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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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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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