uganda has experienced stability and growth. He also shares very difficult times in Uganda’s history and the reforms that followed, identifies problems in various sectors and proposes viable solutions given his research background and wealth of experience. Professor Suruma remains optimistic that as the democratic environment evolves, Uganda will become more stable; and emphasizes that good governance is critical in a country’s social and economic transformation.

In his 197-page book, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, a former Senior Lecturer of Economics at Makerere University; former Director of Research in Bank of Uganda; Minister of Finance from 2005 to 2009; and Senior Presidential Adviser on Finance and Planning in Uganda-not only provides an insider’s account of dramatic policy shifts in Uganda leading to stability and growth, but also expresses hope for a better Uganda. This distinguished son of Africa was also a visiting fellow at Brookings with the Africa Growth Initiative from 2010 to 2011.

In the foreword, Henry Krabbendam, a Professor Emeritus, Covenant College Georgia and Founder, Africa Christian Training Institute-Uganda states that the book gives Professor Suruma’s account of the remarkable policy changes that occurred in Uganda from 1986-2012 as well as his vision for the future of his country. He notes that the primary purpose of the book is to demonstrate that African countries can achieve economic stability and sustain rapid growth when they meet at least two interdependent conditions. He however emphasizes that they must establish a stable and secure political framework, rooted in moral integrity, as well as unleash the entrepreneurialism of the populace, facilitated by a free and democratic society.

Focusing on a better Uganda, the hopeful Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, a respected economist and academician who served the government diligently decries the growing unemployment levels, but envisions Uganda at full employment. His philosophy of full employment is premised on a well managed oil sector and its correlation with job creation and socio-economic transformation.

“…I continue to believe that the country cannot and should not try to sweep the problem of unemployment under the carpet. With the impending oil wealth, I believe that the country really can afford to pursue full employment. Uganda needs to address the needs of its expanding youth population for adequate housing and decent jobs,” further reads the extract on page 194.

Officiating at the launch of this admirably well-written and researched book, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi congratulated Prof. Ezra Sabiti Suruma upon extending the boundaries of knowledge in economics and politics, and equally commended him for not only awakening Ugandans to social, political and economic issues of our time but also providing solutions these problems.

“I have the pleasure to officially launch Prof. Ezra Sabiti Suruma’s book-Advancing the Ugandan Economy: A Personal Account. I commend it to all Ugandans as a prescription that will save Uganda and take it to greater heights,” said the Vice President of Uganda, H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi amidst applause from a captivated audience.

At the memorable book launch Pastor Laban Jjumba who was invited to say a prayer thanked the Almighty God for blessing the author with the gift of life and wisdom. He also gave God the glory for His Servant’s book launch as hosted by Makerere University.

In the same spirit, the Vice Chair, Uganda Debt Network, Ms. Christine Nantongo said that the organisation was proud to be associated with the Prof. Suruma’s publication. “We are aware of the compelling content in this publication and its potential to contribute to Uganda and Africa’s social and economic transformation.”

The Acting Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Associate Professor Ernest Okello Ogwang welcomed the audience to Makerere University and commended them for filling up the Main Hall and the Gallery to capacity as Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma, a distinguished leader and a former Senior Lecturer of Economics at Makerere University (1973-75 and 1979-81) launched his publication.

Makerere University is indeed proud that you chose this Hall as the venue for the launch of your book Advancing the Ugandan Economy – A Personal Account for if its walls would speak, it would tell many a tale. We are also proud that the narrative of this book had its origins in Makerere University, during your tenure as Senior Lecturer at Makerere University. We warmly congratulate you and take great pride in your achievement, and commend you for literally bringing it home,” remarked Associate Prof. Okello Ogwang.

Assoc. Prof. Okello Ogwang, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) represented the Vice Chancellor.

Assoc. Prof. Okello Ogwang, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs)represented the Vice Chancellor.

Assoc. Prof. Okello Ogwang, who is also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) informed the audience that sometimes, those in the know (the insiders) are not bold enough to share what they know. He noted that the insiders often share their experience through other people, and in most cases, especially, here in Uganda; often wait for authors from other countries to write about their own country.

He applauded the author, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma (an insider) for taking a bold step to dedicate time and resources to share with Ugandans and the world at large an insider’s account of dramatic policy shifts in Uganda that led to stability. He then encouraged other insiders who were in attendance to share their own accounts with Ugandans and the world at large.

The Ag. Vice Chancellor also thanked the discussants namely Hon. Dr. Mary Mugyenyi, Gen. Salim Saleh Akandwanaho, Mr. Andrew Rugasira, Hon. Nandala Mafabi, and Mr. Edward Gaamuwa for accepting to be part of the intellectual discourse so that the current political and economic reforms in the quest for economic independence seek to build upon the demands in an interrelated, interconnected and global environment.

At 2:30pm, the author- Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma took to the podium to address eagerly expectant audience comprising several dignitaries, Senior citizens, Ministers, Members of Parliament, intellectuals – both young and old, students and the media.

The Financial Sector Reform: Negotiating with the Bretton Woods Institutions, I believe is one of the most interesting chapters for students and professors. As the Vice Chancellor said, I am speaking from firsthand experience,” remarked Prof. Suruma in reference to chapter nine of his book.

With nostalgia, Prof. Suruma thanked Makerere University for welcoming him, and allowing him to launch his book, in the very institution where the journey started in 1979 when he was Senior Lecturer in the then Department of Economics. He informed the audience that the organizers had proposed to launch his book in a different location, but by God’s providence, he was equally happy that they were all gathered in the Makerere University Main Hall.

Prof. Ezra Sabiti Suruma

Prof. Ezra Sabiti Suruma

In his presentation, Professor Suruma highlighted the journey through Uganda’s turbulent times. While at Makerere University, he soon learnt that what he was lecturing was soon to become irrelevant and could not easily be heard amidst the turbulent times. It was also very unfortunate that during the Amin Era, most intellectuals lost their lives. At Makerere University, he met the late Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi, whose words of wisdom and vision for the future in one of the lectures that Suruma attended marked a turning point in his life. He pointed out that it was his first time to see someone such as Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi openly stating that the political parties could no longer take the country forward, and that there was need for the 3rd force in Uganda to intervene. Later on, Suruma then a Senior Lecturer of Economics joined Joshua Baitwa Mugyenyi-the political scientist to form that 3rd force – the Uganda National Movement at Makerere University.

Recalling their boldness and how their decision to form a 3rd force impacted on the transformation of Uganda, Professor Suruma advised the youths and students to remain focused and determined.

“Then we were young people and a laughing stock. People said that they had dominant political parties, and that we as young people could not do anything. One of the main points, I want to put forward is that when we entered politics, we were responding to a difficult environment. Although they considered us hopeless, we had remarkable achievements. I encourage you, young people to know that ideas are powerful,” he said.

The author pointed out that he escaped death narrowly when soldiers came looking for him, but surprisingly a voice responded that he was not in the area, and by God’s grace the soldiers did not bother to check. Professor Suruma will remain eternally grateful to the person who chose to inform the soldiers that he was not in the area, although the person has never revealed his identity to date.

“To the young people, If God determines that you will live, you will live. Do not fear to organize,” he emphasized amidst applause from the audience.

In his hypothesis, it is because of the transformed political environment that Uganda has experienced stability and growth. In the last 27 years, the country has been going forward because there is a remarkable correlation between the type of government and the rate of economic growth. Although the history of economic growth is attributed to macro-economic principles, Professor Suruma argues that more attention should be given to political stability. The transformation in political stability made it possible to pursue major financial reforms in Uganda.

“Looking at the data on page 22, with Uganda’s economic growth rate rising to 3.6%, there is no doubt in my mind that the increase in economic growth is correlated with good governance,” he emphasized.

Being a key figure in the economic and political transformation of Uganda, Professor Suruma is delighted with the reforms that resulted into the liberalization of the foreign exchange sector. He also encountered serious challenges during his tenure at Bank of Uganda including lack of capacity and accountability as well as independence of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance. He also shared a scenario where some key government officials wondered why the Bank of Uganda would require a budget! Professor Suruma is equally glad that they took bold decisions that resulted into a reformed banking sector and an independent Bank of Uganda.

He highlighted the struggle for the Uganda Commercial Bank. He referred to it as a bank without money, with the most pressing problem being illiquidity of the bank. Realising that the people would deposit money, but encountered a lot of difficulty in withdrawing, Professor Suruma considered the problem and tried to find out where the money was going.

“I found out that branch managers were lending independently of the centre. Top managers did not know what the branch managers were doing, the latter were practically autonomous. Worse still, the branch managers were lending money but not recovering much of it. That was the ultimate source of the disaster, “he said.

Professor Suruma made an incredible decision, and the bank was liquid within a week, a milestone that his colleagues referred to as the “Suruma Effect.” Listening to his presentation, it was crystal clear that Professor Suruma who had ensured that the Uganda Commercial Bank was profitable as of 1996, did not support the World Bank position of privatizing the bank, but he later realized that he could not win.

The author received around of applause from the audience when he pointed out that the pension and social security reforms are a societal obligation. “I appeal to our citizens to struggle for a time when every Ugandan citizen will afford basic needs and be respected regardless of their economic status,” he said.

In his book, the optimistic Professor Suruma tackles the promising oil sector and its effect on job creation and the social and economic wellbeing of Ugandans. Chapter 21: Job Creation and Housing Demand in Uganda-An Innovative Synergy is my small contribution to the debate on creating employment,” remarked the author.

The author dedicated the book to his father, Sulumani Barilanwa who made sure that he went to school-even though their village had no school to go to; his mother Esiteri Keiganiza whose unflinching disciplinary rigor set him on the straight path toward good; and to the martyrs and fighters for human freedom and justice everywhere.

To the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu who was out of the country on official duty, the author, Professor Ezra Sabiti Suruma presented an autographed complimentary book with a special message.

“ To Prof. and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ddumba Ssentamu, in remembrance of our time together at Makerere University, 1979 -1981.Thank you for your friendship.”

Discussants:

Hon. Mary Mugyenyi, Patron, Joshua Mugyenyi Foundation said that she could identify with what the author had written especially the history and economics of this country. She however pointed out that although decentralization had taken services to the people, it had shortfalls which should be addressed. She also observed that privatization though good had shortfalls such as the prioritization of foreign firms over local ones. She also noted although SACCOs are good, there is an urgent need to regulate them so as to guarantee the safety of their members’ savings. She emphasized that corruption in Uganda is not caused by poverty and appealed to Makerere University to conduct an informed study on who is corrupt and why they are corrupt.

Gen. Salim Saleh Akandwanaho, Presidential Advisor on Security, and formerly, Minister of State for Microfinance thanked the author for according

him the honour of discussing his rural development strategy and its impact on Uganda, which he; Gen. Salim Saleh has been implementing as a loyal officer. He noted that community information systems and access to finances were crucial in advancing the rural development strategy and also saluted H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for re-enforcing the military in the rural development strategy. Gen. Salim Saleh appreciated the title of the book, especially its faith in the future. He nevertheless drew applause from the audience when he emphasized that his dealings in the privatization of the Uganda Commercial Bank were only influenced by the desire to “Ugandanise” the bank. He asked that authors to publish more books on the economy, politics, and environment so that Uganda continues to move forward.

Mr. Edward Gaamuwa, Chief Executive Director-ACLAIM Africa Limited.

Mr. Edward Gaamuwa, Chief Executive Director-ACLAIM Africa Limited.

Mr. Edward Gaamuwa, Chief Executive Director-ACLAIM Africa Limited congratulated Dr. Suruma for his incisive and sometimes blunt book and for being bold to call a spade a spade. He appreciated the author for pointing out that Ministers and people in high places had succumbed to corruption. He however disagreed with the author that corruption was a result of income insecurity but was rather convinced that corruption is a result of greed. The discussant decried the “short termism” in managing pension funds and emphasized the need for a long term approach. He added that social security is not a luxury, but a key factor in sustainable development.

Hon. Nandala Mafabi, formerly Leader of Opposition in Parliament reminded the audience that during his tenure, privatization had indeed put the President and Parliament on a collision course as Dr. Suruma correctly pointed out in his book on page 73. Hon. Nandala recalled that he moved the motion in the House not to

Hon. Nandala Mafabi, former Chair, Public Accounts Committee.

Hon. Nandala Mafabi, former Chair, Public Accounts Committee.

sell the then Uganda Commercial Bank. He commended the author for taking wisdom and courage to come up with an insightful book especially as member of the ruling party! With regard to the discussion on corruption, the discussant argued that the people that tended to already have wealth turned out to be the most corrupt. He agreed with the author that unemployment in Uganda was a serious matter and that a well managed oil resource would lead to creation of jobs. Focusing on the management of the oil resources, he emphasized the need for transparency and accountability as well as the need for the Opposition and Government of Uganda to work together for a thriving oil sector. He also agreed with the view that oil presents us with an opportunity to uplift the standards of Ugandans. Hon. Nandala Mafabi however critiqued the author for remaining silent on the role of international agencies in the oil sector. “The international agencies and donors always ignore the local voices, but claim to pursue democracy,” he said.

Mr. Andrew Rugasira, Chief Executive Officer, Good African Coffee Ltd appealed to the youth and students to read the book and fashion their ideologies around it. He detested the high rate of borrowing and its adverse effects on investment and development. He noted that access to capital was a major problem whereby young people have ideas, but very few have access to capital. He stressed that our hope in economic transformation was within our midst, and further encouraged young people to come up with innovative strategies.

Mr. Andrew Rugasira,Chief Executive Officer, Good African Coffee Ltd

Mr. Andrew Rugasira,Chief Executive Officer, Good African Coffee Ltd

In his address, the Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Ssekandi said: “You will appreciate that books are the principle repository of knowledge. Books of this nature help us to link with reality in our environment and communities. We should use the ideas to bring about transformation in our communities. This is a great inspiration to all of us here to put our ideas in writing and share them with humanity.”

Wrapping up, Professor Suruma thanked the congregation for sparing their valuable time to participate in the book launch. “I have been humbled by your presence and contributions.”

Professor Augustus Nuwagaba, who moderated the discussion, thanked Makerere University for producing Professor Suruma – a wonderful son of Africa. He equally congratulated the Vice Chancellor and staff of Makerere University for producing products that can effect change the world over.

The Uganda Debt Network, which envisions a prosperous Uganda with sustainable, equitable development and high quality of life of the people, sponsored the book launch.

Written by: Ritah Namisango, Makerere University

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Mak Gender Mainstreaming Directorate to Start a University Men’s Forum

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The Director Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine (left) addresses participants at the Male Round Table discussion for Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff on 6th June 2024. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

As a way of promoting Gender equality and inclusion, the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate on Thursday 6th June 2024 held a Male Round Table discussion for Makerere University Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff. Giving the objectives for the men’s workshop, the Senior Gender Officer Makerere University Mainstreaming Directorate Mr. Eric Tumwesigye stated that the directorate realized the need to provide space for male staff at Makerere University to identify their issues in relation to promoting gender equality.

He also noted that there is need to explore ways of exercising their agency in promoting gender equality and also need to build a male champions at Makerere University and beyond.

Speaking to the audience, the Key note speaker Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana an Anglican Priest in Namirembe Diocese, A Counselling Psychologist who also doubles as the National Male and Religious Champion on Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR), and a Male Engagement Specialist echoed on how mental ill health is  affecting and spreading among men in and outside Uganda calling for the need to stand with the affected people to help ease their recovery. He noted that while statistics are important in social issues, it’s important to personify numbers and consider case by case in handling Men’s issues.

Cautioning that acts of basing on numbers when discussing matters that affect people’s lives, and individuals should stand out and speak out alone, as it’s longer about statistics but an individual, and that depressed men become problematic to the society.

Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana addresses participants. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Rev. Nathan Mugalu Balirwana addresses participants.

“Many men are suffering mental illness but because they lack enough safe spaces where they can be understood with empathy and unconditional positive regard. Men need Male more safe spaces and who to speak to, as  many have resorted to ending their lives. We need to be there for each other. We should know that it’s not about statistics but an individual, depressed men, depress the entire society” remarked Rev. Mugalu.

He noted that there is need for more deliberate efforts to raise masculine Men. The absence of masculinity among men raises deficiencies in Men’s characters that worsen gender injustice, violence, inequalities etc. He noted that masculinity is a positive attribute that needs to be promoted among Men. He further stressed that Toxic Masculinity means the absence of Masculinity.

He noted the need to reach out to Men on the grassroots. Ignored Men are dangerous to their communities. It’s not about how much English we speak, it’s all about how many Men in the Ghettos, villages, Wanainchi that we reach with the message of gender equality, equity and justice. As long as Men on grassroots cannot define equality, we are far away from achieving gender equality.

Some of the Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff interact. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Some of the Senior Academic and Administrative Male staff interact.

He further stresses the need to involve young men and boys in the struggle of achieving gender equality.

He noted the challenges men face in society and called for creation of safe spaces, where men can meet and share their challenges and get some advice as one of the mechanisms for reducing on the high rate of gender violence men face today, stating that several men today are wounded mentally by  Gender Based violence but have no one to share with and even those that they would share with expect them to be men enough to handle the problem and also to heal others.  

“The untold story is that 8 of 10 men are facing mental  and physical Gender Based violence and they fear to talk about it, as society expects them to be men enough to withstand such challenges, this has affected many families and work places as wounded men wound others but are expected to heal others. Only a man that has been wounded and fully healed can heal others as he understands the pains” said Rev. Nathan.

Rev. Nathan further called for mentorship and engagement of the boys and men if we are to have a better society and also if we are to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions which occur on a daily basis and cautioned about the generation growing without men, noting that the comfort zones stagnate men, and advised men to get out of their comfort zones and plan for future to avoid retirement issues.

Participants follow proceedings during the Round Table discussion. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Participants follow proceedings during the Round Table discussion.

“We are risking a society without astute and well-adjusted masculine men, comfort zones are the most stagnating thing for men, there is need to be worried when we bring a generation that has nothing to lose, such people are determined to do anything. Men need to be engaged so much in the struggle to end abortions which occur daily. This can be through sensitization” he said.

The Principal Women in Development Officer, Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development Hajji Mayanja Idi Mubarak noted that the percentage of men drop out is increasing highly calling for need to look into the barriers that are leading to the cause just like it was done with women.

“The same barriers that were affecting women are now affecting men, previous graduation noted that 52% were females and 48% men, a sign that there is a drop out of universities of the men in completing studies, and there is need to work on barriers of access to education by male students.” He said.

He advised men to balance work and home life to ease management of their responsibilities both at work and home as one way to reduce on the rampant causes of Gender Based Violence among homes.

Hajji Mayanja Idi Mubarak outlined the Ministry’s key objectives in male involvement strategy. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Hajji Mayanja Idi Mubarak outlined the Ministry’s key objectives in male involvement strategy.

As a way of reducing on the cases of child torture by domestic workers and also unpaid care, Hajji Mubaraka called for day care centers at places of work and also revealed that the Ministry is coming up with a policy to regulate on the exploitation of domestic workers  to see that they earn what is worthy their labor, noting that 90% of them are under paid and yet exploited with too much work load.

“We encourage our wives, sisters and daughters to work and call for salary increment, but we forget the young girls and women whom we leave behind as maids. Most of these are under paid compared to the work they do and some are not paid at all, that’s why we keep hearing cases of house helps torturing our children at home.  It’s here that Ministry is coming up with a policy to regulate on the unpaid care work to see that these maids also earn what’s fair to their services and also need to have day care centers at our workplaces.” He said.

He mentioned that the Ministry’s key objectives in male involvement strategy are;

  • To guide development and review Gender Based Violence policies and programs to integrate interventions on male involvement.
  • To promote transformation of harmful gender norms and practices that perpetuate Gender Based Violence.
  • To provide guidance on provision of male friendly services to meet victims of Gender Based Violence
  • To promote strategic partnership in engaging men and boys in prevention and response to Gender Based Violence.

Revealing that government is putting up spaces to help men going through violence to enable them not only to open up but also get helped from what they go through and urged fellow men to make good use of the space created.

Mr. Mayanja continued to note that involvement of men and boys in the processes that prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence is an indispensable part of the process of changing the power of dynamics of existing   gender roles and values that perpetuate Gender Based Violence as men play key role in bringing gender equality in our society, religions and traditions, since Uganda’s diverse cultural customs and taboos that define men’s status and expectations in different ways.

Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine gives her closing remarks. Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine gives her closing remarks.

The Director Makerere University Gender Main streaming Directorate Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine stated that research was done on 6 universities Kyambogo University, Busitema University, Gulu University, Mbarara University with a purpose to explore the male involvement in the interventions to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in universities and findings showed that efforts to engage men in programs that promote gender equality was regarded as important and exciting topic.

Giving her closing remarks, Dr. Euzobia thanked all the male staff of Makerere University for their participation and feedback that they provided and pledged continuation of more engagements.

“We are happy for the feedback provided by everyone, this is very important for us as we build for the future and we hope for more trainings“ Said Dr. Euzobia.

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Short Course Announcement: Basic Data Analysis

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Some of the participants that attended DataFest Kampala hosted by RAN from 29th to 30th of April 2021. RAN Innovation Lab, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN), School of Public Health Annex, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Plot 28, House 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Makerere University School of Public Health is offering training in Basic Data Analysis over a period of 5 days (Monday 15th – Friday 19th July 2024) culminating in a Certificate of Basic Data Analysis upon completion. The deadline for receiving applications is Monday 8th July 2024.

This program aims to build capacity of the participants to be able to conduct basic analysis of data, given a set of health data. By the end of the course, participants should be able to develop an analysis plan to answer specific research questions of interest to them, to conduct univariate analysis for both numerical and categorical variables, to select appropriate statistical tests and conduct bivariate analysis for different combinations of variables and to interpret and present results from data analysis using appropriate figures and narrative.

This course is suitable for health professionals, health researchers, PhD students and Health program managers who interface with health data and would like to gain the skills needed to analyze this data.

Mode of Delivery

  • A blended learning approach will be used where sessions will be delivered both online (using Zoom) and Face-to-face. Face-to-face sessions will be held at the MakSPH Annex in Kololo, at the RAN Lower Lab whilst a zoom link will be shared for the online participants.
  • Participants will have to indicate beforehand which mode they will use though face-to-face participants will have the added advantage of access to instant facilitator support especially when navigating Stata.

Course Pre-requisites

Prior knowledge of statistical principles and epidemiological methods is a requirement. In order to participate meaningfully and to keep up with the course content and practical activities, applicants to this course should have already taken a basic course in statistics/biostatistics and epidemiology. They must also have a personal computer, conversant with basic use of Windows and Stata (Version 10 or above)

See the application link below: https://forms.gle/vMELSBwww1ckoVaaA

Course Fee:

Payment subsidized course fee of Uganda shillings 600,000/= for nationals and USD 300 for international students payable at the beginning as payment for the course. This will contribute to training materials, Venue, Facilitation fees, Internet Data, and Zoom fees for the whole course.

Payment & Registration Procedure

Selected participants will receive admission letters and bank account details to make full payment before the start of the course.

After banking on the account, scan the Deposit Slip to  imutyaba@musph.ac.ug or deliver the hard copy to Room 3, Ground Floor, Makerere University School of Public Health, New Mulago complex for registration or call +256785510385

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Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe attends WUN/ARUA AGM at the Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria

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Professor Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd Left) with Left to Right: Dr. Chrispus Mayora-Mak School of Public Health, Professor Rob Marchant-Department of Environment and Geography, and Co-Chair of the York Africa Network (alongside Prof Cathy Mbidde), Edward Kataika-Director of Programmes (ECSA), Elisha Witcomb-Global Partnerships Manager (UoY), Dr. Ana MacIntosh-Director of Strategic Programmes, Assuring Autonomy and AI (UoY), and Professor Paul Revil-Centre for Health Economics (UoY) at the meeting. WUN/ARUA AGM, 22nd - 23rd May 2024, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

On 22 – 23 May 2024, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, joined the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) and African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Presidents’ Forum at their Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Future Africa Campus, University of Pretoria, South Africa. WUN is a network of twenty-four (24) world-leading teaching and research-intensive universities across six (6) continents, which facilitates collaboration across institutions in order to strengthen the impact of their work. On the other hand, ARUA is a network of sixteen (16) of the Africa region’s leading universities mainly aimed at expanding and enhancing significantly the quality of research done in Africa by African researchers.

This year’s AGM was held under the theme: “Addressing Global Research Challenges in an African Context” and this theme was canvassed under five major thematic areas:

  1. Establishing Equitable Research Partnerships – mapping the historical perspectives and way forward
  2. Building Successful Projects/Collaborations: experiences and lessons from different universities
  3. Developing Research Careers – through PhDs and Postdoctoral Trainings and early faculty career development opportunities
  4. Maximizing the Benefits of Partnership – tackling research challenges effectively through global partnerships and engagements
  5. Opportunities for WUN and ARUA and how to harness the networks.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe chaired two thematic discussions, where he also shared the experiences of Makerere University in building and sustaining effective North-South and South-South partnerships for capacity building, knowledge sharing, and research. The Vice Chancellor shared experience of two successful models of collaboration: 1) the Makerere University – Karolinska Institutet collaboration, through which hundreds of PhDs have been trained at Makerere University through the double PhD arrangement; and 2) the NORHED funded collaboration – a long-standing collaboration dating more than 15 years. Prof. Nawangwe noted that these two collaborations have been very instrumental in faculty training and capacity building at Makerere University, to the extent that now Makerere University has more than 70% of its staff with PhDs. Prof. Nawangwe attributed the success of the collaborations to the openness, trust, and mutual respect among the partners. He noted that even when the Northern partners provided funding, they allowed Makerere University to determine the priority research areas that students wanted to pursue. This way, students’ research became relevant to local challenges.

It was noted that Universities in Africa were facing immense pressure and challenges to continue to deliver quality teaching and research. These challenges related to low funding including low investments in Lab infrastructure, and research and development, limited infrastructure, limited number of faculty with PhDs, high staff to student ratios, among others. Surmounting these challenges required deepening research skills within specific disciplines, developing staff with multi and inter-disciplinary skills, developing staff with transferable and soft skills, and most importantly identifying new partnerships and collaborations while sustaining existing ones.

To strengthen PhD training to prepare the next generation of researchers, ARUA had received funding support from Mastercard Foundation and other partners to train up to 100,000 PhDs in Africa in the next 10 years. It is believed that this will boost Universities’ capacities to undertake their mandates and contribute to social transformation of Africa.

Participants also noted that while it is important to focus on PhD trainings, its also important to focus on building careers of University Faculty beyond PhDs. There is more to just getting a PhD degree, a lot of development must happen at Postdoctoral level if Universities are to enhance research capacity. These post-doctoral capacity building initiatives require clear, deliberate, and intentional institutional frameworks including partnerships to achieve. Young faculty need to be supported and mentored as they embark on careers in research. Beyond identifying and building North-South partnerships, it was imperative that African Universities continue to work with each other in South-South arrangements to optimize already existing – yet untapped potentials – within African institutions

Professor Nawangwe meets with team from University of York

The University of York has been a longstanding partner of Makerere University mainly in terms of supporting the Innovations Hub and previous work with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). The Centre for Health Economics (CHE) has since 2017 been working with the School of Public Health (MakSPH) to support policy and decision-making at the Ministry of Health. Through the Thanzi La Onze (TLO) collaboration program, University of York is focused on capacity building for health economics and policy in Uganda and the region. The CHE has partnered with MakSPH under the Health Economics and Policy Program (HEPP) to support the establishment of a Master of Health Economics graduate program at Makerere University, which is going to be the first of its kind in the region. Program approval processes are currently ongoing.

Prof. Nawangwe and the York team also discussed additional collaboration in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Environment, Climate Change, and Health.

In the meeting, it was noted that the University of York’s Assuring Autonomy, Centre for Doctoral Training in Safe AI, and the wider initiative – the Institute for Safe Autonomy are already existing initiatives that both institutions could explore working on. On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nawangwe noted that Makerere University had a growing interest in the area of AI and already different initiatives were ongoing. He noted a strand of work on AI at the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) led by Dr. Rose Nakasi who is working on the AI-Health Lab, where Artificial Intelligence and data science are applied to support and solve health-related challenges especially in the developing world. Makerere University also hosts another AI lab, headed by Dr. Joyce Nabende. Also, under the ARUA-Guild Cluster of research excellence, formed in 2023, there is a cluster on ‘AI, Data Science and Computational Thinking’. The Cluster is a collaboration between University of Stellenbosch (as ARUA lead), Uppsala (Guild lead), Makerere, Coventry, Nairobi, Rwanda, Rhodes, Lagos and Warwick. At Makerere University, the Cluster is coordinated by Prof. John Mango and Dr. Joyce Nabende. Makerere University is scheduled to host a summer school for three weeks (starting 8th July 2024) on Mathematics for AI. The school is jointly organized by the Eastern Africa Universities Mathematics Program (EAUMP), ISP-Sweden, Department of Computer Science and Department of Mathematics at Makerere, Lappeenranta University in Finland, ICTP-Italy, The International Center for Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) among other institutions.

Next steps

The meeting appreciated the need to continue to work together to advance the mutual interests of the two institutions. It was agreed that follow-up conversations should happen more especially between the team leads at the two institutions to explore opportunities for working together on not only the existing, but also new strands of work. Prof. Nawangwe appreciated the University of York for all the support and committed to follow up on the conversation and specifically the master of Health economics program development process between School of Public Health and School of Economics.

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