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Prof. Ezra Suruma installed Chancellor



It was a cheerful moment as students from the Makerere University School of Performing Arts led the procession to welcome Prof. Ezra Suruma to his installation ceremony as Chancellor of Makerere University on 18th January 2016. Prof. Suruma, a renowned scholar of economics and management, succeeded Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera who has been the Chancellor of the University since 2007.

Amidst joy and happiness, Prof. Suruma was installed Chancellor by Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu in the Makerere University Main Hall. Well adorned with the Chancellor’s robe, Prof. Suruma was given a copy of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001, a copy of the Instrument appointing the Chancellor read by the Makerere University Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang.

He was also given a Mace which symbolizes his authority at Makerere University and what Makerere University stands for, a key, a flag and Makerere University neck tie signifying his attachment to the great institution.

Prof. Suruma is the third non-Head of State Chancellor, taking on the mantle after Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera and the Rt. Hon. Apolo Robin Nsibambi. He was appointed as Makerere University Chancellor by the President of the Republic of Uganda subsequent to the recommendation of the Makerere University Council. Upon being installed as the University Chancellor, Prof. Suruma promised to work with his peers to uplift the standards of Makerere University.

“In accepting to be Chancellor of Makerere University, I accept responsibility to contribute in every way that I can to take Makerere to a higher level.  I will strive to leave every aspect of its existence better than I found it,” he happily said.

Prof. Suruma called for joint efforts in improving Makerere University when he said, “we need to focus on the essentials that are most visible products to the graduates.  We have to make sure that students stand out as exceptionally great citizens, morally upright, academically excellent and globally competitive. Let us ensure we all transform our students that whoever eventually meets them will confirm that Makerere University is indeed contributing to and substantially building a better world for all.”

He extended sincere gratitude to his predecessor Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera for accomplishing the eight years of remarkable service as Chancellor of Makerere University.  He further appreciated the Makerere University community for the cordial relationship with Prof. Kagonyera that propelled the University to its present glory as one of the greatest institutions of higher learning in Africa.

“May the lord continue to bless you, award you and your family for contributing so many years of selfless service to this institution. I promise to do everything in my power with the help of God to add on what you have done so far to advance further the knowledge, innovation, integrity and excellence at Makerere University,” he said.

Starting 19th January 2016, Prof. Suruma will officially assume his duties as Chancellor of Makerere University by presiding over the 66th graduation ceremony scheduled to last four days. This is one of the roles of a Chancellor as spelt out in section 30 (3) and (4) of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 which states that;

30  (3) The Chancellor shall be the titular head of the University and as such shall preside at all ceremonial assemblies of the University and, in the name of that University, confer degrees and other academic titles and distinctions of that University.

     (4) The Chancellor shall, at any time, on the direction of the Visitor, cause a visitation of the University.

In addition to the well spelt out roles in the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001, the Chairperson-Makerere University Council Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem said that Makerere University is expecting Prof. Suruma to drive Makerere University’s cause and do things that promote the institution.

“We will be pleased to enjoy the benefits out of your national and international networks. Your deep understanding of the working of the Government should also help to alleviate Makerere University’s challenges at the right time in the right forum. We also expect you to look through the academic matters of the University without fear or favor because often they come to your attention,” he said.

Citing inadequate resources as one of the greatest challenges and threats Makerere is facing, Dr. Wana-Etyem told Prof. Suruma that the inability to raise the desirable funds for Makerere University has limited the institution’s ability to fully deliver on its mandate. “I kindly request you to engage in resource mobilization and support the University to address this challenge. Makerere University will expect you again to lay a hand in establishing partnerships to give the institution a stand nationally and internationally,” he emphasized.Dr. Wana-Etyem congratulate Prof. Suruma at the event.

Performing the ceremonial roles, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu congratulated Prof. Ezra Suruma upon his appointment as the third Non Head of State Chancellor of Makerere University.

“As Makerere University, we are excited to welcome yet another distinguished personality to this great institution. Prof. Suruma comes from the world of academia and has a wealth of experience as a leader at various levels of society, both nationally and internationally. He therefore brings with him unique insights and perspectives, from which Makerere University is eager to learn as we continue on our journey in search of excellence towards achieving our vision “To be the leading institution for academic excellence and innovations in Africa,” he said.

“Given Prof. Suruma’s background and experience in the processes of stabilization, reconstruction, restructuring and management of the Ugandan economy since 1986, we are confident that he will assist Makerere University to improve its financial situation, which remains a major challenge. University Management pledges to work with Prof. Suruma to achieve our core functions of Teaching and Learning, Research and Innovations and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Networking,” he added.

Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu also thanked Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera for his services at Makerere University saying, “Both members of staff and students have benefitted from your sincerity as an individual and your wisdom as Chancellor. We are hopeful to continue working with you as opportunities may present.”

In a speech read by the Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Visitor to Makerere University, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni emphasized Government’s commitment to support Prof. Ezra Suruma during his tenure as Chancellor. President Museveni said that government is willing to work hand in hand with the Chancellor to realize the dream of not only producing graduates that are competitive in the world of work but also the kind of experts Uganda needs.

“To ensure that Makerere University continues to produce quality graduates and transform communities, Government committed special funds through the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology at Makerere University. This Initiative has led to breakthroughs in research and innovations such as Uganda’s first electric car; and the affordable multi-purpose tractor that can thresh maize, support irrigation, and plough gardens. These efforts produce quality graduates with entrepreneurial abilities suited for the highly competitive labour market,” the President mentioned.

“I must salute Prof. Mondo Kagonyera for a highly successful tenure as Chancellor of Makerere University. You have successful overseen the implementation of institutional reform and physical developments at Makerere University. You are no doubt leaving a firm foundation on which Prof. Suruma can now build upon in taking Makerere University to the next level. I thank you,” he added.

The Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Sports Hon. Jessica Alupo represented by Director for Higher Education, Vocational Education and Training Mrs. Elizabeth Gabona said Prof. Suruma, a former Makerere academic, was a perfect choice because of his wealth of experience.

In a farewell message, Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera said that he had gained a lot of experience through his association with the Makerere University community.

“My life at Makerere University as a teacher, as the Chairman Appointments Board and as Chancellor has been an enriching experience. I have learned much from Members of Academic Staff, Administration and extremely a lot from the students. Students have enriched my experience and they have even broadened my views on life. I thank you very much,” he stated.

He however, advised Government to pay attention to the students’ welfare such as the infrastructure developments and innovations. He said that the government should take over the long term development projects bill to enhance the University’s efficiency it its operations.

“I don’t think it is correct that students’ fees should be spent on long term development projects. The fees should largely support University operations, and not long term developments projects at the University. As you all know that the environment in which you live, dictates your actions. I therefore plead to the Government to find resources and renovate the Halls of Residence to the standard they should be,” he said.Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera holding the plaque presented to him by Makerere University Academic Staff Association, left is Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu, Prime Minister Hon Ruhakana Rugunda and Chairperson (MUASA) Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu.

He congratulated his Successor Prof. Ezra Suruma for the deserved achievement when he said, “I don’t think that Makerere University would have found a better person to recommend to the President than Prof. Ezra Suruma. Therefore I whole heartedly congratulate you on your choice and recommendation.”  On behalf of the University Council and Senate, the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda presented to Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera an accolade artistically designed with the Makerere University logo, the Main Building and a smiling Kagonyera clad in the Chancellor’s gown holding the Mace. He received a picture board providing highlights of his eight-year tenure as Chancellor of Makerere University as well as an assortment of Makerere University Souvenirs. The Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) also presented a plaque to Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera.

Article by: Makerere University Public Relations Office

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Rotary International President visits Mak



The Chairperson of Council, Mrs Lorna Magara (L) presents a plaque to Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta in appreciation of his visit and invaluable service, 15th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University.

By Hasifa Kabejja

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.

At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted.   President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.

President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims. 

Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.

By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.

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Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders



The "Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research" Phase One Study dissemination poster for the event held on 14th September 2021, CTF1, Makerere University and Online.

The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.  

The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.

Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.

Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.

Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.

The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine
The Director GMD, Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine

 “Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.

The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.

The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.  

At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.

“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.

On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.

Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.

“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.

Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.  

The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.
The Executive Director, NCHE, Prof. Mary Okwakol. Courtesy Photo.

Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.  

She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.   

Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.

She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.  

On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”

At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.

She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.

“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.

Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.  

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe follows proceedings during the dissemination.

“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.

Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.

He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”

Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.

A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.
A screenshot of the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara delivering the concluding remarks.

Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.

Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”

Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.

“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.

The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”

She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.   

The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.

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Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal



The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25.  For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.

Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.

Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY

Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG

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