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Makerere University Signs A USD 19m Contract Agreement With Unisplendour (UNIS) of Tsinghua University

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Makerere University on February 11, 2016 officially signed a Contract Agreement with Unisplendour Software Systems Corporation Limited (UNIS) – a group of companies belonging to Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Makerere University was recommended by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports for this project with the aim of establishing an ICT-based education system in higher institutions of learning. The initial work of this Mak-UNIS Project will amount to approximately   USD 19 million.

As beneficiaries of the Project, Makerere University will be able to improve its network connectivity to enable Colleges get reliable connections. The project will also introduce cloud storage infrastructure, multimedia recording and broadcasting stations for teaching use, wireless coverage systems, network devices, environment monitoring systems and electricity back-up systems. It will also improve server, storage and security systems, as well as integration.

The project will supply, install and commission UNIS Cloud System Matrix at a new Network Operations Centre (NOC) to be deployed at Makerere University. The Cloud System Matrix is an on-premise solution that provides Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and this will allow Makerere University to deploy a private cloud. The cloud will bring together a number of existing market-proven technologies into a platform that is deeply integrated from an engineering and service delivery perspective.

According to the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, the Project will enable the University to restructure Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the institution. “The biggest challenge is streamlining ICT in all our activities. So I’m happy to note that we are having a partner who is going to assist to streamline ICT in our activities,” said Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu.

The Director of International Projects at UNIS group of companies, Mr. Zhang Suwen who represented the Vice President of the Company gave a description of UNIS group of companies and its relationship with Tsinghua University. “Tsinghua University is the top University in China. UNIS is a component of Tsinghua University that has the authority to undertake educational projects abroad and can secure government funds since it is a government company. It deals in cloud computing and storage, electronics and communication networks and virtually all products in the Information Technology sector.” Mr. Zhang Suwen said.University officials pose for a photo after the MoU Signing Ceremony.

Mr. Andrew Gatera, the UNIS International Projects Coordinator clarified to the Management of Makerere University, that the USD 19 million will take care of all the items covered by the Contract and the secured funds shall be accessed through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development as a government-to-government cooperation.

Giving a brief background on the Project, Dr. Edith Natukunda-Togboa, the Head of the Department of European and Oriental Languages, (DEOL) where Chinese is based said: “We had the pleasure to meet Mr. Andrew Gatera who interested Tsinghua University through its company UNIS, in working with Makerere University in Uganda after the experience of their project in Ghana University. We were lucky that he met our former Chancellor Prof. Mondo Kagonyera at the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports at the time when UNIS was implementing the Ghana Project. Prof. Kagonyera was able to interest them in working with Makerere University.” Dr. Natukunda supplemented that the College of Humanities and Social Sciences had been very keen on following up the linkage and would benefit most from an ICT based education system to cater for big classes and distance learning.

On behalf of Makerere University, the Contract Agreement was signed by Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu the Vice Chancellor in presence of Mr. Augustine Tamale – University Bursar, Mr. Goddy Muhumuza – Acting Director Legal Affairs, Mr. Frank Kitumba – Director of Information, Communication and Technology Services and Dr. Edith Natukunda-Togboa – Head of DEOL.  Mr. Zhang Suwen the Director International Projects UNIS signed on behalf of UNIS and Tsinghua University in the presence Mr. Andrew Gatera the International Projects Coordinator and Mr. Liang Shang of UNIS.

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Engineering, Art & Tech

A Successful Ph.D. Defense by Vianney Andrew Yiga

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The CEDAT community is proud to share our congratulations to Vianney Andrew Yiga following his successful Ph.D. defense that happened yesterday Monday 3rd October 2022 at the College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT).

His Thesis was titled; Thermal Stability of Fiber- Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites for Flameretarded Applications.

The candidate was supervised by Eng. Dr. Michael Lubwama and Eng. Dr. Peter W. Olupot both from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, at CEDAT.

Dr. John Wasswa, Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences (CONAS), Makerere University was the opponent that interrogated the candidate to enable a clear understanding of the study.

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Makerere University Launches National Parenting Draft Manual

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The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo (Centre) and Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC (Right) interact with a participant at the workshop on 22nd July 2022, Kampala.

By Agnes Namaganda

On July 22nd 2022, Makerere UniversityChild Health and Development Centre (MakCHDC) launched a draft manual for the National Parenting Standards. The Centre has been working together with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) with funding from UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), to develop standards that are agreeable to all organisations in the country that are involved in parenting work. The draft manual was being presented to members of a consortium that brings together all these organisations together, called the Parenting Agenda Consortium.

“We produce many documents and they are shelved,” Irene Ayot Chono, who was speaking on behalf of UNICEF said. “We hope that this document will not be one of them,” she emphasized.

Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.
Irene Ayot Chono-UNICEF, urging participants to utilize the manual once it is complete.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC who presented the draft manual to participants, emphasized that if any organization is doing parenting work, there should be a minimum package that they should offer.

Draft Manual Content

The manual which will have several modules. These modules will be delivered face-to-face in 1.5 hour sessions. Some of these include; Module 6 which will focus on “understanding responsible masculinity and fatherhood” and on “understanding the concept of head of family.”The draft manual also proposed that Module 11 focuses on Parenting in the 21st Century. Some of the sessions in this module will include Children and Technology, Contemporary Influence on Children and Modernity, Culture and Morality.Module 9 will focus on Parenting for Adolescents and some of the suggested sessions within this module are Needs for Adolescents and The Art of Communicating with Adolescents. Module 5 will focus on Preventing Violent Parenting and Promoting Alternative Discipline Strategies while Module 10 will be about Parenting to Address the Mental Health for Children and Adults.

Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.
Dr. Godfrey Siu, the Principal Investigator from Mak-CHDC presenting the contents of the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual.

Participants’ suggestions

After the presentation, participants raised several suggestions for discussion and consideration. These included whether there should be a module on spirituality since Uganda is a strongly religious nation. There was also the concern of how children in remand homes should be parented. Another concern raised by a participant was as to whether teachers who make an undeniable contribution to parenting, should be taken through the parenting manual.

A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.
A participant gives her input at the National Parenting Standards Draft Manual launch.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo, the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) said that the manual is for the parenting organisations to utilize and not for MGLSD.

The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.
The Director of Culture at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms. Juliana Naumo Akoryo making closing remarks at the workshop.

Ms. Chono also adjured the team behind the manual to use picture illustrations in the manual that can be relatable by the Ugandan parents.

Contact: Agnes Namaganda – agnesvioletnamaganda@gmail.com

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Launch of Mak-RIF Round 4 Awards & PhD Call for Proposals

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Mak-RIF 4 Awards and PhD Call For Proposals, 29th September 2022, 9:00 to 10:00 AM EAT.

Makerere University received funding from the Government of the Republic of Uganda, earmarked to support high impact Research and Innovations. This unique initiative arose after engagements between the top University Management and the Government of Uganda. This fund illustrates the increasing importance that the Government attaches to Research and Innovation as a driver of development and transformation. The objective of the fund is to increase the local generation of translatable research and scalable innovations that address key gaps required to drive Uganda’s development agenda. 

In the Financial years 2019/2020, 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 the Government of the Republic of Uganda through Mak-RIF has funded implementation of over 750 multidisciplinary research and innovations within the various Colleges, while engaging multiple stakeholders within and outside Makerere University. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) has finalized the award process for the Mak-RIF round 4 call for funding for this Financial Year 2022/2023.

The Grants Management Committee (GMC) hereby invites you to the Launch of the Mak-RIF Round 4 awards and PhD Call for Proposals scheduled to take place tomorrow Thursday 29th September 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. EAT. 

Please use the following details to join the launch.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpcu-urDIjE9ZgxdsbEmA2IkNMMiJVECt_ 
Meeting ID: 884 5662 9992
Password: 292624

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