Over 100 participants at the 1st Climate Change and Opportunities for Sustainable Business in East Africa Conference have developed a Communiqué that will be presented at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (COP21) in December 2015 in Paris, France.
The Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu who is scheduled to lead the Ugandan delegation to the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP21), officially opened the Kampala Conference held on 12th November 2015 on the theme: Supporting the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference: Climate Change and Opportunities for Sustainable Business in East Africa.
Hon. Kamuntu commended the Royal Embassy of Norway, Makerere University-Uganda, and University of Bergen-Norway, for organizing the conference aimed at exploring and demonstrating through workable models/approaches that sustainable solutions and technology can be enhanced to create business opportunities for the mutual benefits.
“This Conference is timely; for it presents the East Africans with a platform to discuss and come up with a message on climate change and business opportunities that we would like to be captured by over 190 countries in COP21 in 2015. This is a commendable consultative and participatory approach, and I thank the Embassy of Norway, the University of Bergen in Norway, and Makerere University, Kampala for organizing this important conference,” the Minister said.
In the communiqué, the participants comprising government officials, delegation from East Africa and Norway, members of the private sector, development partners and key industry figures, the academia and media recommended to the United Nations Conference of the Parties Conference (COP21) the following:
- The prioritization and mainstreaming of South-North collaborations especially in the areas of research and innovation that are key to attaining climate-friendly development and eventually developing sustainable business enterprises into national policy frameworks.
- Based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the urgent streamlining of climate financing initiatives including but not limited to carbon markets to enable up-scaling of existing technologies on a massive scale such as the use of solar energy, wind and thermal resources as well as energy saving clean cooking technologies.
- That the Academia, Private Sector and Government form a strong alliance that commercializes research findings, technology and technology transfer as well as innovative approaches towards climate-smart business opportunities at all levels.
- That Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith-based organizations, the private sector and the media embrace networking as a mutually beneficial avenue for sharing and disseminating business programs supported by national and regional policy frameworks as well as build capacity of stakeholders to implement viable climate change and business linkages.
Addressing the participants at Serena Hotel Kampala, Hon. Kamuntu said that the effects of climate change in Uganda are already evident in the agricultural sector; affecting the productivity of seasons which have culminated in adverse effects in combination with increasing population growth rate.
“Uganda’s current growth rate indicates that 60% of the population consists of young people below 18 years and 78% of the population is the youth under 35 years. With this kind of population, it will be a wise opportunity and blessing for the country to invest in and develop skills of these young people in order to have a dynamic labor force for Uganda’s economy. However we must recognize that if this is not handled, the combination of climate change with the increasing population can be a disaster,” he stated.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda H.E Susan Eckey said for the world to be able to find solutions to climate change, countries should develop a system for national reporting.
“In the climate meeting in Lima last year, countries agreed to not only set national goals before the Paris conference but also to enhance necessary action, and we see that countries are willing to do more than before. More than 150 countries responsible for 90% of gas emissions have already set their climate goals. These goals show that the transition to the low emission societies has begun,”she said.
Her Excellency informed the participants that Norway has set three top priorities ahead of the upcoming Paris conference. These include: a long term vision; countries to update and upgrade their climate goals every five years; and a system for national reporting.
Highlighting the issue of temperature change and its adverse impact on human and natural systems, the Rector of University of Bergen, Prof. Dag Rune Olsen said that by the end of this year 2015, the global average temperature may have a positive milestone of about 1 degree Centigrade above industrial levels as predicted by the UK Meteorological Office.
“This climate change has wide spread impact on humans and natural systems. The increase in temperature will also have widespread impact on bio-diversity, food security as well as affect public health. We shall also witness the increase to geo-hazards. The human influence on the climate system is clear and the recent emissions of greenhouse gasses are the highest in history, that leads us to the reasons as to why the upcoming meeting-the COP21 in Paris is important,” he explained.
Prof. Olsen revealed that the Africa Progress Report shows that Africa can seize climate and all energy opportunities. The new research on the climate economy shared by Lord Stern also illustrates the opportunity to transform and expand the supply of hydroelectric solar Power energy in Africa, which will spur development and reduce on the negative environment effects.
According to the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, global attention today is focused on climate change as a critical driver for development. Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu mentioned that East Africa and Norway have initiated several joint efforts to address the impacts of climate change while harnessing business opportunities.
“The effects of climate change already have profound and irreversible impact on economic social and environmental systems. They are manifested in several forms including drought, erratic rainfall patterns and other extreme weather events that threatens human health and infrastructure, agricultural production and food security, water and other natural resources and sustainability that are the very core of human survival and economic development. It is therefore very urgent that we come up with both mitigation and adaptation majors that will help us to deal with the evolving climate,” he remarked.
During the conference, participants also discussed the effects of climate change on trade and business, social economic opportunities and development, human health, environment and continental prosperity. Through the various discussions and presentations held, the participants indicated that the high prevalence of food shortages faced by East African countries is caused by the high illiteracy rate and unawareness, marketing bottlenecks, poor agricultural practice, resource depletion and degradation.
Giving the East African perspective on mitigation and adaptation strategies carried out by Makerere University so far, Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa noted that the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) has integrated aspects of climate change at undergraduate level and introduced new regional Masters programmes. He also shared that the College has developed seeds for rangeland forages, drought and disease resistant varieties of crops as well as carried out extensive research on indigenous multipurpose tree species that can absorb carbon dioxide from the environment.
In a presentation titled, Converting the Climate Change message into suitable business, Mr. Ssewagudde Christopher, Representative from Innovation Norway said: “The emerging opportunities for alternative livelihoods, asset building, improving scientific knowledge for value addition projects, up-scaling, replication and sustainability, institution of linkages and the importance of participatory approaches and addressing cross-cutting issues in business like mainstreaming gender, indigenous knowledge, HIV/AIDS, child protection and disability have changed the standards of living as well as creating more business opportunities for East African people.”
The participants recognized that sustainable solutions and technology can be harnessed to create business opportunities for the mutual benefit of East Africa and Norway in line with international targets including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They also appreciated the support provided by the United Nations through Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Conference of the Parties towards an international agreement of dealing with the Climate Change adaptation and Mitigation.
During the conference, the Minister of Water and Environment Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, H.E. Susan Eckey and Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu were presented with signed copies of a book entitled Responsible and Profitable: Strategies for Sustainable business models by Authors Sveinung Jørgensen and Lars Jacob Tynes Pedersen. The book connects Business with Climate Change and provides knowledge on how countries can utilize opportunities availed by the current climate change.
Article by: Mak Public Relations Office
Call For Nominations for the Position of Chancellor Makerere University
Makerere University invites nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University.
Purpose of the position
The Chancellor is the titular head of the University, presides over all ceremonial assemblies of the University and confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of the University.
Please see Download below for details.
The deadline for submission of nominations is 11th January 2024 at 5:00 p.m. East African Time.
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
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