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MURBS Registers 16% Growth Despite Volatile 2016-17 Markets

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The Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS)’s total fund value has grown from UGX 67.46billion as at 30th June 2015 to UGX78.2billion as at 30th June 2016 representing a 16% growth, despite declines in the money and equity markets over the same period. This was the latest update shared by Hajati Fatumah Nakatudde the Chairperson, Board of Trustees, MURBS at the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday 27th October 2016 in the Main Hall, Makerere University.

The AGM which came in the wake of similar ones by other players in the Ugandan Retirement Benefits market was highly anticipated, given the generally poor performance by regional equity and money markets over the same period. Approximately 30% of the fund value is invested in Equities especially in the Kenyan market, which played witness to two banks failing in the same period. The fast approaching Kenyan election combined with the recently concluded Ugandan election also led to a poor performance of local currencies, which led to foreign investors exiting the regional markets.
MURBS Chairperson Board of Trustees, Hajati Fatumah Nakatudde (L) addresses the 6th AGM on 27th October 2016
“After due consideration, the Trustees are declaring a rate of return of 4.34% on the opening balances as at 1st July 2016,” reported Hajati Fatumah Nakatudde as she gave her report. She however reassured members that the Board was anticipating a higher rate of return at the next AGM especially as foreign investors, who wield a lot of influence in the regional equity and money markets are expected to return as the currencies stabilize. The Chairperson further commended Makerere for remitting contributions due to MURBS members consistently over the 2015/16 financial year, but urged the University to honour outstanding debt obligations to the Scheme.

In his remarks, Dr. John Kitayimbwa the Secretary, Board of Trustees restored the member’s confidence in the scheme when noted that despite declaring a lower rate of return than other players, the MURBS fund value was solid and guaranteed. He also reported that the Scheme had sought legal redress with regard to the outstanding debt owed by the University and Trustees were only awaiting the signing of a judgement on the same. He further clarified that the change in the Scheme’s Custodians from Standard Chartered Bank Limited to Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited was completely in line with terms of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) as agreed upon at commencement. Additionally, he explained that the recruitment of GenAfrica Asset Managers Limited to replace Stanlib Uganda Limited as Fund Manager, whose contract expired on 31st January 2016, was after a thorough review of their performance in the regional market.  The scheme retained PineBridge East Africa Investments Limited as Fund Manager.
MURBS Secratary-Board of Trustees-Dr. John Kitayimbwa (R) makes his address at the 6th AGM flanked by Trustees Mr. Dyson Maswere (L) & Prof. Julius Kitungulu-Zake (2nd L)
The regional investment atmosphere and opportunities for the future were further explained by Mr. Denis Mugalya, Investment Manager at PineBridge when he said, “In the equity markets, about 70-80% of investors within our region are actually outside East Africa and so when the currency misbehaves within the region like it did in 2015, even if the share price hasn’t moved, they are already losing value. The only election we are left with is in Kenya under a year and for now the currencies have sort of stabilized.”

He anticipated that within at least 6 months, the projections would have improved and confidence would have returned to the market, “and therefore it might not be as bad as we did previously, maybe a 10% growth and we are looking at a 10-15% return on equities” he added.

In other initiatives reported at the AGM, the Board of Trustees has developed an online platform through which members can access their statements at their own convenience. “This is a good innovation and we are going to train members intensively on how to use the system,” remarked Dr. Kitayimbwa the Board Secretary. He added that members will still be able to receive printed statements but warned that this trend would gradually be phased out as a way of improving efficiency.
Part of the audinece that attended the 6th MURBS AGM on 27th October 2016 in the Main Hall, Makerere University
At the conclusion of the AGM, the Chairperson, Hajati Fatumah Nakatudde thanked members for sparing time to participate in the meeting. She reminded all present that the term for the current serving Trustees expires on 31st March 2017 and an election for new members is slated to take place in December 2016. She therefore thanked all Trustees who were ineligible for another term for their service and urged scheme members to actively participate in the election process when it is announced.

The 2016 AGM was attended by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration) Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, as well as representatives from; Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), Scheme Administrator-Octagon Uganda Limited, Auditors-KPMG, Custodian-Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited and Fund Managers-PineBridge Investments and GenAfrica Asset Managers.

Article by Public Relations Office

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Veteran Professor changed Makerere and Higher Education

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Professor Pancras John Mukasa Ssebuwufu (L) receives a plaque and citation from RUFORUM Board Member and Vice Chancellor Ndejje University-Professor Eriabu Lugujjo (Right) on 6th May 2021 at the RUFORUM Secretariat, Plot 155 Garden Hill, Makerere University Main Campus,

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.

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022

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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program 2021/2022. Photo credit: AfDB

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.

Application Procedures

  1. Applicant requests for information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university. For any inquiries, please contact JADS@AFDB.ORG
  2. Applicant completes required documents and sends them to the university.
  3. University evaluates and selects applicants.
  4. University sends selected candidates to the AfDB.
  5. AfDB reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.
  6. AfDB contacts selected awardees, and informs the universities.

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WHS Regional Meeting Africa 2021: Finance Chairperson’s Update

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Prof. Tonny J. Oyana, Finance Chairperson, World Health Summit Regional Meeting Africa, June 2021.

SOPs: Our plan is to have 200 sets of people in different spacious rooms…

Prof. Tonny j. oyana, finance chairperson whs regional meeting africa

We are sincerely grateful to our sponsors…

Over 15 core sponsors…

Sessions: 60% Virtual, 40% Onsite…

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