It was a memorable afternoon on Friday 2nd September 2016, when 200 students who qualified for a comprehensive scholarship package under the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University convened in the Makerere University Main Hall to receive their Letters of Award.
“Joining Makerere University through the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme was a turning point in my life. I was admitted to study Bachelor of Science with Education. I see a bright future as a teacher who will aim at promoting the studying of sciences in the community. I want to act as a role model to those who are scared of sciences. It is good that I am studying education,” testified Beth Nanyama, one of the Cohort 3 Scholars.
Makerere University signed US$20,989,965.15 contract with MasterCard Foundation to sponsor 1000 students who are academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth from Africa to study at Makerere University from 2013 to 2023. The contract, signed by Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu and Peggy Woo Chief Financial Officer, MasterCard Foundation, was officially exchanged on 1st September 2015.
For the Academic Year 2016/2017, which started on 20th August 2016, 200 successful students were enrolled to study at Makerere University under the 3rd Cohort under the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) Scholars Programme at Makerere University. The programme officially started in the 2014/2015 academic year, with the 1st Cohort comprising 46 students who are currently in their third year of study. The 2nd Cohort Scholars admitted during the 2015/2016 academic year comprised 49 students.
Addressing the 3rd Cohort comprising 200 scholars, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu welcomed the scholars to Makerere University. He congratulated the successful Scholars upon attaining the scholarship that will not only enable them to access higher education, but also significantly contribute to the transformation of their lives.
Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu emphasized the need for academic excellence, advised the scholars to effectively utilize the resources and student support services provided under the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University and to associate with people who will add value to their academic and social life.
“Dear Scholars, you have been given everything to enable you excel. Both Makerere University and our partner the MasterCard Foundation, expect continued academic excellence from you. Failure to live up to our academic expectations will lead to discontinuation from this Scholarship programme. Neither Makerere University nor the MasterCard Foundation expects you to be discontinued. We are training you to be the next generation of achievers and leaders, who will be committed to service and giving back to your community,” remarked the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu thanked Dr. Florence Nakayiwa and her Project Implementation team for professionally managing the Scholars programme. The Vice Chancellor reiterated the University Management’s commitment to supporting The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University.
The Programme Coordinator, Dr. Florence Nakayiwa explained that the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University is part of the wider global network of MasterCard Foundation Scholars. Ideologically, the program was designed to nurture the next generation of African leaders. There are partners in Ghana, South Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Each year the programme issues a call for applications which climaxes with the selection of qualifying students.
“This year we have been able to register 21 international scholars from Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, and Kenya. We have 75 scholars directly transiting from BRAC-our secondary school partner. The Cohort has 104 nationals from the wider Ugandan population. The female Scholars constitute 72% out of our target of 80%,” she highlighted.
According to the Chairperson of Selection Committee, MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme at Makerere University, Dr. Aaron Mushengyezi, the selection process began in January, 2016 with the updating and approval of recruitment tools, publicity campaign in the newspapers and other media for the scholars to apply. Successful applicants were short listed and interviewed.
“We also did the home validation visits to ensure that those that were finally selected deserved the scholarships. That is how we were able to come up with the final list of the awardees. Out of the 2109 applicants, only 200 students were awarded. We went through a trauma to select only 200 participants,” he stated.
Dr. Mushengyezi also highlighted to the audience the several challenges the Selection team met while carrying out the selection process. Among the challenges the team encountered was ensuring equity in the awarding process.
“That’s why we had to visit the applicants’ homes unannounced such that we could do checks on the families, parents and their guardians to ensure that there were no masqueraders. We ensured that we were not awarding children of rich people,” he said.
“Another challenge we had during this process was the pain of seeing hundreds of deserving children being left out. We validated hundreds of them who really deserved the scholarships yet we had only 200 vacancies. We disappointed so many children and parents; we endured very many hours of seeing people crying before us but we really had nothing to do about this,” he added.
The Alternate Chairperson, Steering Committee Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe urged students to focus on their studies and aim for better grades so as to account for the sacrifices made by the sponsors of the program.
“Always remember the sacrifices made for you. Always remember that you have parents and people who have supported you to reach where you are now. Within three to five years, you will be leaving the gates of this University and I look forward to celebrating your graduation,” he said.-
The overjoyed audience comprising MCF Scholars, MCF Advisory Board, MCF Steering Committee, MCF Mentors, MCF Selection Committee, Members of Makerere University Council and Senate, Principals and Deputy Principals, parents, MCF Project Implementation Team and the media viewed a video clip by Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation. The video clip featured a message on the objective and goals of the MasterCard Foundation including the importance of giving back to the community and youth leadership empowerment.
The Award Ceremony was also graced by the parents of some of the Scholars. Sharing an inspiration talk with the students, Ms. Nanyunja Joy- a mother to one of the Cohort 3 Scholars advised them to concentrate on their studies in order to meet the expectations of the sponsors and parents at large.
Ms. Nanyunja thanked Makerere University together with MasterCard Foundation for initiating a wonderful program that caters for the needy when she said, “We learnt about Master Card through my counselor who helps me on my health and social issues. She showed me a news paper and told me to tell the children to pick the application forms. They rushed and picked the forms and we did all the necessary. To my dream, we later saw a message on my daughter’s phone calling her for an interview. She came for the interview, and later one of the facilitators came to our home for assessment. And now, here we are. Thank you very much MasterCard Foundation and Makerere University for enabling quality education to our children.”
The audience also listened to testimonies from two MCF Scholars; Nanyama Beth a student of Bsc. Education (Biology, Chemistry), and Ndoli Mark an International Student from Rwanda (MasterCard Foundation Scholar at Makerere University).
The invited guests were treated to fascinating and awesome African traditional dances by students from the Department of Performing Arts and Film.
Article by: Mak News Reporters
Rotary International President visits Mak
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.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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