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Mak Students Receive USD 90,000 from Saudi Arabia

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On 4th November 2015, Makerere University received a USD 90,000 grant from King Abdalla Bin Abdul Aziiz International Centre for Arabic Language- Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; to enable 20 students to study Arabic language for a period of three years. The donation was handed over to the Acting Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang by the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Uganda H.E Dr. Jamal Rafah at a colourful ceremony held in the Makerere University Council Room.

According to the Head, Department of European and Oriental Languages, Dr. Edith Natukunda, the donation will help the institution to boost and promote the teaching of Arabic Language in the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) and Education and External Studies (CEES).

The Mak-Arabic Scholarships will also enable students to learn and master the Arabic culture and norms as well as explore the historical background of Arab countries and the longstanding relations between Uganda and the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, the sponsorship will facilitate the development and promotion of Arabic both nationally and internationally, so as to enhance communication and friendship between the people of Uganda and the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 Dr. Edith Natukunda, Head- Department of European and Oriental LanguagesAs an incentive to encourage the learning and the usage of international languages in Uganda, Arabic language was introduced at Makerere University in 2011 under the Department of European and Oriental Languages. The Arabic language is taught at three stages of learning i.e. beginner, advanced and Postgraduate Diploma with education.

“We have beginners who start Arabic at the University; the advanced group, which studied Arabic at secondary level and those who are doing a Post Graduate Diploma in education. Most of the time, those who do Advanced Arabic are taking it with education, which explains our close collaboration with the College of Education and External Studies,” Dr. Natukunda stated.

 She also explained that the Department of European and Oriental languages hosts four international languages, with French being the oldest, The Department also teaches German followed by Arabic which has been on students’ curriculum for approximately fifteen years.

“The younger daughter is Chinese and the very special daughter is Spanish, that we are set to teach as soon as approval from the University Management is granted. We are happy that today the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has come out to support our Arabic students. I am glad that the USD 90,000 will fully cover all basic requirements of 20 students for the three years they are to spend learning Arabic,” she said.

She thanked the College of Education and External studies for the efforts they have rendered in co-teaching Arabic with the Department of European and Oriental Languages.

“I am grateful that through our strong collaboration, you have been able to equip our students with the Arabic methods as we teach them the content.  Currently we have also partnered with the Department of Peace, Conflict and Religious Studies to help us teach our students the religious concept of Islamic culture and civilization. We also service the PhD Programs at Makerere Institute of Social Research,” she said.

On behalf of the Makerere University Community, the Acting Vice Chancellor Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang extended his sincere gratitude to King Abdul Aziiz International Centre of Arabic Language for the generous support that aimed at supporting the University’s core functions of teaching and learning.

“We recognise the support that the Centre and the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have offered us to fulfil one of our core functions of teaching language. Language is a form of communication, a part that builds up culture and language is civilization. Therefore Arabic as a language has contributed a lot to Humanities and Sciences such as Architecture and Astronomy.  It is of great importance that our children also get this knowledge so that this culture is extended and perpetuated to our community,” said the Acting Vice Chancellor.From left, the Ambassador H.E Dr. Jamal Rafah, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, Prof. Abasi Kiyimba and Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe

Dr. Okello Ogwang further acknowledged the mutual relationship that Makerere University has with the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is in line with the University core function of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Networking.

“Another core function of Makerere University is to foster partnerships and networking. We therefore greatly value the relationship we have built with the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is through our collaboration that we acquired linkages with King Abdalla Bin Abdul Aziiz International Centre for Arabic Language, which has eventual led to this USD 90,000 donation,” he added.

Speaking to the Makerere University Management and Staff present, H.E Dr. Jamal Rafah said, “One very important thing in life is a friend, I therefore feel and I have always considered myself as a true friend to the people of Uganda. I am happy that Makerere University Management is willing to support and extend Arabic language and culture among Ugandan Academic and Saudi Arabian institutions of education. With much respect, I would like to say that this institution deserves to be supported. As Ambassadors of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is our obligation to develop and cement relationships with other nations as assigned by the Custodian of the two holy mosques. I therefore promise you by the will of Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala that we shall have more collaborations and understandings.”

The Ambassador encouraged people to embrace education as the only way to liberate the world from ignorance and economic backwardness. “Education is very important to all of us. And in Islam the first thing Allah ordered to Prophet Muhammad was ‘Iqra’ which means read. By reading we can know each other, and also know more about our culture. Nothing is more of an enemy to us than ignorance,” he said.

Remarking on the importance of language in communication, the Ambassador encouraged institutions to teach several languages so as to ease international communication. Reiterating the usefulness of multilingualism in international business as well as developing international relations, Dr. Jamal Rafah said that humans should also consider the language of love and peace to promote unity and stability among their societies.

Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E Dr. Jamal Rafah.“Language is very important and those who don’t know, I will be delightful to tell you that the Arabic language is the language of people in paradise. It is also my pleasure to say that the two languages that are most important in our society are; peace and love. Language can help in creating understandings among people as well as extending relations,” he noted.

 He requested the Makerere University Management to develop a vision upon which distant collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the people of Uganda can be developed, assuring members that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is willing to support people of Uganda regardless of their faith.

Emphasizing the importance of international languages on the secondary school curriculum, the Principal of College of Education and External Studies Dr. Fred  Masagazi Masaazi mentioned  that the College is  working hard to see to that Arabic as a language is included on the new secondary school curriculum to be introduced in 2017.

“When we talk about Arabic, it is hard to separate it from teaching. So as the College of Education and External Studies, we are trying to expand the teaching of the languages to many schools in Uganda. Per now we have gone as far as Kitgum. Today, the secondary curriculum is changing and we are getting a new curriculum which is starting in 2017 and one of the areas which are very important is the area of international language. During the interaction with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, we were able to discuss on how we can make Arabic a core language on the students curriculum due to the strong communication and interaction we have with the Arabic people,”

According to the Deputy Principal of College of Humanities and Social Sciences Prof. Abasi Kiyimba, teaching and promoting Arabic language at Makerere University marks the realization of the college’s mandate of overseeing the teaching of languages through its subordinate units.

“To this end, we have come a long way which has taught me that when we see successful projects, we have to know that so many people have contributed towards their achievement. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has six in which the need for language teaching cannot be overlooked. We therefore look forward for a fruitful collaboration in this area with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he mentioned.

In his speech, the Chairperson of Makerere University Academic Staff Association Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu- Musoke thanked the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Uganda and the Royal Government of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the support  they  have given to Makerere, which has enabled the institution to explore a new academic area.Makerere University Academic Staff Association Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu giving a vote of thanks on behalf of  Makerere University Community.

“We are so grateful that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has now opened up all the doors to support us in academics.  This wouldn’t have been possible if it was not for your openness, the love you have for Uganda and the love you have for international diplomacy. Makerere University enjoys explorations in terms of academia. So when we interacted with you, we discovered that we have got a friend who is reliable. The academicians of Makerere University are very happy that we are opening up and very soon with your corporation we shall have Memorandum of Understandings between Ugandan universities and the Universities of Saudi Arabia,” he happily remarked.

Giving a brief background about the Arabic language in Makerere University, The Language Coordinator,-Department of European and Oriental Languages Mr. Ssali Ebraheem said that despite its being late at the institution, Arabic as a language has received an overwhelming support and attention from the Makerere University Community.

He therefore advised the members to look at Arabic as a language other a religion. “We should not look at Arabic from the religious perspective only, but rather as any other language that binds the world together internationally,” he remarked.

The ceremony was graced by  Makerere University Management and Staff and these included; the Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge Finance and Administration Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Academic Registrar Mr. Alfred Namoah Masikye, the University Librarian Dr. Helen Byamugisha, Principals and Deputy Principals of various colleges and Heads of Department among others. 

Article: Nabatte Proscovia and Iga Charles- Interns, Mak Public Relations Office.

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Students Disciplinary Committee Sworn In, Urged to Uphold Professionalism, Ethics & Integrity

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Seated: The Chairperson-Mr. Isaac Newtown Kyagaba (3rd Right) and Members of the Students Disciplinary Committee-Prof. Godfrey Akileng (Left), Prof. Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza (2nd Left) and Hon. Beatrice Kiraso (2nd Right) with the Chair Students Affairs Committee-Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba (3rd Left), and DVCFA-Prof. Henry Alinaitwe pose for a group photo on 29th February 2024. Standing Right to Left are: Ms. Phiona Natukunda, Counsel Balondemu Kenneth, University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Dean of Students-Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Principal PRO-Ms. Ritah Namisango and Deputy Chief Security Officer-Mr. Musa Mulindwa. E-Learning Facility, Level 4, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Members of the Makerere University Students Disciplinary Committee were on Thursday 29th February 2024 sworn in at a ceremony presided over by the Chairperson of Council represented by Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba, the Chairperson Student Affairs Committee of Council. The oaths, administered by Counsel Balondemu Kenneth, were witnessed by the Vice Chancellor represented by Prof. Henry Alinaitwe the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Chairperson of the Students Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba, University Secretary, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli, Ms. Phiona Natukunda, and other officials.

Members of the Committee sworn in included;

  1. Hon. Beatrice Kiraso,
  2. Prof. Godfrey Akileng,
  3. Prof. Sylvia Antonia Nakimera Nannyonga-Tamusuza, and
  4. Rev. Dr. Lydia Nsaale Kitayimbwa.
The Chairperson, Students Affairs Committee of Council, Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba. E-Learning Facility, Level 4, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Chairperson, Students Affairs Committee of Council, Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba.

Mr. Timothy Ssejjoba on behalf of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Members of Council congratulated the members upon being sworn in and expressed confidence that they are going to exercise their duty and mandate very well. “I am excited to see gallant and very committed members of our community who have decided to take part of their precious time to uphold the values and principles of this esteemed institution.”

Recognizing the paramount role of the Disciplinary Committee in fostering an environment conducive to the conduct of academic affairs, and where respect, integrity and discipline thrive, Mr. Ssejjoba urged newly sworn in members to strive to ensure that Makerere remains a centre of excellence not only in academics but also character formation and social conduct.

“Your commitment to fairness, impartiality and due process will be the cornerstone of your service. As you undertake this duty, I urge you to approach every case with empathy, with understanding and with a commitment to justice” he added.

The Chairperson, Students Affairs Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba (Right) and Members (Left to Right): Hon. Beatrice Kiraso, Prof. Godfrey Akileng and Prof. Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza. E-Learning Facility, Level 4, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
The Chairperson, Students Affairs Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba (Right) and Members (Left to Right): Hon. Beatrice Kiraso, Prof. Godfrey Akileng and Prof. Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza.

Mr. Ssejjoba urged the Committee Members to always remember that their decisions will shape the lives of students and impact the future of the institution. “The trust bestowed upon you comes with great responsibility. Uphold the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and integrity in all your endeavours. Let your actions reflect the values that Makerere University stands for.”

The Chairperson, Makerere University Students Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Isaac Newton Kyagaba who was officially sworn in on 18th March 2022 is yet to complete his term and as such, was not required to take oath. Addressing the gathering, he thanked the Chairperson of the Student Affairs Committee, the Vice Chancellor and Members of Management for sparing time to witness the event. He extended gratitude to the newly sworn-in members for sacrificing time to serve Makerere, noting that Committee proceedings sometimes last an entire day.

In the same breath, Mr. Kyagaba thanked the University Management and Directorate of Legal Affairs represented by Ms. Phiona Natukunda for supporting the Committee in the execution of its duties. He nevertheless urged the University Officials to ensure that all the cases brought before the Committee have sufficient supporting evidence to enable them be disposed of quickly and permit the accused to proceed with their academic programmes.

Left to Right: Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda and Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli during the swearing in ceremony. E-Learning Facility, Level 4, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Left to Right: Prof. Henry Alinaitwe, Mr. Yusuf Kiranda and Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli during the swearing in ceremony.

Prof. Henry Alinaitwe in his remarks thanked the Chairperson and Members of the Disciplinary Committee for accepting to serve Makerere, noting that discipline; be it of staff, students or stakeholders, is very important especially for an academic institution. He added that unlike past decades where the student population was smaller, today’s population is bigger and demands more attention.

He decried past disturbances on the campus that led to destruction of property and loss of life and reiterated Management’s zero-tolerance to acts that go against the University’s policies and regulations. “We really ask the Disciplinary Committee to help us in arresting such cases so that they serve as a deterrent.”

Prof. Alinaitwe added his voice to that of the University Secretary who had in the opening remarks appreciated that the precious time Members of the Disciplinary Committee spend rendering pro bono services to the Makerere Community’s cannot be compensated enough. “We don’t take that for granted.”

Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (Standing) makes his remarks. E-Learning Facility, Level 4, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (Standing) makes his remarks.

Mr. Kiranda in his opening remarks stated that the duties performed by Members of the Disciplinary Committee are a true reflection of the spirit of community service, “so we sincerely thank you very much for this sacrifice.” For example, he noted that academic staff who serve on the Committee do not get their workload reduced, and Committee Members who hold jobs elsewhere spend a significant amount of their time handling University business.

This Committee’s service, he nevertheless added, is important for the enforcement of university rules, which must be done transparently, fairly and impartially. The University Secretary noted that students as they go about their academic life might error either unintentionally or as an act of indiscipline, hence the need for a Students Disciplinary Committee to help the University Management determine each case.

“This Committee is a very strong component of the University Governance ecosystem because as an academic institution, we operate under a set of policies, rules and regulations that everybody must obey, for the maintenance of social order, and for us to work collectively in the pursuit of the goals and objectives of this university, and for creating an enabling environment for research and learning” affirmed Mr. Kiranda. He concluded by thanking the Committee Chairperson and Members for contributing to Makerere’s mandate in the overall nation building agenda.

Counsel Balondemu Kenneth (Right) administers the oath to Hon. Beatrice Kiraso (Left). E-Learning Facility, Level 4, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Counsel Balondemu Kenneth (Right) administers the oath to Hon. Beatrice Kiraso (Left).

The swearing in ceremony which opened with a word of prayer by the Dean of Students, Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer, Ms. Ritah Namisango.

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Advert: Admission to Postgraduate Programmes 2024/2025

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The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications for admission to Graduate Programmes (Postgraduate Diplomas,  Masters and Doctoral Degree Programmes) for the 2024/2025 Academic Year. Applicants should have obtained at least a first or second class degree (or its equivalent) from a Chartered University at the time of completion. Applicants should also possess a Uganda Certificate of Education (or its equivalent) and a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (or its equivalent).

Sponsorship:

All Graduate Programmes are PRIVATELY-SPONSORED. Therefore applicants seeking sponsorship should have their applications endorsed by their respective sponsors where applicable.  Applicants should note that the various fees payable to the University indicated for the various programmes EXCLUDE functional fees, accommodation,  books, research and other expenses.

PhD Degrees by Research Only:

All Colleges offer PhD degrees by Research. Applicants for PhD by research should have a Master’s degree in a field relevant to their area of fmther studies and should have obtained at least a first or second class degree (or its equivalent) from a Chartered University at the time of completion. Applicants for the PhDs by Research will be required to submit on-line applications and also submit four copies of the concept note in Office No. 410, Level 4, Senate Building.

How to Apply:

  1.  Visit the Makerere University’s  Admissions URL https://apply.mak.ac. ug
  2. Sign up using full name, e-mail and Mobile No.  Please note that your name must be similar to the one on your suppmting  academic documents for your application to be considered valid.
  3.  A password will be sent to both your e-mail and mobile number.
  4. The system will prompt you to change the password to the one you can easily remember.
  5. To fill a form (all form sections must be filled) the applicant clicks on the APPLY NOW button (for first time applicants) or MY PORTAL button (for renewal of application)   displayed on the appropriate scheme i.e. Taught PhDs, Masters & Postgrad Diplomas OR PhD by Research.
  6. All academic  transcripts/certificates  and passport photos should be scanned and uploaded on the system.
  7. You can access the referees’ form by following the following link:
    https: //rgt. mak.ac. ug/sites/default/files/file-attachments/Referee-Letter-of-Recommendation-forAdmission-to-Graduate-Programme.pdf. These should be filled, scanned and uploaded.
  8.  Obtain a payment Reference No. by clicking on “Pay for Form” button
  9. Make payments at any of the banks used by Uganda Revenue Authority. Application fee is UGX 50,000 (East African applicants) or  UGX 151,500 (International Applicants). For International applicants, application fees can be transferred either by EFT or any other means in UGX to a designated URA collection account in Bank of Uganda as follows:

Account Name: UGANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY COLLECTIONS
Account No: 003410158000002
Swift Code: UGBAUGKAU
Bank Name: BANK OF UGANDA
Bank Address: KAMPALA, UGANDA
Currency: UGANDA SHILLINGS

  1. Strictly observe the closing date of Friday, 31st May, 2024.
  2. All Applicants for Master of Laws (LLM) will do a Graduate Admission Test (GAT) consisting of an oral Interview and written test on dates and other requirements to be conm1Unicated by the School.
  3. All  Applicants  for  Master  of  Business  Administration  (College  of  Business  and  Management Sciences and Makerere University Business School) will do a GMAT test on dates to be communicated by College of Business and Management Sciences and Makerere University Business School respectively.
  4. In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants for Master of Public Infrastructure Management (MPIM) must have “Proven professional experience of at least 2 years at managerial/supervisory  level or policy-decision making position in a government, parastatal organ, international  organisation  or non-governmental  organisation” Applicants should attach a 2- page short CV and referee recommendations.

Further details of tuition fees and the available programmes open for admission can be accessed from the document below:

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Scholars converge at Makerere University to review the 40 years of Neoliberalization in Uganda

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Scholars that converged at Makerere University to review four decades of neoliberal transformation of Uganda pose for a group photo. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Scholars met at Makerere University to review four decades of neoliberal transformation of Uganda, the role of universities as agents and the transformative character of the process.

The ’what to do’ question was one of the central points of discussion at the conference titled Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa held on 18th to 19th January, 2024. The conference, a collaborative effort among Makerere University, International University of Rabat, Morocco and the University of Leeds, United Kingdom was organised and steered by Dr Giuliano Martiniello (Rabat), Dr Sarah Ssali (Makerere), Dr Jörg Wiegratz (Leeds), Dr Rose Nakayi (Makerere) and Professor Godfrey Asiimwe (Makerere, Mountains of the Moon University). The conference organisers had previously collaborated as part of the work on the edited collection ‘Uganda: The Dynamics of Neoliberal Transformation’ which was published in 2018.

Left to Right: Dr Rose Nakayi, Dr Sarah Ssali and Dr Jörg Wiegratz. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Left to Right: Dr Rose Nakayi, Dr Sarah Ssali and Dr Jörg Wiegratz.

The conference gave particular focus to relevant developments in matters of political economy, politics, society and culture in Uganda’s market society since 2018.  Speakers and participants were drawn from Uganda, UK, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Colombia, Egypt, South Africa, Denmark, Morocco, Canada and USA; across disciplines; including civil society leaders, journalists, intellectuals, grassroots activists, citizen researchers, as well as scholars and PhD students. More participants followed the discussions online on both conference days. The large gathering allowed for broad discussions and cross fertilisation of ideas on the various themes, connecting theory and practice within the Ugandan context.

The keynote was given by Professor Yash Tandon, a major figure in political and intellectual life in Uganda and beyond. Tandon positioned the conference in the historical context of Uganda and highlighted the imperialist roots of the neoliberal policies that are driving the restructuring agenda in Uganda today. The keynote panel brought together interventions by Professor John Jean Barya, Dr Martiniello and the public intellectual, writer and activist Kalundi Serumaga.

Professor Yash Tandon. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Professor Yash Tandon.

Papers were presented under panels on various themes such as labour, agricultural and environmental change, oil and energy transition, socio-cultural change, education, social policy state, elections and political agency. Several papers interrogated the pertinent neoliberal policies as drivers of problematic changes in various sectors such as oil and gas, education, health and housing, and in matters such as labour and labour unions. This stimulated debates on a key question: whether indeed there could be alternatives to the ongoing neoliberalisation of Uganda that seems to be unstoppable, across all realms of society.

Commentators on the papers included Dr Yusuf Serunkuma (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), journalist and activist Agatha Atuhaire. They reflected on the everyday life aspects and the deep politics of neoliberalism in Uganda and highlighted various forms of existing resistance and push back vis-à-vis neoliberal political economy. Winnie Byanyima (UNAIDS Executive Director) enriched the conference with her comments about global and local neoliberalism, and the importance of activism in the struggle for change in today’s Uganda: she raised the ‘what should we do?’ question on conference day one; which was picked up by subsequent speakers including in the conference’s closing speeches and discussions.

Dr. Winnie Byanyima speaking. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Winnie Byanyima speaking.

Issues arising from the conference included:

  • Four decades into the neoliberal transformation of Uganda, the all-encompassing and transformative character of this process is evident. It was also noted that scholars have grappled with the analysis of some of these changes; mostly focusing on issues of governance, policy-making, military conflict, and state-building.
  • Relatively little analytical attention has been given to major topics concerning the making and operation of today’s neoliberal Uganda, this exemplary market society in East Africa and the continent at large: this includes the political economy of neoliberal restructuring (including the roll-out of commercialisation across sectors and the rise to dominance of foreign TNCs), the political sociology of the formation of hegemonic and counter-hegemonic movements, and the political ecology of extractivism.
  • The existence of significant gaps in the academic literature about the interlinkages among economic, political, sociological, ecological, legal and cultural processes in this highly consequential round of capitalist restructuring of the country: the phase that has locked-in a distinct capitalist institutional architecture for the foreseeable future.  
  • The question of how to contest, resist and change the existing neoliberal polity, economy and culture – i.e., the fundamentals of Uganda’s capitalism – is also not often analysed in much of the scholarship. And yet, the ‘what to do?’ question is prominent in the public debate in the country, given the manifold crises – across economic and social sectors – brought about by neoliberalisation.
Dr. Rose Nakayi speaking. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Rose Nakayi speaking.

The conference took place in a wider context in which universities have been recognized as agents of change in many societal spheres. They are moving away from the ‘ivory tower’ concept, where they are seen as occupying special places in terms of knowledge generation without much concrete connection to society and its everyday challenges. Instead, the change-oriented agency of today’s University is evident also in the offering of a platform to debate and generate ideas that can inform policy for change, and involvement in change-oriented projects with other stakeholders, public and private.

The conference thus aimed at providing a platform for analysing and debating various developments of Uganda’s neoliberalism since the early 1980s.

Dr. Guilliano Martinello. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Guilliano Martinello.

It is hoped that many papers presented at the conference will be developed further, subjected to peer review, and published to inform research and policy making in Uganda and beyond. The conference participants continue their networking and collaborations beyond the end of the conference.

The next conference on contemporary capitalism in Uganda is expected to be held in 2026. The conference was supported by the POLIS Strategic Investment Fund (SRIF) 2023/24 (University of Leeds). This grant also helped citizen researchers from northern Uganda to participate in the conference and present their research findings.

A screen showing the Conference theme. Conference on Uganda’s Neoliberalism at 40: Taking stock of the operation of an exemplary market society in East Africa, 18th-19th January, 2024, Conference Room, Level 2, Block B, College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
A screen showing one of the papers presented at the Conference.

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