The energy and passion that had built up over the past three years was fully evident on the morning of 18th December 2015 as officials from the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports led by Mr. Robert Odok Oceng-Commissioner for Higher Education and Training officially handed over the sites to the contractor; Excel Construction Limited delegation led by the Director-Satvinder Saini and Senior Contracts Manager-Eng. P. Murali Krishna. The beneficiary of this project; Makerere University led by none other than the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu was on hand to witness the handover.
The site handover was preceded by signing of a contract between the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports (MoESTS) and Excel Construction Limited in the presence of Makerere University Officials at the Ministry head offices.
This US$29.2m allocation to Makerere University is meant to fund the five year project that was approved as a loan from the African Development Bank to the Government of Uganda in 2013 to improve science and technology in Higher Education Institutions.
The US$12.8m infrastructure development project handed over to Excel Construction Ltd anticipated to last eighteen months with effect from December 2015. It will comprise of two four-floor buildings; one located at the former UCB slab next to the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS) and another at the slab next to the School of Social Sciences. The facilities will have centralized teaching spaces, a 1,000 seater auditorium and an E-learning Centre. The construction of the two structures is meant to address the problem of limited teaching spaces especially in the Colleges with big student numbers (College of Humanities and Social Sciences-CHUSS, College of Education and External Studies-CEES and CoBAMS). Excel Construction Limited will also renovate the: Physiology Lab in the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Chemistry Lab and centralized Diagnostics Lab based in the College of Natural Sciences-CoNAS, centralized Biotechnology Lab based in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences-CAES, Science Labs in CEES, Materials and Hydraulics Lab in the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology-CEDAT and Diary Value Chain at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute (MUARIK).
The institutional allocation will also cover the setting up of the initial facility at MUARIK as well as commencing the movement of CAES to the MUARIK Campus. However, the construction of this initial facility at MUARIK is slated to commence at a later time due to delays experienced with one of the contractors resulting into bidding for works separately.
The Director Estates and Works Department (EWD), Eng. Fred Nuwagaba pointed out that due diligence carried out on the two sites had determined that while the Social Sciences Slab was more than capable of taking on the weight of a four floor building, the former UCB slab at CoBAMS would have to be fully demolished and works started from scratch. He also noted that a proper traffic flow design was going to be availed to inform the campus users on areas that will have to be hoarded off for safety reasons.
Eng. Murali informed the assembly that Excel Construction Limited was pleased to take on yet another project in Makerere University as this was a vote of confidence. He pointed out that the sites were located in busy areas but stringent measures would be taken to ensure that safety is guaranteed. He hoped that the community would bear with the construction works as the contractor would try to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum.
The Vice Chancellor Professor John Ddumba-Ssentamu called for fast but dependable works as time had already been lost and yet there was urgent need for teaching space on campus. He expressed gratitude to the African Development Bank as well as the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports (MoESTS) for their efforts to strengthen higher education.
The Ministry’s representative, Mr. Oceng congratulated the contractor and pointed out that there was a steady increase of student numbers in universities hence the need for MoESTS to set up more public universities. This massification in higher education was likely to result in the number public universities rising to nine by February 2016. He therefore hoped that Excel Construction Limited would do credible work that would attract future interest from these growing institutions.
These buildings are expected to not only beautify Makerere University but also expansively address the longstanding problem of limited teaching facilities for the growing number of students. While students are currently utilizing former dining areas that were turned into lecture spaces in various halls of residence, the laboratories on the other hand can hardly accommodate the growing numbers of students.
Others distinguished members present at the site handover ceremony were Dr. Florence Nakayiwa (Director Planning and Development) and Laker Irene Kitara (TA and Quantity Surveyor of the ADB V-HEST). The implementation of this project at Makerere University is coordinated by the Planning and Development Department (PDD).
Article by Nancy Karunganwa, Planning and Development Department (PDD)
Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education
When Professor John Ssebuwufu ambled up to receive a certificate of recognition for his ‘exceptional’ contribution to higher education from the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) at Makerere University (MU), he was thinking of many things, such as rewarding staff, that he could have done differently to impact university education more.
But he did what he could have done, under the circumstances.
He presided over MU (in 1993) when student enrolment was 5,000 and left in 2004 when the population was surging to more than 15,000.
He emphasised the use of information communication technologies in almost all the institutions he had been involved in and sent many academic staff on exchanges to boost research and innovation. Now, more African universities engage in ground-breaking research.
So, he proceeded to accept his recognition and make his acceptance speech, which was mostly about gratitude.
Ssebuwufu, 74, who is currently the chancellor at Kyambogo University and the vice-chancellor of the University of Kisubi, is credited for his exemplary leadership and pragmatic methods that have shaped higher education in Uganda and Africa as a whole.
Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022
The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project by the AfDB and Japan which was initiated in 2017 with the aim of providing two-year scholarship awards to highly achieving African graduate students to enable them to undergo post-graduate studies (i.e. a two-year Master’s degree program) in selected priority development areas on the continent and Japan. The overarching goal the AfDB and the Government of Japan seek to attain is to enhance skills and human resources development in Africa in under the Bank’s High 5s agenda (i.e. “Feed Africa”, “Light up Africa”, “Industrialize Africa”, “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa”) and key Japanese development assistance initiatives. JADS core areas of study focus include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the JADS scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.
About the JADS program
The JADS Program is open to applicants from AfDB member countries with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts who are applying to a graduate degree program in energy development and related discipline. The program does not provide scholarships to any other graduate degree program.
The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.
Upon completion of their studies, the beneficiary scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply and disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and skills, and contribute to the promotion of sustainable development of their countries.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
The program is open to those who have gained admission to an approved Masters degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the energy area or related area; and have a superior academic record. Upon completion of their study programs, scholars are expected to return to their home country to contribute to its economic and social development.
- Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
- Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
- University evaluates and selects applicants.
- University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
- AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
- AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.
WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update
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